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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities

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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities
Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities. wikimedia commons
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Mexico City, Jan 3, 2018: For the purpose of developing analytic thought and reducing mistaken alterations in data received by children with sight disabilities, a group of students in Mexico City designed a multi-sensory system that includes stories, jigsaw puzzles and stuffed toys.

“Mati Mati: Makes Visible the Invisible”, is a system that reduces the difficulties of learning by developing analytic thought in blind children, said the creators, students at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM).

The work focuses on a strategy of sensory instruction that reduces the reception of data in a mistakenly altered form due to the lack of sight, reports Efe news.

“The solution we propose offers information to each of the senses, since it is based on hearing, touch, haptics (related to touch) and smell,” according to the system’s developers.

The bases of the project are two stories written by the students about endangered species in Mexico: the ajolotl salamander that lives in Xochimilco and the quetzal bird indigenous to the forests of Chiapas.

The system consists of stuffed animals that can be taken apart, two 3D jigsaw puzzles and stories with visual information printed in ink, whose editorial design was executed according to the needs of youngsters either blind or with very limited vision, and includes a series of watercolour illustrations that complement each story.

The stories include haptic images and the Braille system, which correspond to the sense of touch, while each one has its own audiobook so that users can hear the story narrated by the characters in the story, and whose soundtrack enriches the project, the inventors said.

Both the stuffed animals, with textures and materials that simulate the real feeling of the species, plus the odours related to the story and the jigsaw puzzles are all calculated to strengthen the analytic thought processes of blind youngsters as they try to dismantle and assemble each object without anybody helping them.

The jigsaw puzzles were designed and cut with a laser beam, possess geometric forms identifiable to the touch, and present textures through which users can identify each part of the animal through active feeling. (IANS)

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Piano Lessons Make Children Smarter, Claims New Study

However it did not appear to confer any benefit for overall cognitive ability, as measured by IQ, attention span, and working memory, the researchers said

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Piano lessons make children smarter, claims new study
Piano lessons make children smarter, claims new study. Pixabay

If your kid is slow in language skills, then sending him or her for piano lessons can improve word discrimination as well as language proficiency, says a study.

The findings suggested that piano lessons may have specific effect on the children’s ability to distinguish different pitches, which helped them to better distinguish different words.

However it did not appear to confer any benefit for overall cognitive ability, as measured by IQ, attention span, and working memory, the researchers said.

“The children didn’t differ in the more broad cognitive measures, but they did show some improvements in word discrimination, particularly for consonants. The piano group showed the best improvement there,” said Robert Desimone from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Representational image. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, included data from nearly 100 children aged four or five years, who were divided into three groups — one that received 45-minute piano lessons three times a week; one that received extra reading instruction for the same period of time; and one that received neither intervention.

After six months, the researchers tested the children on their ability to discriminate words based on differences in vowels, consonants, or tone.

The results showed that, children who had piano lessons showed a significant advantage over children in the extra reading group in discriminating between words that differ by one consonant.

Also Read: every Day In Madhya Pradesh 61 Children Die, official data Shows

Children in both the piano group and extra reading group performed better than children who received neither intervention when it came to discriminating words based on vowel differences.

“That’s a big thing for kids in learning language: being able to hear the differences between words. They really did benefit from that,” Desimone added.

The researchers hope their findings could encourage other schools to keep or enhance their music offerings. (IANS)

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