How the Brain Develops in Playing Children

The brain of a young child is known to develop rapidly, and the study of early childhood development examines ways in which children’s brains can develop in the best way possible. Interestingly, human children have the most creative ability to imagine and play. Other living things also play around, but their play is limited in its creativity. Puppies may pretend to play like their adult parents, but puppies are not cognitively able to pretend and play as a cat, Superman, or Bruce Willis. Human children often take on various roles in order to play through an imaginary situation. This has been shown to be very important for children’s cognitive development.

The ability of a child to be able to hypothesize various situations that have not happened is the main benefit of play. When children are able to pretend to be Spiderman or a monster, they are expanding the neural passageways in the brain that are responsible for creativity and flexible thinking.

The brain of a child is often able to ignore certain biases that are learned throughout life. Adults are not so flexible. The adult brain has spent a lifetime learning certain behaviors, and these foundational thoughts are difficult to will away quickly. They are rules of life; some were learned early on in life, and others were absorbed through the surrounding environment. The brain works this way in order to minimize the chance of something unpleasant happening. Convenience is what the brain automatically is attracted to. This is largely due to the fact that the brain wants to conserve energy and the cognitive workload. When the brain goes back to something it knows to be reliable, it feels comforted. It often takes a concerted effort to peel away this type of thinking. Understanding why the brain is attracted to routine can be helpful for those who are trying to break away from such thinking.

Freezing Your Brain to Save Your Life


Your body contains approximately 5 liters of blood, and it needs a majority of those 5 liters to keep bodily functioning at a high. Your body also doesn’t like losing blood either – if you were shot without damaging any major organs, you’ll still have a high chance of dying from blood loss. This becomes especially important since not enough people get to the hospital after suffering traumatic injury. In many cases, they’ll be dead by the time they arrive. In fact, only 2 in 3 people who suffer traumatic injury survive the ambulance trip to the hospital.

This fact alone proves problematic as medical workers try to find ways on how to get injured people to the hospital as quickly as possible.

A new experimental procedure from Massachusetts General Hospital proposes a new solution: the replacement of blood with a cold electrolyte solution while en route to the hospital. It might sound weird, but apparently, most of the deaths that are accounted from fixable wounds die from hemorrhage – internal bleeding. However, this aims to directly combat that.

We’ve all learned in science how the cold makes things compress, like the blood vessels on a bruise when we apply a cold pack. This uses that sort of idea. When cold electrolytes circulate inside the body, it prevents any further damage from occurring. At the same time, the most important organs in the body, such as the brain and the heart, are also preserved. This gives the surgeon enough time to fix the injury, replace the blood, and re-start the heart.

However, the thing with this procedure is: as this is occurring, the injured person although not dead, isn’t really alive either. The heart stops, and most other bodily functions do as well. In essence, you’re semi-dead. There’s no guarantee you’re going to wake up.

Despite this, when you’re on a race against time, although not the best option, it might just put a dying person back up a couple notches, allowing for the doctor to try to fix the damage, before any more is done. It might just be necessary.

Although it sounds like the thing of science fiction, this might just save an extra life or two every day – and when it’s your loved one on the gurney, and you see his pulse flatten, wouldn’t you take desperate measures as well? Pray for a miracle.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Creating Junk


Everyone has their down times every now and then. It’s natural. When you’re trying to create something extremely revolutionary, or trying to creatively implement an idea, don’t beat yourself up for not creating the best possible every single time. Even if you are a genius, you aren’t going to come up with the best possible every single time. Thomas Edison, for example, took over a hundred iterations before creating the first light bulb.

This is where we can learn a little bit from the weightlifting and bodybuilding community. When you go to the gym, you can’t predict if you’re going to have a great workout or not. You can’t tell if your lifts are going to be higher this time, and whether or not you’re going to outperform yourself. There will always be bad days when you walk into the gym feeling like crap. However, that shouldn’t deter you – it’s part of the whole process. The only reason you’re going to be able to continually progress is due to the dedication to come in 3 to 4 times a week, regardless of your performance in each individual workout. You will always eventually have a good workout.

This applies when trying to work creatively. You might create junk from time to time, and you might even do that quite often. However, the key here, as with weightlifting, would be persistence. You just need to keep going, and keep at it until you start seeing results. You might have to produce 100 substandard pieces of work, but if that leads you to the 1 creative piece that will completely change everything, those 100 would be well worth it.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you’ll settle for mediocre. You should always try to create the best possible at any given time. However, when even the best possible today wasn’t as good as what you came up with yesterday, don’t beat yourself up.

