Wednesday February 21, 2018

Kids can actually See what Adults tend to Miss: Study

The findings revealed that while adults are very good at remembering information they are told to focus on, they tend to ignore the rest

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A child with the parents (representational image), VOA
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New York, April 11, 2017: Although children are thought of being deficient in many skills when compared to adults, a new study has shown that this limitation in kids can actually be their strength as they can see what adults tend to miss.

“We often think of children as deficient in many skills when compared to adults. But some times what seems like a deficiency can actually be an advantage,” said Vladimir Sloutsky, Professor at the Ohio State University in the US.

The findings revealed that while adults are very good at remembering information they are told to focus on, they tend to ignore the rest.

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Conversely, 4- to 5-year-olds tend to pay attention to all the information that was presented to them — even when they were told to focus on one particular item.

Thus, children noticed things that adults did not catch because of the grownups’ selective attention.

Children are extremely curious and they tend to explore everything, which means their attention is spread out and they end up noticing and remembering more than the adults, Sloutsky noted, in the paper published in the journal Psychological Science.

However, the ability of adults to focus their attention helps them to sit in two-hour meetings and maintain long conversations while ignoring distractions.

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“But young children’s use of distributed attention allows them to learn more in new and unfamiliar settings by taking in a lot of information,” Sloutsky explained.

The fact that children don’t always do as well at focusing attention also shows the importance of designing the right learning environment in classrooms.

“Children can’t handle a lot of distractions. They are always taking in information, even if it is not what you’re trying to teach them. We need to make sure that we are aware of that and design our classrooms, textbooks and educational materials to help students succeed,” Sloutsky said. (IANS)

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Father’s stress linked to kids’ brain development

The researchers noted that by learning more about links between a father's exposure to stress and the risks of disease for his kid, we can better understand, detect, and prevent these disorders

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The researchers also noted that by learning more about links between a father's exposure to stress and the risks of disease for his kid.
The researchers also noted that by learning more about links between a father's exposure to stress and the risks of disease for his kid. Wikimedia Commons
  • According to the researchers, the stress changes the father’s sperm which can then alter the brain development of the child
  • Research found that the father’s sperm showed changes in a genetic material known as microRNA

Fathers, take note! Taking too much stress may affect the brain development of your kids, a new study has claimed.

According to the researchers, the stress changes the father’s sperm which can then alter the brain development of the child.

This new research provides a much better understanding of the key role that fathers play in the brain development of their kids, the researchers said.

Previously, the researchers including Tracy Bale at the University of Maryland School found that adult male mice, experiencing chronic periods of mild stress, have offspring with a reduced response to stress; changes in stress reactivity have been linked to some neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and PTSD.

Also Read: Surgical Infections More Common in Low-Income Countries, Study Finds

They isolated the mechanism of the reduced response; they found that the father’s sperm showed changes in a genetic material known as microRNA.

MicroRNA are important because they play a key role in which genes become functional proteins.

According to the researchers, the stress changes the father's sperm which can then alter the brain development of the child.
According to the researchers, the stress changes the father’s sperm which can then alter the brain development of the child. Wikimedia Commons

Now, the researchers have unravelled new details about these microRNA changes.

In the male reproductive tract, the caput epididymis, the structure where sperm matures, releases tiny vesicles packed with microRNA that can fuse with sperm to change its cargo delivered to the egg, they said.

The caput epididymis responded to the father’s stress by altering the content of these vesicles, the researchers added.

Also Read: Girls may inherit ovarian cancer gene from fathers

The result of the study, presented at AAAS 2018 annual meeting in Austin, suggests that even mild environmental challenges can have a significant impact on the development and potentially the health of future offspring.

The researchers also noted that by learning more about links between a father’s exposure to stress and the risks of disease for his kid, we can better understand, detect, and prevent these disorders. (IANS)