How Much does your Child Benefit from Single-Sex Schooling?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2012 by rmshertzog12

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By placing a child in a single-sex school, it has been proven that children will have the ability to learn more.

In the article, “Single-sex Education: the pros and cons“, Kristin Stanberry states that not only private schools offer single-sex education. More often, public schools are beginning to offer such programs. She also states that there is an evident difference in how girls and boys learn. There are a list of factors that contribute to their learning differences; room temperature, abilities/disabilities, intelligence, family, socioeconomic status, culture, etc. Although some of these do not contribute to gender, these differences could greatly influence a student’s ability to learn and succeed. “Leonard Sax and others agree that merely placing boys in separate classrooms from girls accomplishes little. But single-sex education enhances student success when teachers use techniques geared the gender of their students” states Stanberry.

Whether someone believes in single-sex education or not, students are almost guaranteed to exceed the basic knowledge they learn in a normal education surrounding. In order for students and parents to see that there is a difference, parents should be able to enroll their students in a part-time class which allows experimenters to determine is there is a large difference in the amount of knowledge gained. An experiment like this would allow parents to realize that in order for their children to succeed at a high educational level, they may have to approach schooling in a different way.

Rachel

How Old Does Your Brain Think It Is?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27, 2012 by rmshertzog12

Sharon Begley writes an article titled “This Is Your Brain. