Small Wonders – Mental Illness on Sesame Street?

Emily over at Wonderland has just posted her weekly Small Wonders. Go check it out just to see the YouTube clip of ZdoggMD describing the rampant mental illness apparent on Sesame Street – quite funny!

She also highlights a post on children and technology over at Mind Hacks I had missed, where Vaughan describes a new article in Neuron entitled “Children, Wired: For Better and for Worse.” It’s full access (pdf), so you can all read it for yourselves. Here’s the abstract:

Children encounter technology constantly at home and in school. Television, DVDs, video games, the Internet, and smart phones all play a formative role in children’s development. The term technology subsumes a large variety of somewhat independent items, and it is no surprise that current research indicates causes for both optimism and concern depending upon the content of the technology, the context in which the technology immerses the user, and the user’s developmental stage. Furthermore, because the field is still in its infancy, results can be surprising: video games designed to be reasonably mindless result in widespread enhancements of various abilities, acting, we will argue, as exemplary learning tools. Counterintuitive outcomes like these, besides being practically relevant, challenge and eventually lead to refinement of theories concerning fundamental principles of brain plasticity and learning.

Emily has some other high-quality links, so do head over to Small Wonders.

And, Emily, just for the record, I have to disagree with your Mom – less is not more when you are doing round ups, particularly not with what you’re finding!

Link to Emily Anthes’ Small Wonders and the Mental Illness on Sesame Street YouTube clip.

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2 Responses to Small Wonders – Mental Illness on Sesame Street?

  1. Adam says:

    Children encounter technology constantly at home and in school. Rock art, storytelling, slings and arrows, and musical instruments all play a formative role in children’s development. The term technology subsumes a large variety of somewhat independent items, and it is no surprise that current research indicates causes for both optimism and concern depending upon the content of the technology, the context in which the technology immerses the user, and the user’s developmental stage. Furthermore, because the field is still in its infancy, results can be surprising: stories and songs designed to be reasonably mindless result in widespread enhancements of various abilities, acting, we will argue, as exemplary learning tools. Counterintuitive outcomes like these, besides being practically relevant, challenge and eventually lead to refinement of theories concerning fundamental principles of brain plasticity and learning.

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  2. Emily Anthes says:

    Ha, thanks Daniel! I figured I’d indulge my mom once. Next week I will go back to doing what I want.

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