Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ed Links

The Autumn of the Multitaskers

Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity

First, Kill All the School Boards

When you look at what local control of education has wrought, the conclusion is inescapable: we must carry Mann’s insights to their logical end and nationalize our schools, to some degree. But before delving into the details of why and how, let’s back up for a moment and consider what brought us to this pass.

The Truth About Jena

Why America’s black-and-white narratives about race don’t reflect reality

What Are We Thinking When We (Try to) Solve Problems?

New research indicates what happens in the brain when we're faced with a dilemma.

Fish oil: a cure for young offenders?

A major trial is to be launched to see whether giving young offenders nutritional supplements reduces anti-social behaviour in prison. Its authors believe this could prove a seminal piece of research with major implications for the criminal justice system.

Suicide risks shared across borders

No matter where in the world they live, people who are young, single, female, poorly educated or mentally ill are at higher risk of suicide, an international team of researchers says. Their study, which includes data about nearly 85,000 people in 17 developed and developing countries around the world, reveals some consistent patterns. They found 9.2 percent of people had seriously considered suicide, and 2.7 percent said they attempted it. [That’s a lot of unhappy people . . . .—AS]

Daytime Nap Can Benefit A Person's Memory Performance

A brief bout of non-REM sleep obtained during a daytime nap clearly benefits a person's declarative memory performance. It was discovered that, across three very different declarative memory tasks, a nap benefited performance compared to comparable periods of wakefulness, but only for certain subjects.

A study of the first universal parenting program, designed to prevent early child behavior problems, shows that it has little impact on toddler behavior. Behavior problems affect up to 20 per cent of children and have major personal, societal and economic ramifications. Left untreated, up to half of behavior problems in preschool children develop into later mental health problems.

Youths with insomnia, particularly chronic insomnia, are at greater risk of future somatic and especially psychological problems, according to one of the largest epidemiologic studies of insomnia among adolescents ever conducted in the United States.

It is well established that changing people's sense of responsibility can change their behavior. Surprisingly, the link between fatalistic beliefs and unethical behavior has never been examined scientifically -- until now. In two recent experiments, psychologists decided to see if otherwise honest people would cheat and lie if their beliefs in free will were manipulated.

It's not exactly "Halo 3," and it won't be found on the shelves at GameStop, but a new "serious gaming" simulation from IBM has hit the computer labs at the USC Marshall School of Business, training students in the rudiments of business-process management. BPM, as the term is abbreviated, analyzes the way organizations carry out specific processes, such as how a bank might handle the workflow when a customer sets up a checking account. Streamlining and rationalizing complex processes, or reconciling conflicting processes when companies undergo structural changes such as mergers, has become an important field in the business world.

Why do some people solve problems more creatively than others? Are people who think creatively somehow different from those who tend to think in a more methodical fashion? A new study addresses these questions by comparing the brain activity of creative and noncreative problem solvers.

Kids who have been arrested and are depressed are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and engage in unsafe sexual behavior that increases their HIV risk. Findings of the study suggest the need for depression screenings as part of the juvenile intake process in order to determine appropriate mental health, substance use and HIV risk behavior interventions.

Using data on 2 million people, from 80 nations, researchers have found an extraordinarily consistent international pattern in depression and happiness levels that leaves us most miserable in middle age.

Scientists have reported new findings about how the mammalian brain interprets and fashions representations of sound that may help explain how we are able to focus on one particular sound among many in noisy environments such as offices or cocktail parties. Neurons in the brain’s auditory cortex interpret incoming sound signals and send them to the rest of the nervous system, in the brain and spinal cord. Using rats, the team discovered that a very small minority of available auditory neurons react strongly when exposed to any specific sound.

Power is intoxicating, but feelings of injustice soon sober up the one with the power. PhD student Joris Lammers investigated the role that the meaning of a power situation has on the automatic effects of power. He concludes that feelings of injustice reverse the automatic effects of power on behavior and cognition. The one with the power becomes more careful and the subordinate displays more uncontrolled behavior.

1 comment:

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