Addictions & Drug Use
Prefrontal control and Internet addiction: a theoretical model and review of Neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings
By Matthias Brand, Kimberly S. Young and Christian Laier May 27, 2014
Reviews neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of internet addiction and describes a phenomenon that results in personal distress, symptoms of psychological dependence, and diverse negative consequences that some individuals suffer from internet use.
Drug Abuse Disrupts Blood Flow to the Brain: Study
Published on NDTV Cooks, August 30, 2014
Researchers have developed a new mapping tool that can be regarded as a breakthrough in the field of brain health. According to a study published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express, a new laser- based imaging tool has been invented which can map the effects of drugs on the network of blood flow to the brain. This new technique is an advanced version of a method called Optical Coherence Doppler Tomography (ODT) where laser light hits the moving blood cells and bounces back.
Detoxing & Unplugging
Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues
By Yalda T. Uhlsa, Minas Michikyanb, Jordan Morrisc, Debra Garciad, b, Gary W. Smalle, Eleni Zgourouf, Patricia M. Greenfielda Published online 15 August 2014
A field experiment examined whether increasing opportunities for face-to-face interaction while eliminating the use of screen-based media and communication tools improved nonverbal emotion-cue recognition in preteens.
'All Together Now' is a Fox sitcom about friends who unplug
Fox has green-lit a TV sitcom called All Together Now, which features a plot based on six friends in their late 20's who are keen to unplug from their mobile devices and interact with one another "for as long as they can stand it.".
Could you manage to survive the full digital detox?
By Vicki Notaro and Joe O'Shea August 29, 2014
See how they get on.
Tech Entrepreneur Says Unplug From Facebook And Experience People
By Melony Roy September 16, 2014
Experience People is a movement towards rejecting technology and behavior that creates digital dependency. Tech entrepreneur Brian Hiss is touring the country to create awareness and call for change.
How Much Time Do We Spend On Our Devices? These Facts Show It's Time For A Digital Detox
By Rachel Moss September 11, 2014
But do we really need a detox at all? Is our technology addiction really that bad?
Well, actually, judging from the statistics.... yes, it really is. These shocking facts reveal the true extent of our reliance on technology.
Put away your smartphone and tablets!
Talk face-to-face, play some board games, and connect with one another. That's the message from 3 & Up Lounge in Plymouth.
"We have an anti-wifi zone. We let people boo each other," says Angela Space co-founder of the lounge.
Experts warn screens affect children's development
By Gail Johnson October 15, 2014
Combine social media with TV, video games, and smartphones, and screen time is replacing human time more than ever. It may take a village to raise a child, but that village, increasingly digitized, is vanishing.
Parent-child interactions during traditional and computer storybook reading for children's comprehension: Implications for electronic storybook design
By Alexis R. Lauricellaa, Rachel Barrb, Sandra L. Calvertb Published online July 16, 2014
This study examines how parents and children interact during traditional and computer storybook reading in their home. Thirty-nine, 4-year old children read both a traditional and a computer storybook with a parent. Parent responsiveness and child verbalizations were coded during each type of book reading experience
The Effects of Background Television on the Quantity and Quality of Child- Directed Speech by Parents
By Tiffany A. Pempek, Heather L. Kirkorian & Daniel R. Anderson. Published online June 9, 2014
This study found in the presence of background TV, the number of words and utterances spoken per minute by the parent decreased as did the number of new words per minute. However, mean length of utterances did not differ. Because parent input is an important factor for language acquisition, development may be negatively affected by background TV exposure.
Scientists plug into a learning brain
August 27, 2014 in National Institutes of Health.
Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found. The scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn through recordings of electrical activity of brain cell networks.
Pliable brains mark adolescence - just as in babyhood
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY September 7, 2014
Advice to parents from one of the foremost authorities on adolescence and young adulthood: New brain science shows that adolescence is a critical period of brain plasticity - almost as vital as the first three years of life.
Translation: Challenging and novel experiences can be very beneficial to young people and harmful ones particularly damaging to their development, says psychologist Laurence Steinberg of Temple University in Philadelphia.
