why writing by hand makes kids smarter

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Writing by hand creates much more activity in the sensorimotor parts of the brain, researchers found

October 1, 2020 / Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Summary:New brain research shows that writing by hand helps children learn more and remember better. At the same time, schools are going more and more digital, and a European survey shows that Norwegian children spend the most time online of 19 countries in the EU.

Professor Audrey van der Meer at NTNU believes that national guidelines should be put into place to ensure that children receive at least a minimum of handwriting training.

Results from several studies have shown that both children and adults learn more and remember better when writing by hand.

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O que controla sua vida é sua consciência ou seu estado zumbi?

Quantas vezes você se viu fazendo alguma coisa sem ter consciência disso? Costuma-se dizer que isso é agir no “piloto automático” – e se isso é real ou não, é uma questão de 1.500 anos, desde que o filósofo Santo Agostinho se perguntou se a consciência é contínua ou se estamos conscientes apenas em certos momentos do tempo. Para um grupo de psicofísicos da Escola Politécnica Federal de Lausanne (EPFL), na Suíça, a resposta é: os dois.

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Unraveling the Potential of the Unconscious Mind

People can learn to use the non-conscious content in their brains to make profitable decisions. Findings suggest a novel form of non-conscious metacognition.

Source: ATR Brain Information Communications Research Laboratory Group

We are conscious beings, yet most of the activity in our brains remains nonconscious. Can we harness this hidden pool of information? Notably, one important challenge is the astronomical vastness and complexity of such nonconscious information. How can the human brain ‘know’ what aspects of such complex activity may be relevant, given that it is by definition nonconscious and thereby ‘unknown’? There is no magic formula to solve this problem, and research in artificial intelligence suggests that even the best of our current algorithms struggle to handle this vastness of dimensionality in everyday, real-life problems.

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This brain balancing act allows consciousness

Two types of thinking have a time-sharing deal going on in your brain.

  • Your DMN and DAT neural networks cooperate by staying out of each other’s way.
  • FMRI scans reveal a surprising temporal dance.
  • When both systems are at the same activity level, boom, you’re unconscious.

While consciousness remains “the hard problem” — as in what exactly is it? Where is it? — a new study published in Science Advances sheds surprising light on how the brain switches us from conscious to unconscious states and vice versa. It has something to do with an imbalance between two neural systems. In fact, consciousness requires that imbalance.

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How “thinking about thinking” can help children in school and in life

In simple terms, metacognitive thinking teaches us about ourselves. According to Tamara Rosier, a learning coach who specializes in metacognitive techniques, thinking about our thinking creates a perspective that allows us to adapt and change to what the situation needs.

A simple example of metacognitive thinking (or reframing) is this:

“Math tests make me anxious.” This is a statement, a thought. Turning to metacognition, this train of thought evolves into “What about math tests make me anxious…and what can do I to change that?”

According to Rosier, children who are taught to think of themselves as being either “good” or “bad” at a particular task can end up with a fixed mindset that makes them passive in approaching a challenge relating to that task. However, teaching kids to become more metacognitive helps them develop a mindset that leaves more room for growth and adaptation, promoting self-awareness and resilience.

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This nifty infographic is a great introduction to neuroplasticity

It’s startling to think about how we’ve got a spaceship billions of miles away rendezvousing with Pluto, yet here on Earth there are major aspects of our own anatomy that we’re almost completely ignorant about. We’ve climbed Everest, sent men to the moon, and invented the Internet — but we still don’t know how our brains work. The positive outlook is that many health, science, and research specialists believe we’re on the precipice of some major neuroscientific breakthroughs.

One example of a recent discovery with major implications is our further understanding of neuroplasticity. Simply put, we used to think our brain was what it was — unchangeable, unalterable. We were stuck with what nature gave us. In actuality, our brains are like plastic. We can alter neurochemistry to change beliefs, thoughts processes, emotions, etc. You are the architect of your brain. You also have the power to act against dangerous impulses such as addiction. The therapeutic possibilities here are endless.

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Parents’ brains sync up when caring for children together

New research suggests parenthood helps couples tune into each other’s minds and emotional states.

  • Far from being a mental drain, parenthood seems to rewire gray matter for improved empathy and emotional regulation.
  • A recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports found that couples who co-parent together display similar brain activity, suggesting they become greatly attuned to each other.
  • These findings suggest time spent parenting together improves care, coordination, and empathy.

When they say parenting changes you, what follows is typically a refrain of ways the wee one will break you. Consider “mommy brain,” the folk psychology that having a baby decays a woman’s mind to flighty, forgetful, scatterbrained mush.

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Body Weight Has Surprising, Alarming Impact on Brain Function

Higher BMI is linked to decreased cerebral blood flow, which is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness, according to a new study in JAD

Amsterdam, NL and Costa Mesa, CA, USA – As a person’s weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. One of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction, scientists analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerized tomography from more than 17,000 individuals to measure blood flow and brain activity.

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Técnica com ultrassom

O glioblastoma é o tipo de tumor primário mais comum no cérebro, altamente agressivo e maligno. Pacientes com esse tipo de câncer geralmente são submetidos a ressecção seguida de radioterapia e quimioterapia. Apesar do tratamento, a sobrevida é de 12 a 18 meses a partir da data do diagnóstico. Novos tratamentos têm sido desenvolvidos e um deles tem se mostrado promissor. O estudo da referência aborda uma técnica que envolve a aplicação de ultrassom focal na região tumoral através do crânio intacto associada à aplicação de uma substância que sensibiliza as células para os efeitos prejudiciais do som. A terapia sonodinâmica representa uma grande promessa para o tratamento de cânceres que se espalharam para áreas sensíveis do corpo (metástases) e, em particular, do cérebro. 📑♒🧠Este tema será abordado no módulo Tratamento & Reabilitação do Cérebro da @mybrainuniversity

Referência: Sheehan, K., Sheehan, D., Sulaiman, M. et al. Investigation of the tumoricidal effects of sonodynamic therapy in malignant glioblastoma brain tumors. J Neurooncol 148, 9-16 (2020). doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03504-w (imagem autoral)