Wednesday November 13, 2019

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

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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New Device Can Detect Unattended Kids Or Animals

The new device developed in University of Waterloo, Canada can detect unattended kids and animals

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This new device can help save kids and animals in vehicles. Pixabay

Researchers from University of Waterloo, Canada, have developed a new device which combines radar technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect unattended children or animals with a 100 per cent accuracy.

Small enough to fit in the palm of a hand at just 3nm in diameter, the device is designed to be attached to a vehicle’s rear-view mirror or mounted on the ceiling.

According to the researchers, it sends out radar signals that are reflected back by people, animals and objects in the vehicle. The built-in AI then analyses the reflected signals.

“Unlike cameras, this device preserves privacy and it doesn’t have any blind spots because radar can penetrate seats, for instance, to determine if there is an infant in a rear-facing car seat,” said study researcher George Shaker, a Professor at the University.

“This system is so affordable it could become standard equipment in all vehicles,” he added.

Development of the wireless, disc-shaped sensor was funded in part by a major automotive parts manufacturer that is aiming to bring it to market by the end of 2020.

Analysis by the device determines the number of occupants and their locations in a vehicle.

That information could be used to set rates for ride-sharing services and toll roads, or to qualify vehicles for car-pool lanes.

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According to the researchers, the device sends out radar signals that are reflected back by people, animals and objects in the vehicle. Pixabay

Its primary purpose, however, is to detect when a child or pet has been accidentally or deliberately left behind, a scenario that can result in serious harm or death in extremely hot or cold weather, the study said.

In such cases, the system would prevent vehicle doors from locking and sound an alarm to alert the driver, passengers and other people in the area that there is a problem.

The low-power device, which runs on a vehicle’s battery, distinguishes between living beings and inanimate objects by detecting subtle breathing movements.

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Researchers were now also exploring the use of that capability to monitor the vital signs of drivers for indications of fatigue, distraction, impairment, illness or other issues.

The study was presented at the IEEE Sensors 2019 conference in Canada. (IANS)