Thursday, January 3, 2013

Your Brain On Big Bird: Sesame Street Helps to Reveal Patterns of Neural Development

Using brain scans of children and adults watching Sesame Street, cognitive scientists are learning how children's brains change as they develop intellectual abilities like reading and math,
Scientists are just beginning to use brain imaging to understand how humans process thought during real-life experiences. For example, researchers have compared scans of adults watching an entertaining movie to see if neural responses are similar across different individuals. "But this is the first study to use the method as a tool for understanding development," says lead author Jessica Cantlon, an assistant professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester.
Cantlon JF, Li R.
Neural Activity during Natural Viewing of Sesame Street Statistically Predicts Test Scores in Early Childhood. 
PLoS Biol, 2013; 11(1): e1001462 DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001462

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