8 everyday activities that fuel your child's brain development
By Brandpoint September 3, 2014
Seventy percent of a human's brain development happens during the first three years of life through play. Here are eight ways your child is developing right before your eyes, according to KinderCare Learning Centers, the nation's leading provider of early childhood education.
Food Keeps Children From Growing Too Fast; Nutrients Fuel Mental Growth Before Physical
By Dana Dovey August 25, 2014
To parents, it may seem as if your child grows up overnight. In reality, however, humans grow pretty slowly when compared to our other mammalian cousins, but scientists have struggled to prove why. That is until now. Researchers from Northwestern University have solved the evolutionary puzzle, finding that human children grow slowly to help ensure their developing brains always have enough energy.
Is too much screen time having a negative impact on our children's development?
By Avital Norman Nathman September 16, 2014
New research suggests that young children are more likely to know how to operate a cellphone before knowing how to either ride a bike or read.
How Technology Is Having A Serious Impact On Your Child's Development
The Huffington Post UK September 15, 2014
In an age where tablets, smartphones and laptops are an integral part of our daily lives and aid our children's ongoing learning and development, the research reveals that our tech-savvy children are actually growing up lacking key life skills.
In autism, brain doesn't 'prune' extra synapses
By Cindy del Rosario-Tapan-Columbia August 27, 2014
Neuroscientists have discovered extra synapses in the brains of children and adolescents with autism. The excess is due to a slowdown in the normal brain "pruning" process during development.
Research Suggests Pre-natal Brain Injury May Increase Autism Risk
By Laurel Jo September 12, 2014
A research review published in the journal Neuron suggests that autism may begin with pre-natal brain injury to the cerebellum. Dr. Samuel Wang, associate professor of molecular biology at Princeton University, and his co-authors did a thorough review of existing research, and concluded that the cerebellum plays a larger role in early development than scientists previously believed.
Boys are twice as likely to be diagnosed with special needs as girls, new figures reveal
By Lizzie Parry for MailOnline Published September 4, 2014
New UK government figures show there are 1.5 million children in state schools classed as having a learning difficulty or disability. Almost one million boys have special educational needs compared to around 500,000 girls who have been diagnosed with SEN (special educational needs).
Social Media & Mobile Technology
The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students
By James A. Roberts, Luc Honore Petnji Yaya, Chris Manolis August 26, 2014
The primary objective of the present study was to investigate which cell-phone activities are associated with cell-phone addiction.
Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?
By Juana Summers August 28, 2014
Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.
The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.
Heavy use of cell phones linked to brain tumors - new study
Published on Foodconsumer.org September 5, 2014
A case controlled study in France confirms the possibility that using cell phones increases the risk of primary central nervous system tumors such as gliomas and meningiomas.
Do cell phones cause brain tumors?
By Raymond L. Daye September 13, 2014
What once was deemed to be in the realm of science fiction and spy thriller fantasy is now considered possible: cell phone usage may cause brain tumors.
Several studies have provided evidence to support that theory. Many others discount such findings as "bad science" and rationally flawed.
Tools & Techniques
6 Toys To Boost Learning Skills In Toddlers
Posted By Asha September 7, 2014
The brain development of a child starts right from the womb. It is very crucial that the mother does her part to help in this development. Kids, especially toddlers, are very inquisitive and want to know many things. Parents should encourage this and be patient to keep answering every question that the child asks. This will help the child to learn more and it will encourage them to ask more questions. These are all part of brain development.
READY TO LEARN: Developing potential as an aid to Learning
Posted Sierra Vista Herald September 11, 2014
Maximize YOUR potential as parents to provide a supportive atmosphere for your children developing their potential to become life-long learners.
Daily Violent Video Game Playing and Depression in Preadolescent Youth
By Tortolero Susan R., Peskin Melissa F., Baumler Elizabeth R., Cuccaro Paula M., Elliott Marc N., Davies Susan L., Lewis Terri H., Banspach Stephen W., Kanouse David E., and Schuster Mark A. September 2014, 17(9): 609-615. doi:10.1089/cyber.2014.0091.
In this study, Tortelero et al, investigated whether daily violent video game playing over the past year is associated with a greater number of depressive symptoms among preadolescent youth, after controlling for several well-known correlates of depression among youth.
