LUMOSITY Tabla de Contenido
Babies understand more than you think ..................................................................................... 2 2.1 Classic test ................................................................................................................................. 2
2. The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and Concentration ........................................ 3 3. Kids Develop Complex Thinking Skills Before Kindergarten ............................................................ 5
1. Babies understand more than you think
Even babies as young as a year-and-ahalf can guess what other people are thinking, new research suggests.
The task is tricky because the children need to have a theory of mind, or an ability to understand other people's perspectives, in this case that of the individual who didn't see the scissors being retrieved by another.
The results, published today (Jan. 29) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: B, come from a study of children spanning the globe, from rural China to the more remote islands of Fiji. Previously, scientists thought this ability to understand other people's perspectives emerged much later in children. Humans are "very good at inferring other people's mental states: their emotions, their desires and, in this case, their knowledge," Barrett said. "So it could play an important role in cultural transmission and social learning." [That's Incredible! 9 Brainy Baby Abilities] 2.1 Classic test In the classic test of children's understanding called the false-belief task, one person comes into a room and puts an object (such as a pair of scissors) into a hiding place. A second person then comes in and puts the scissors into his pocket, unbeknownst to the first individual. When that first person returns, someone will ask the child, "Where do you think the first person will look for the scissors?"
By ages 4 to 7, most children in Western countries can answer that the first person will look in the original hiding place, because the individual doesn't know the scissors have moved. But children across the globe tend to give that answer at different ages. However, past work showed that if researchers don't ask babies the question, but instead follow the infants' eye movements, the children seem to understand the concept much earlier. Barrett and his colleagues wondered whether cultural differences in dealing with adults could be obscuring the amazing cognitive leap children were taking.
2. The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and Concentration
Every day outside my sonâ€™s Brooklyn school, no matter what the weather, you will see a distinctive pale blue bicycle locked to the rack. It belongs to a 7th-grade girl from a Dutch family whose members have stuck with their traditional practice of riding to school each day, despite finding themselves in the not-so-bike-friendly United States for a few years. This lovely blue city bike was a gift from the parents to their eldest child, who is now almost as tall as a grown woman. She has graduated from riding with her parents, and deserves a first-class vehicle to get to class each day. She is fiercely proud of it. According to the results of a Danish study released late last year, my Dutch friends are giving their daughter a less tangible but more lasting gift along with that bicycle: the ability to concentrate better. The survey looked at nearly 20,000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19. It found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.
The study was part of "Mass Experiment 2012," a Danish project that looked at the links between concentration, diet, and exercise. Niels Egelund of Aarhus University in Denmark, who conducted the research, told AFP that he was surprised that the effect of exercise was greater than that of diet: "The results showed that having breakfast and lunch has an impact, but not very much compared to having exercised," Egelund told AFP. "As a third-grade pupil, if you exercise and bike to school, your ability to concentrate increases to the equivalent of someone half a year further in their studies," he added. The process of getting yourself from point A to point B has cognitive effects that researchers do not yet fully understand. I wrote last year about Bruce Appleyardâ€™s examination of cognitive mapping, in which he compared children who were driven everywhere with those who were free to navigate their neighborhoods on their own. His work revealed that the kids whose parents chauffeured them had a much poorer comprehension of the geography of the places they lived, and also a less fine-grained knowledge of the landscape around them.
3. Kids Develop Complex Thinking Skills Before Kindergarten
Emerging research suggest children start to develop higher-level thinking skills at a very young age, challenging the long-held belief that such complex cognitions are linked to knowledge acquisition and better schooling. In a new longitudinal study, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered children begin to show signs of higher-level thinking skills as young as age 4 ½. It shows that other skills, not always connected with knowledge, play a role in the ability of children to reason analytically. The findings, reported in the journalPsychological Science, show for the first time that children’s executive function has a role in the development of complicated analytical thinking. Executive function includes such complex skills as planning, monitoring, task switching, and controlling attention. High early executive function skills at school entry are related to higher-than-average reasoning skills in adolescence. Growing research suggests that executive function may be trainable through pathways, including preschool curriculum, exercise and impulse control training.
Parents and teachers may be able to help encourage development of executive function by having youngsters help plan activities, learn to stop, think, and then take action, or engage in pretend play, said lead author of the study, Lindsey Richland, Ph.D., assistantprofessor of comparative human development at the University of Chicago. Although important to a child’s education, “little is known about the cognitive mechanisms underlying children’s development of the capacity to engage in complex forms of reasoning,” Richland said.