Additionally, creating junk allows you to see the other side of things – what doesn’t work – and that will ultimately lead you to the answer.

So keep at it! You might only be a few more before you reach that one revolutionary idea!

Conversation App to Boost Child’s Language Skills

How often do you let your child play games on your smartphone? Probably quite often. Some might say that they even already bought their child an iPhone or some form of tablet. Well, forget the games that you’re letting your child play – Flappy Bird, Angry Bird, and all sorts of birds out there – in South Korea, they have an app that’s being developed by speech-language pathologists to help improve children’s language skills.

A child’s development stage, when they’re picking up so much information every day, is one of the most crucial parts of growing up. A lot of it depends on a parent’s dedication to chatting them up, or exposing them to other children for play time. However, in the US alone, 1.3 million children have trouble with language. This is where South Korea comes in.

Their app, using the system TalkBetter, is under development, with a team of computer scientists and speech-language pathologists backing it. How it works is that it will listen in on the flow of conversation between a parent and a child, and then guide the parent towards interactions that will help their child improve.

The app will also utilize Bluetooth microphones and earpieces for the mother and just the microphone for the child. This is meant to guide the parent in case the software detects that they are speaking too quickly, doesn’t give enough time for the child to respond, or ignores speech that might just be mumbles, but might be the child trying to communicate. The software then gives them notice of this via the earpiece.

Parents that were part of the initial alpha and beta testing quickly responded with interest to purchase the system. For us here in the US, it will also be showcased in Baltimore, Maryland later this month in a computer conference.

While clinical trials are still underway, the researchers behind TalkBetter are very confident that this might just revolutionize how parents teach their children to communicate better, and there is much potential in this sort of technology in other uses as well.

Well, we’ll just have to see if this product will be hitting the stores any time soon, but as for now, we’re going to have to stick with communicating unassisted with our kids. Keep your fingers crossed, though! The technology age we’re now in is bringing in so many wonders every year!

Intense Studying Will Harm Workouts


A frequent thing you’ll hear in the gym is ”mind over body” – meaning that when the body is exhausted, the mind can keep it going for longer than you think it can. It’s a remarkable feat, and readers that frequently go to gym can attest that they can keep going with motivation in an all-time high despite exhaustion if they can just get the right mindset to do so.

Scientists have recently found out, though, that this only applies in this case, and that the inverse, “body over mind” would not work. If you tire your brain, your body might just follow as well. With enough mental exertion, you might just lessen endurance and performance in the gym, leading to shorter workouts, even if your body’s still got a lot of energy to eat through.

There’s been a lot of information and research regarding the effects of physical exercise on the brain and cognitive processes, but no one has really observed how too much thinking might affect physical performance.

In a joint experiment conducted by researchers from the UK and France, researchers tired the brains of their volunteer participants by demanding video games and tested their physical capabilities after. Fatigue is a condition that is usually focused more concerning on bodily fatigue, however, it also occurs in the nervous system.

At one session, the participants were in front of a computer screen for as long as 90 minutes, playing the mentally challenging video game that was designed to tire them out. After their time playing the game, the men were then exercised on their legs by means of a specialized one-legged ergometer where they had to keep going until they reached exhaustion.

After a few days, they were allowed to take the exercise test again, this time without the mentally challenging game beforehand. The results weighed in and showed that the participants burned out up to 15% faster when they were also mentally exhausted, many times before even reaching muscle fatigue.

Interestingly, their maximum force output was not any different, only their endurance. They were able to produce the same force in exertion, but failed to produce the same force for a long period of time. Simply put, exercise feels harder when tired, so you quit earlier, although your muscles are still fresh and good to go.

These findings have some serious applications on how we combine workouts and intense thinking sessions in our day. For example, that you would tire out faster if you went to the gym after work, than you would if you went in the morning. Similarly, it might not be a good idea to balance you finances before you go on a marathon. Whatever you can take from this, it is pretty compelling and at the same time, amazing.

Watching TV Rots Your Child’s Developing Brain


One of the most controversial topics of debate among soon-to-be mothers, new mothers, and already existing mothers are whether there is any effects, positive or negative, to allowing your child time on the television. I, myself, was part of the TV generation, watching TV as I grew up – the likes of Barney the Dinosaur and Sesame Street would come to mind. There wasn’t a day in my childhood that I wouldn’t be watching TV. Whether this had any effect on me or not, I’m already passed the point to care. However – brace yourselves – the American Academy of Pediatrics claim that there are no “educational television” programs for children under the age of 2.