Mediators and Moderators of Long-term Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior
Practice, Thinking, and Action
By Douglas A. Gentile, PhD1; Dongdong Li, PhD2; Angeline Khoo, PhD2; Sara Prot, MA1; Craig A. Anderson, PhD1 Published May 2014 JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(5):450-457. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.63.
This study determines whether cognitive and/or emotional variables mediate the effect of violent video game play on aggression and whether the effect is moderated by age, sex, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring.
Media use and ADHD-related behaviors in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis.
By Nikkelen, Sanne W. C.; Valkenburg, Patti M.; Huizinga, Mariette; Bushman, Brad J. September 2014 APA Pyschnet
The study identified 6 different hypotheses that may explain why media use in general and viewing fast-paced or violent media content might be related to 1 or more ADHD-related behaviors. Subsequently, they conducted a meta-analysis of 45 empirical studies investigating the relationship between media use and ADHD-related behaviors in children and adolescents.
Electronic gaming and psychosocial adjustment.
By Przybylski AK. Publsihed August 4, 2014
The rise of electronic games has driven both concerns and hopes regarding their potential to influence young people. Existing research identifies a series of isolated positive and negative effects, yet no research to date has examined the balance of these potential effects in a representative sample of children and adolescents. The objective of this study was to explore how time spent playing electronic games accounts for significant variation in positive and negative psychosocial adjustment using a representative cohort of children aged 10 to 15 years.
Researcher: Parents still too hard on kids playing video games
Published on UUTISET August 20, 2014
Computer games have been a burning topic since their inception, but now the conversation surrounding the hobby is changing. In the same way that television and rock-music first caused a stir and were then accepted into popular culture, computer games and their effects should be understood, not feared by parents, says education specialist Mikko Merilšinen.
Children, Adolescents, and Media in the U.S.: What are the Next Steps to Take?
By Victor C Straburger. Published June 13, 2014 in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
Children and adolescents in the United States now spend >7 hours per day with a variety of different media. Little attention is paid by many parents, educators, and government officials to media effects on young people. This commentary suggests 10 different ways that American society can deal with the impact of media on children and adolescents more effectively.
Cyberbullying Victimization and Mental Health in Adolescents and the Moderating Role of Family Dinners
By Frank J. Elgar, PhD; Anthony Napoletano, BA; Grace Saul, BA; Melanie A. Dirks, PhD; Wendy Craig, PhD; V. Paul Poteat, PhD; Melissa Holt, PhD; Brian W. Koenig, MS JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 01, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1223
Cyberbullying relates to mental health and substance use problems in adolescents, even after their involvement in face-to-face bullying is taken into account. Although correlational, these results suggest that family dinners (ie, family contact and communication) are beneficial to adolescent mental health and may help protect adolescents from the harmful consequences of cyberbullying.
Face time vs. screen time: The technological impact on communication
By Chandra Johnson Friday, August 29, 2014
But just because kids are accustomed to devices or may need them to do schoolwork is no reason not to lay down ground rules.
"Parents need to just suck it up and be strict about enforcement," Roberts said. "A lot of times this is an issue of a lack of oversight. Children will always challenge parents. That's their role."
Wild teenage behaviour linked to rapid cognitive change in the brain
Scientific studies suggest that differences in the prefrontal cortex could account for the impulsive actions of young people
By Arthur Allen for the Washington Post, published in the Guardian Weekly, September 5, 2014.
Teenagers can do the craziest things. They drive at high speeds. They stand around outside loud parties and smoke weed in front of the cops. They guzzle liquor. They insult their parents - or lie to them - and feel no remorse, because, of course, their parents are idiots
Tuning up childhood: The power of playing music in the lives of kids
By Lois M. Collins, Deseret News September 5, 2014
A study presented in August at the American Psychological Association's annual convention in Washington said making music, whether playing an instrument or singing, improves reading and language skills for disadvantaged children, offsetting some of the "academic gap" between low-income and higher-income families.
6 Things the Happiest Families All Have in Common
Eric Barker September 8, 2014 in Time
Family life is hectic. Most of us play it by ear and hope it works out well. Or maybe you haven't started a family yet but when you do you want to do it right.
Here are the facts from Bruce Feiler, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Secrets of Happy Families.