Children left behind

A large, controlled study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education has just shown that a widely mandated program (Reading First) delivered to promulgate ‘best practices’ for reading education out to American schools in need of help as a >$1 billion part of the “No Child Left Behind” program leaves children behind. The Reading First…

A fifth misconception: Our functional abilities at any stage of life are a handoff from Mother Nature or the Creator of the Universe

If you haven’t done your homework (haven’t read “misconceptions 1-4”), go do it, then read this one. You’ll find those entries on November 7th, December 5th, April 29th, and May 1st. Which lead us to: Misconception 5. Our functional abilities at any stage of life are a handoff from Mother Nature or the Creator of…

“The Brain Fitness Program” on PBS

Many of you may have seen this program.  At last count, it has been shown several thousand times. Almost every PBS station has repeatedly aired it.  Moreover, like a bad penny, it’ll show up again, in the next pledge-break period!  All of this attention stems from its success. PBS viewers have made this one of…

Poky young brains speed up

An important recent study reported by scientists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cornell and Rutgers universities (Gaab N, Gabrieli JD, Deutsch GK, Tallal P, Temple E,  Restor Neurol Neurosci 25:295-310, 2007) has documented the emergence of more normal brain response patterns resulting from intensive brain plasticity-based training, in children with impairments in language and reading abilities. …

A fourth misconception about getting older: If we fix memory, it’s clear sailing.

Before I talk about this misconception, if you’re new to this argument I ask you to go back and start at the beginning by reviewing misconceptions 1-3.  They are described in posts made on October 7th, December 5th, and April 29th.  After you read them, you’re ready for #4! Misconception 4:  <strong>Cognitive fitness is all…

Growing up and living with schizophrenia

I recently read Elyn Saks personal account of her life with schizophrenia (<em>The Center Cannot Hold</em>, Hyperion:New York) and found it to be enlightening, frequently almost painful to read, and at the same time heartening, and hopeful.  Her lucid, blunt descriptions of her illness has further amplified my personal motivation (which was already pretty high!)…

A third misconception about cognitive losses in aging

Several months ago, I promised you a “TOP TEN LIST” OF “Misconceptions, by scientists and the public, about the neurological bases of memory/cognitive losses in aging”.  So far, I’ve only managed to write down two of them — even while some of you visitors have repeatedly chided me for not keeping my promise!  Okay, okay,…