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What's the Latest in Neuroscience, Working Memory, Attention & Autism?

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 19, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Peter Barnes

 

At a recent neuroscience conference in the USA, I heard Dr Martha Burns give a wide-ranging talk summarising the latest neuroscience research about learning and learning disorders. She related the latest research findings to how the Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant programs improve language skills, reading and learning capacity for many children.

Dr Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn.  Her talk covered topics including autism, attention & listening skills, working memory, self-regulation & cognitive control, dyslexia, intelligent tutoring systems, the neuroscience of learning, goal setting, and what's next for neuroscience. 

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Topics: Attention, Dyslexia, Memory, Autism, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity

Why Your Working Memory is Important for Your General Intelligence

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 19, 2015 at 1:55 PM

Peter Barnes

"Working memory is vitally important for learning. But it is important to remember that memory and attention aren't subclinical skills, they are actually part of what we call executive function. They are part of what matures as you get older that enables you to be effective and goal oriented. They are the part of what makes a student an effective student, a successful student.", said Dr Martha Burns in a recent presentation.

Dr Martha Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn. 

Here is a summary of what she said in her presentation.

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Topics: Memory

Handwriting May Boost Learning by Activating Working Memory & Reading

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 2, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Peter Barnes

Children today are doing much less handwriting than children did 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Before computers became commonplace, handwriting was much more important for everyone. Back then schools put considerable time and attention on making sure students developed their handwriting. 

I recall entering cursive handwriting competitions when I was a young child (I went to primary school in the 1950s), and the sense of pride for the kids who were judged the neatest writers.

Now, typing on computers and tablets is replacing the act of writing by hand for many students (and adults).

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Topics: Writing, Brain Science, Memory, Reading, School, Learning Capacity, Podcasts

Can Playing Music Help Develop Working Memory and Improve Attention?

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 9, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Peter Barnes

Interesting new research from the University of Vermont, USA suggests that children who learn a musical instrument may be improving their brains in ways that help them well beyond their music lesson or practice.

Learning music might help children to:

  • Improve their attention
  • Enhance their working memory
  • Develop better organisation and planning skills
  • Control their emotions
  • Reduce anxiety
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Topics: Attention, Memory, Music

Nine Facts for Parents & Teachers about Maths Learning Disabilities

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Peter Barnes

What is maths learning disability? This disability, known as "dyscalculia", is not as well known as other learning disabilites, such as reading disability, but it can effect more than one in 12 children.

Here are some facts that experts say about maths disabiity (courtesy of the USA National Center for Learning Disabilities).

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Memory

Use it or Lose it? – Why the benefits of Fast ForWord are long lasting

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Peter Barnes

Does a child need to keep doing Fast ForWord exercises to continue to get the benefit of the brain training?

No, children don’t have to keep doing the exercises to maintain their improvements in learning reading and self confidence. The benefits of Fast ForWord are long lasting after the exercises are completed.

Research, and reports, from parents and teachers of children who have completed the Fast ForWord program, confirm that the gains made from the exercises are permanent.

Children typically complete the Fast ForWord programs appropriate for their age and development in 3 – 5 months. During this time they work on exercises that strengthen the cognitive and language skills that are essential for learning and reading.

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Topics: Attention, Memory, Fast ForWord

Memory and learning: easing the load

Posted by Dr Corinna Klupiec on April 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Dr Corinna Klupiec

We tend to take memory for granted, until it fails us. You often hear people say in exasperation that their mental hard drive is full and they need to delete something to take on new information. But if we look at the literature, it is not a question of exceeding our hard drive capacity, rather that we are not "saving" our mental files properly in the first place. This has important implications for learning.

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Topics: Memory

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