Category Archive:
Brain development

Where Do the Night Owls Play?

where do the night owls play

After reading John Medina’s book, Brain Rules, I started thinking about the implications of Medina’s brain rule and other information about sleep. Medina tells us that people fall into three kinds of sleepers: Larks, Hummingbirds and Night Owls. Larks often get up before 6 am and report feeling more alert and productive before lunch. Breakfast […]


Please, Don’t Eat the Marshmallow

please don't eat the marshmallow

In the 1960’s, Walter Mischel conducted the now-famous “marshmallow study” at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University. A researcher would let a four-year-old choose a treat from a tray and tell the child that he or she could eat the treat right away or wait until the researcher returned and have two. About one-third of […]


Curiosity: The Roots of Intelligence

curiosity the roots of intelligence

Reading an article in the July 2009 issue of Smithsonian called ”Birth of a Robot,” got me thinking about human intelligence versus artificial intelligence. Nicholas Butko, one of the researchers quoted in the article, said that they wanted to program their robots with curiosity, not knowledge. Giulio Sandini, an Italian bioengineer says, ”If you want […]


Do The Hokey Pokey

hokey pokey

In the gardening shop I looked up to discover a sign over my head. ”What If The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?” For whatever reasons, I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. My husband came from across the store to see what could be so funny. For weeks afterwards Mark and I had a running […]


Effective Skill Building

effective skill building

Research shows that learning new skills in the most efficient manner requires self-discipline and practice. That seems like common sense to most of us. Science is confirming that, yes, to get better you’ve got to make yourself sit at the piano and play those tunes and do those finger exercises. Every day. Effective learning or […]


Children Love Quiet

children love quiet

Somehow between Madison Avenue and Hollywood, and all the places where kiddie culture is fed, we’re given the view that children are rowdy and eternally needing to be entertained. Picture a scene of children getting out from school. What do you imagine? More than likely it’s children shouting and running from the school building. Though […]


Noise Surrounds Us

noise surrounds us

Blaise Pascal, the 17th century philosopher and mathematician, wrote, ”All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.” Almost 300 years later and human misery still stems from not being able to listen to oneself think. An edition of Ode magazine was dedicated to the topic of silence. Several […]


Brains Need Plenty Of Quiet Time

brains need plenty of quiet time

A sign in my father’s office read, ”Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” Ungrammatical, but it captured the essence of my father. My dad spent a lot of time thinking and planning, but he didn’t hesitate to take the down time of ”just” sitting and doing nothing. Dad understood what was […]


The Best Brains Require Good Nutrition

best brains require good nutrition

Are our children getting the right kinds of food for maximum brain development and health? Most parents believe their children are getting adequate nutrition, but data shows otherwise. Peeking into a few lunch boxes gives some indications and insights into the issue. Recent research is showing that a high level of high-fructose sugar contributes to […]


The Brain Learns Best With Guidance

braiin learns best with guidance

Studies on how to age well cite certain factors for well-being: have a close circle of family and friends, stay active and laugh often. Amazingly these ingredients for a good life are what the developing mind of the young child under the age of six years also requires. Positive social contact serves as a buffer […]