Eating breakfast raises child IQ

18 February 2013
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A new research study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing indicates that children whom regularly eat breakfast had “significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores.” The researchers suggested that this may be the combined effect of the brain’s fuel intake and the associated social interaction during this meal. The study was conducted on over 1250 Chinese children. Read more here

It pays to praise your toddler’s efforts.

14 February 2013
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New research paper “Parent Praise to 1-3 Year Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 years Later” from the University of Chicago highlights the importance of praising young children for their efforts, rather than just praising the child for their attributes. Those children who received ‘process praise” such as “good idea” and “good effort” went on, five years later, to have more positive attitudes about their abilities to overcome problems and develop strategies. Read more here

The Divided Brain – Reloaded

23 January 2013
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Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist provides a succinct and fascinating account of the divided brain theory from a contemporary and social perspective, accompanied by the animated illustration of Andrew Park. Watch the film on the RSA website here:

ADHD diagnosis on the rise

22 January 2013
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A recent study of 840,000 children in California has indicated a significant rise, of 24%, in the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr. Darios Getahun, researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group, confirmed that the instances of ADHD in boys within the study was three times as high as in girls and that it was more prevalent in higher income families: although that this might be accounted for by greater parental interest in their school performance. Dr Benjamin Lahey of the University of Chicago suggests that the study is more...

The psychology of natural disasters

31 October 2012
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The recent storms to hit the US are a reminder to think about the psychological consequences of natural disasters and how they effect children and families.  Survivors tend to look for leadership and stability in the wake of this sort of shocking change to their environment. Children need to understand the event and be returned to a reassuring routine. Read more about disasters in the school context here Read more from the American Psychology Association

Parents overestimate their children’s happiness

26 October 2012
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  It has long been recognised that parents tend to exaggerate their children’s intellectual, social and sporting abilities but a recent study indicated that parents are also inclined to see their children as less anxious and more optimistic  than they really are. Kristin Lagattuta’s research indicates that adult’s interpretations of children’s happiness can not be trusted but hopes that it will lead parents to be better attuned to their children’s emotional difficulties. Read more here

Can young blood refresh the brain cells other elixirs cannot reach?

19 October 2012
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We have all heard the legends of vampers, living for centuries on the blood of young women. Now, researchers form Stamford University have shown that not only can brain cell growth in old adults be promoted by the infusion of blood from adolescents, but that these changes are directly linked to improved memory and further tests have demonstrated improvement of recall in subjects. At the moment the tests have been restricted to mice but the medical and social impact of these results should be interesting. Read more here 

The Intoxication of Power

14 October 2012
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Our leaders of industry, our politicians and managers, our public servants and executives, all wield power over us and all come under criticism when decisions they make have negative impacts. To better understand the psychology of power, ‘from neuroscience to hubris’ the Royal Society of Medicine, in association with the Daedalus Trust ran a conference in October 2012: “to integrate emerging knowledge from neuroscience, social sciences and organisational governance to nourish benevolent leadership and create effective constraints to hubris and related conditions” Read...

The UK set to become global leader on dementia research

13 October 2012
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As part of the British Government’s “Challenge on Dementia” a showcase, event (UK Dementia Research: Addressing the Global Challenge) was held on the 10th October 2012 to bring together more than 150 potential international partners in order to promote the UK’s unique research university facilities, combined with NHS patient data. “The UK wants to be a world-leader in dementia research, but only by international collaboration can we tackle the global challenge of this condition.” Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister Read more here

Three genes determine your child’s academic achievement

11 October 2012
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Kevin Beaver of Florida State University has identified that three genes DAT1, DRD2 and DRD4 predict levels of academic achievement. So does this mean that we are soon to be condemned to a world in which our lives are determined at birth, populated by genetic elites and a DNA underclass? The vision of our future depicted in the 1997 film Gattaca (pictured) highlights the age old struggle between nature and nurture, predetermined potential and the benefits and disadvantages afforded to us by our environment. The 1994 book “The Bell Curve” argues for accepting the determinist view and...

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