For a long time, the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged parents not to allow their young children any “TV time.” Apparently, this is due to the fact that there have not been enough studies conducted that report the effects of television on a child’s developing brain. They cautioned that due to this, there might be some detrimental effects that we are not aware of. However, great advances in technology has now rendered such studies possible, and now, we have an answer.

To this, recent research from the AAP has surfaced concerning the TV’s effects on young children, typically under the age of 2. Their experiment involved exposing babies in the ages of 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months to television. What they did was they played an “educational video” made for babies normally, and then in reverse. While they watched the videos, the researchers observed their brains and measured to see any differences indicating how the babies reacted to the video.

The results came out soon, and it was shown that only the older babies actually reacted to and cared on whether the video was played forward or backward, which meant that the younger babies didn’t even had the brain capacity to process what was happening on the TV. With them not being able to process anything, there would be no educational benefits or learning involved.

So how is this harming learning development in children? Well, when they’re so focused on TV, there is no actual learning involved, while parents could be better spending their time with their children, interacting with them, which helps language and social skills development by leaps. The loss of this opportunity for development proposes that babies that had more social interaction while in the development stage have much more developed brains.

In this age, though, it isn’t possible to completely eliminate TV due to the fact that it permeates us greatly. However, what we should do is that we should certainly limit the amount of time we allow our children to be watching television, and additionally, not rely simply on “educational videos” when we could be assisting this development more effectively and efficiently ourselves.

The Internet’s Effects on the Brain: Part 3


Continued from Part 2        

In the technological era where everyone is always connected, how is the internet affecting us and our brains? Are there slight dangers to being constantly online, or are there some deep, dark things that we’re just unaware about? Follow our three-part article to get this exclusive information.

  1. The Internet causes higher suicide risks. Although, this has only been documented in teens, take heed. According to researchers from the University of Oxford in England, online time is linked to higher risks of suicide and harm to oneself in adolescents.Due the amount of cyberbullying, trolls, and a bunch of people just up to no good, it isn’t surprising that the amount of time teens spend online – particularly, very vulnerable teens – might lead to higher suicide risks. The internet can be a very dangerous place, and certain websites extremely unsuitable for teens.That isn’t to say that all young people going online will be suicidal, but some teens looking out for ways to harm themselves, or already have thoughts on suicide might find, through the internet, their means to an end. Online content might help simplify things for them, and the unaccepting society in some sites might even make this worse.


  1. However – the Internet boosts brain function. As bad as everything here sounds, the internet actually has good things to offer to the brain as well. Although, we’ve only listed one here, this doesn’t mean that the weights of all our points are equal. This one is pretty significant.In 2008, researchers from UCLA suggested that using Search Engines actually allows much neural stimulation and neural activity, potentially enhancing brain function – especially in elders.

“What we’ve concluded from the study is very promising. It seems that the computer technologies that we utilize today can actually have physiological effects and benefits for adults – especially in those facing potential cognitive decline. Doing a Google search, simple as it seems, actually involves complicated brain processes, which allow exercising of neurons and improved brain function.”
Dr. Gary Small,

The MRI brain scans from the conducted research showed that the usage of search engines dramatically increased neural connectivity, allowing for very promising applications.

Whatever the case, it is impossible to separate our lives from the Internet, as we use it in almost every way. However, be safe. Be informed. That being said, we can only leave you with this:

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”
Bill Gates

The Internet’s Effects on the Brain: Part 2


Continued from Part 1        

In the technological era where everyone is always connected, how is the internet affecting us and our brains? Are there slight dangers to being constantly online, or are there some deep, dark things that we’re just unaware about? Follow our three-part article to get some exclusive information.

  1. The Internet makes you an addict. Well, you brain at least. According to a research study done in London, people who are regularly on the internet have a harder time controlling their needing a “fix” of internet time being plugged-in to a computer. In the study, the researchers noted that the participants who have been cut off from internet for even just a day showed withdrawal symptoms that were similar to those seen in addicts. Those symptoms were not just physical, but included mental addictions as well.This might tie in with the fact that a majority of the people that develop internet addictions are gamers, but the researchers claim that this applies to those who spend at least an hour or more on social media websites as well. On gamers, they found that they exhibit behaviors similar to addicts as well due to the fact that they spend very long hours in MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games) usually creating a whole new alternate life based on that. Still, though, chronic social media users are affected with this sort of effects as well.


  1. The internet makes increases loneliness and jealousy. We’re met again here by the green-eyed monster, when we say that the use of social media makes you more jealous. Think about it – how many times in the past few days have you looked up your ex’s profile online. Scratch that – how many times have you done so in the past hour?In Berlin’s Humboldt University, German scientists claim that constant viewing friends’ pictures,  statuses, and other things related to them can bring up strong emotions, one of which being jealousy, and sometimes sadness. Ironically, they’ve described this as “Facebook depression.”


This makes sense, though. When have you gone on Facebook and felt jealous on the amount of people in love on Valentine’s Day? Or Christmas? When your friend’s been travelling the world with his girlfriend or wife, and you’re sitting on your computer at home – bitter – with your bag of Cheetos and cans of Monster by your side, you’ve got to admit you feel a bit jealous. Maybe just a little bit.


To be Continued …

The Internet’s Effects on the Brain: Part 1


The average American spends 23 hours on average on the internet. Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email – there are countless things that we’re doing on the internet, and doing so, we’re allowing our computers take control of our everyday lives. Think about it – a lot of things that you do in everyday revolve a lot around the use of the internet. We are in the technological age, and we are the technological generation.

In this three-part article, we’ll discuss how the internet is affecting our brains.

As an author of a famous book on the internet Nicholas Carr stated,

“What the internet is, is a very elaborate interruption system. It steals away our attention, only to scramble it across the span of itself.”

Incredible as that might seem, it simply describes our tendency to procrastinate due to the internet. However, is it possible that the internet is helping us to develop certain skills as well? Recent advances in neuroscience reveals that the internet exhibits a certain property called neuroplasticity, which means that it’s able to adapt and change depending on behavior and experience. That in mind, how is this affecting us concerning the internet? Here’s some things you need to know:

  1. The Internet might cause memory problems. One of the many uses of the internet is to Google something. Often, when asked a question we don’t know, we will resort to taking out our smartphones and looking up an answer on the internet. This type of behavior makes it so that we’re conditioned that we don’t need to remember much, due to the ease of just going online to look for an answer.On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re an avid user, it might lead to an overload of information. Even a normal session of Facebook can overload the information going that’s going in your brain, and thus, it makes it harder to store away the information into memory.According to a study from Stanford University, brains that are regularly crammed with information – IM’s to emails to YouTube videos – find it harder to pay attention and switch between tasks efficiently. Apparently, the reasoning behind this is that when there’s so much information bombarding the brain, our brains aren’t able to filter out what’s relevant and which isn’t. The inability to filter these information means that your brain is being stuffed with filler as well, which slows it down.

To be Continued… 

Can ADD be prevented?


A Google search on ADHD will reveal a lot of results concerning tips, cures, and ways to cope with ADD better. We’re not saying that the information out there is in any way bad or misleading. In fact, there are many great articles out there on the internet on how to deal with ADD. However, it seems as if people forget that it’s a condition, and like most conditions, it can be prevented.

It isn’t common to think about ADD as a preventable condition, but some doctors believe that it is. Although, there is no surefire way to prevent ADD, the great advances of science brings to light some suggestions brought up that may help reduce the likelihood.

First’s first – pick your life partner thoughtfully. ADD is very highly heritable, therefore, choose wisely. If you know that your partner is related to someone who has ADD, it might be a good idea to reconsider your options. We’re not saying that you should break up with them over the fact that your partner’s brother suffers from ADD, however consider the possible ramifications and whether you’re ready to take on a child that might possibly have ADD.

Don’t indulge in vices when pregnant. The use of alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs might affect your child. Poor health during pregnancy highly increases the likelihood of developing ADD.

Ensure medical care is the best that it can be during the delivery. There are a number of factors that might lead to the development of ADD, and most people don’t know that poor birthing conditions can be an attributing factor. Lack of oxygen, trauma, and even infections during birth can all cause ADD.

When you finally leave the delivery room, and your child is getting older, limit electronic time. TV, computer, handheld games – or even playing Flappy Bird on your phone – can also attribute to the development of ADD. Yes, allow usage, but limit it as well. Scientists believe that a good rule of thumb is one hour a day.

That being said, when you take away electronics, put in some social interaction. According to studies, social interactions and the development of emotional connections aid the skills that limit ADD. Have some family bonding time, play catch in the backyard, or maybe even read them a book before they go to bed. All of this is not only highly beneficial in social interactions, but also allows your child to develop healthy lifestyles and confidence.

With the right amount of guidance and care, any parent can greatly minimize their child’s likelihood of developing ADD. However, this article does not serve to degrade people suffering from ADD. In fact, ADD usually comes with gifts: sharp intuitive skills, high energy, originality, creativity, warmth. This article simply tries to allow readers the most informative decision they can make in light of uncertainties.

That being said, I leave this:

Everyone is a genius. But when you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it was stupid.”
Albert Einstein