RSI Corporate - Licensing

Childrens’ decision making—Rules of thumb are learned with time

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children as young as nine years old use rules of thumb systematically when making decisions. But they are not as good as older children at telling when it is helpful to do so. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University of California, Berkeley, have investigated decision-making behavior in children and adolescents. Their findings have been published in Developmental Psychology. Which city has the larger population: Chicago or Akron? If you don’t know, you might base your judgment on which of the two names you recognize. This “recognition heuristic” often leads to astonishingly good results. After all, we are more likely to have read or heard about bigger cities or about more successful athletes, companies, or universities. There has been much research on the strategic use of the recognition heuristic in adults. But developmental psychological research investigating younger people’s use of the heuristic is rare.”(more)

Strengthen Your Memory: Running, Rigorous Exercise After A Study Session May Help Improve Memory Retention

Medical Daily – Dana Dovey

“We all know that running is good for your heart and can help you maintain a healthy weight, but in case you needed one more reason to break out the gym shoes, a new study has shown exercise significantly improves memory retention and could help you ace that final exam. In the study, participants who went for a run after learning performed better in an exam than those who went for a casual walk or who played video games after learning. The researchers believe these results may be due to the physical stress caused by running. Stressful situations can cause our body to release the “stress” hormone cortisol, which may also help with memory retention.”(more)

Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“In a new study, scientists in London, Ontario have discovered that early marijuana use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the world. Previous studies have suggested that frequent marijuana users, especially those who begin at a young age, are at a higher risk for cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and the Dr. Joseph Rea Chair in Mood Disorders at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, is a Canadian leader in studying both mood and anxiety disorders and the effects of marijuana.”(more)

Math difficulties may reflect problems in a crucial learning system in the brain

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Children differ substantially in their mathematical abilities. In fact, some children cannot routinely add or subtract, even after extensive schooling. Yet the causes of these problems are not fully understood. Now, two researchers, at Georgetown University Medical Center and Stanford University, have developed a theory of how developmental “math disability” occurs. The article, in a special issue on reading and math in Frontiers in Psychology, proposes that math disability arises from abnormalities in brain areas supporting procedural memory. Procedural memory is a learning and memory system that is crucial for the automatization of non-conscious skills, such as driving or grammar. It depends on a network of brain structures, including the basal ganglia and regions in the frontal and parietal lobes.”(more)

Neuroimaging study: Building blocks activate spatial ability in children better than board games

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Research from Indiana University has found that structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games. The study, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, measured the relative impact of two games—a structured block-building game and a word-spelling board game—on children’s spatial processing, including mental rotation, which involves visualizing what an object will look like after it is rotated. The research lends new support to the idea that such block games might help children develop spatial skills needed in science- and math-oriented disciplines. It is also the first study to use neuroimaging to explore the effects of block building on brain activity, said Sharlene Newman, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, who led the research.”(more)

Survey: Most parents rely on outdated advice when caring for a child with concussion

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A new national survey, commissioned by UCLA Health, reveals that a vast majority of parents may be following outdated advice when caring for a child with a concussion, and it could be making their child’s symptoms worse. “This survey really illustrates just how far the pendulum has swung in terms of caring for children with concussions,” said Dr. Christopher Giza, a pediatric neurologist and director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. “In the past, there was often a tendency to downplay the significance of concussions. Now some parents go too far the other direction and, despite their best intentions, they can inadvertently complicate their child’s recovery.” The survey asked 569 parents nationwide how they would care for a child whose concussion symptoms lasted for more than a week. Among the more surprising results, more than 3 out of 4 parents (77 percent) said they would likely wake their child up throughout the night to check on them.”(more)