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Learning to Play the Piano? Sleep on It!

According to researchers at the University of Montreal, the regions of the brain below the cortex play an important role as we train our bodies’ movements and, critically, they interact more effectively after a night of sleep. While researchers knew that sleep helped us the learn sequences of movements (motor learning), it was not known why.

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Hand Gestures Improve Learning in Both Signers and Speakers

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Spontaneous gesture can help children learn, whether they use a spoken language or sign language, according to a new report.

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Study Finds Range of Skills Students Taught in School Linked to Race and Class Size

Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, finds a University of Kansas researcher.

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Science

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Memories of Errors Foster Faster Learning

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Using a deceptively simple set of experiments, researchers at Johns Hopkins have learned why people learn an identical or similar task faster the second, third and subsequent time around. The reason: They are aided not only by memories of how to perform the task, but also by memories of the errors made the first time.

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Medicine

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Reduced Testosterone Tied to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical Exposure

Men, women and children exposed to high levels of phthalates - endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics and some personal care products – tended to have reduced levels of testosterone in their blood compared to those with lower chemical exposure, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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New Research Finds IB Middle Years Students to be Self-Aware, Resilient, and Engaged in School

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Findings from exploratory study suggest IB Middle Years Programme has a positive impact on students’ social-emotional well-being.

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School Violence Intervention Program Effective in Vanderbilt Pilot Study

Violent behavior and beliefs among middle school students can be reduced through the implementation of a targeted violence intervention program, according to a Vanderbilt study released in the Journal of Injury and Violence Research.

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Here, Career Prep Is Free, and Part of Every Student's Experience

Mount Holyoke College's The Lynk is a comprehensive program that connects liberal arts courses with students’ career goals. The program isn’t just an add-on for seniors, but offers an integrated series of trainings and opportunities to build skills throughout a student’s four years.

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Can Large Introductory Science Courses Teach Students to Learn Effectively?

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In the past 10 years an active-learning course, called “Active Physics,” has gradually displaced lecture-based introductory courses in physics at Washington University in St. Louis. But are active-learning techniques effective when they are scaled up to large classes? A comprehensive three-year evaluation suggests that “Active Physics” consistently produces more proficient and confident students than the lecture courses it is replacing. ​​

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ADHD, Substance Abuse and Conduct Disorder Develop From the Same Neurocognitive Deficits

Researchers at the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre have traced the origins of ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder, and found that they develop from the same neurocognitive deficits, which in turn explains why they often occur together.

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