Develop Your Brain and Your Heart with Fiction

Here’s some news I feel like I’ve always known intuitively: writing fiction fine-tunes the brain. For more than two thousand years people have insisted that reading fiction is good for you. Aristotle claimed that poetry—he meant the epics of Homer and the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, which we would now call fiction—is a…

New Research on Executive Function in Preschoolers

Here is an enlightening piece of research for those of us raising the strange little creatures known as preschoolers, and those of us providing treatment to families raising the little barbarians as well. Research by Colorado Professor Yuko Munakata suggests that three-year-olds are often listening when you give them directions — they simply choose to…

Research on Using Video Games to Train Brain Functions

In an online interview at Sharpbrains.com, Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Posner shares about some new research on ways to train self-regulation and attentions skills. From the interview: Dr. Posner, many thanks for your time today. I really enjoyed the James Arthur Lecture monograph on Evolution and Development of Self-Regulation that you delivered last year. Could you…

Research Suggests EF Skills Can be Exhausted

This article from Scientific American describes new research that suggests that if you wear your brain out with executive function activities, you might not want to make any big decisions right away.  Even using your executive function for mundane self-control such as avoiding eating foods that are not good for you or following directions that tell…

Edutopia June 2008: New Media Helps Learning

Edutopia has a fantastic June issue with a focus on using new media in education. In particular, they have a video about Albano Berberi, a blind high school student who uses assistive technology to do things like computer programming, video-game playing, and composing musical scores that he then performs on violin. Here is a link…

Shaffer and Gee Talk Video Games and Education

This is a wonderfully illuminating discussion about video games and education. The discussion is between David Williamson Shaffer, author of How Computer Games Help Children Learn and James Paul Gee, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Why Video Games are Good for the Soul. The overriding message from Shaffer and Gee:…

EF as the New Standard for Brain Function

An article in this week’s Newsweek by Wray Herbert describes some fascinating research being done on enhancing preschool education by focusing the curriculum specifically to improve executive functions. From the article: […] Psychologist Adele Diamond of the University of British Columbia has been testing the EF concept in the classroom, with provocative results. In one…

New Research on Alcohol and Executive Function

Medical News Today provides a synopsis of some new research on how alcohol impacts brain function both immediately and chronically.  From Medical News Today: […] “Executive functions are very, very important to everyday living,” added Marlene Oscar Berman, professor of neurology, psychiatry, and anatomy & neurobiology at Boston University Medical School, and research career scientist…

Meditative Mindfulness May Be Good for ADHD

Sharpbrains.com, one of the sites in our Technology & Helping Kids blogroll, has an article by Dr. David Rabiner in which he reviews some new research on teaching mindfulness meditation to teens and adults, and how study participants with attentional problems were helped by learning and practicing these techniques. The article also provides this summary…

Music is Good for Executive Function and More

I have been thinking about music recently, ever since a colleague of mine questioned whether there is scientific proof of the effectiveness of music therapy. Hence, I started doing a little Googling on the subject and learned about a kind of therapy for ADHD called “Interactive Metronome.” If you visit the site, you can watch…