Monthly Archives: January 2017

To Ban or Not to Ban: A Usefully Provocative Answer

For every enthusiastic voice championing the use of laptops in classrooms, we hear equally skeptical claims. College professors, in particular, have been increasingly vocal about banning distractions to ensure that students stay focused. James M. Lang–a professor of English, who

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Book Review: the Promise and Perils of fMRI

Russell Poldrack reviews Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans: How fMRI Reveals What Really Goes on in our Minds, by Barbara J. Sahakian and Julia Gottwald. As Poldrack emphasizes, it’s falling-off-a-log easy to overestimate the power of fMRI: in fields such

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Kitchen Knives and Face Blindness: An fMRI story

Nancy Kanwisher asks: is the brain like a kitchen knife, or is it like a Swiss Army knife? That is: is it one big all-purpose instrument that we use to accomplish many different tasks? Or, is it made up of many

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What do teachers need to know about neurons?

At EdSurge News, Sydney Johnson ponders neurotransmitters, social development, and the marvelous Mary Helen Immordino-Yang.

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Parenting Matters, and Earlier than You Think

Studies of neglect and maltreatment of young children have revealed a lot about early brain development (e.g., Cicchetti, 2002; Nelson, 2000). These studies have highlighted that experiences in the first years of life can have profound implications across the lifespan.

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“Screen Time”: Content and Context Matter

This open letter–signed by many psychologists and neuroscientists well-known to LaTB audiences–argues that current panic about “screen time” isn’t based on evidence. The authors argue that guidelines ought to be based on clearer thinking and deeper research.

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Laptops in the Classroom: The Debate Continues…

In at least this one college classroom, non-academic laptop use is inversely related to performance on the final exam. Of course: school teachers may be able to supervise and control our students’ activities while using computers. In other words: this study

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17 Ways to Fold Sheep

Here’s a mental puzzle to start off your day: Imagine you’ve got 17 sheep and four pens to put them in. Just for fun, you decide to put an odd number of sheep in each pen. How would you proceed?

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A Skeptic Meditates

Scott Barry Kaufman meditates — rebelliously — for eight weeks, and learns a lot about himself, mindfulness, anxiety, and creativity… (One of his provocative conclusions: “Mindfulness is not the opposite of mind-wandering…”)

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Daily Routines in Early Childhood: Help or Hindrance?

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at

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