Monday, October 15, 2007

The Week in Ed Science Links, Et. Al.

US Inequality Growing: Not a Blip

The Targets of Aggression

For as long as there have been human beings on earth — stretching back to our animal inheritance — we have been bedeviled by a peculiar need, as insistent as it has been tragic: Making others suffer for the pain we feel, often choosing as our victim someone who wasn't even the original perpetrator. Biologists call it "displaced" or "redirected" aggression. It operates through the transfer of pain, sometimes physical, sometimes psychological. And it has been going on for a very long time.

The Truth-Free Zone, Part 1: Truth And Lies Switch Places (and Part II and Part III)

1. . . . truths that go unuttered function as if they were lies. A prime example of this in the 2000 election was the conventional wisdom that Gore was a serial liar, while Bush was a man of great integrity-a straight-talker.

2. Taken to the extreme, things that cannot possibly be so have taken the place of fundamental truths. A prime example of this is the so-called "war on terror"-something that makes absolutely no sense, if you stop and think about it.

3. Verbal formulations are used that are inherently nonsensical and cannot be used rationally-at least in the existing total environment. "Supporting the troops" is a prime example of this.

Scruffy Philosophy Professors

If you think law professors are scruffy, try analytic philosophers. Luckily, there is a solution for everyone--to wit, the following from Philosophers' Playground

The Essence of Group Conflict

Separation with poorly defined boundaries leads to ethnic violence

Why don't parents like to play with their kids?

But what about that daydreaming mother—shouldn't she be turning over pine cones and acorns with her daughter, or at least talking to her once in a while? Is that mom really giving her daughter the latitude to discover nature, explore the world, think her own thoughts—or is she just lazy?

Block-play May Improve Language Development In Toddlers

Playing with toy blocks may lead to improved language development in middle- and low-income children, according to a new article.

Humans Perceive Others' Fear Faster Than Other Emotions

You may not be fully dressed without a smile, but a look of horror will make a faster first impression. Researchers have discovered that the brain becomes aware of fearful faces more quickly than those showing other emotions.

Brain Imaging Shows Similarities & Differences In Thoughts Of Chimps And Humans

Scientists used functional brain imaging to assess resting-state brain activity in chimpanzees as a potential window into their mental world and to compare chimpanzee brain activity to that of humans. Results suggest chimpanzees may engage in thought processes similar to those of humans at rest as well as thought processes that are quite different. The findings are significant because they show the uniqueness of humans as well as our similarity to our closest living primate relative.

Computerized Training Of Working Memory Is A Promising Therapeutic Strategy In ADHD

ADHD is an increasingly frequent complex mental disorder in children with partly devastating consequences for the child's further development and the families. There are promising new strategies of research to develop more appropriate treatments that specifically refer to the patient's basic neuropsychological dysfunctions and mechanisms. Working memory can be improved by training in children with ADHD and could be of clinical use for ameliorating the symptoms in ADHD.

Turn Off The TV During Family Meals

September and October mark the start of television's new fall season as the premieres of new shows and old favorites hit the airwaves. But, University of Minnesota researchers found that watching television while eating family meals may have a negative impact on children's diets. School of Public Health Project EAT researchers found that children in families who watched TV while eating meals together had a lower-quality diet than the children of families who ate together, but turned the TV off. Boys watching TV while eating family meals consumed fewer vegetables and grains, and more soft drinks, than those who did not watch TV; girls watching TV ate significantly fewer dark vegetables and more fried food.

Body-mind Meditation Boosts Performance, Reduces Stress

A team of researchers have developed an approach for neuroscientists to study how meditation might provide improvements in a person's attention and response to stress. The experimental group showed greater improvement than the control in an attention test designed to measure the subjects' abilities to resolve conflict among stimuli. Stress was induced by mental arithmetic.

Virtual Game Helps Children Escape Realities Of Burn Unit

Nurses and physicians are using the latest technology to help young burn victims endure the extreme pain of dressing changes and wound care. Instead of traditional distraction devices, such as books and music, Nationwide Children's Hospital Burn Center is now using virtual reality games to distract patients while nurses attend to the patients' burn wounds.

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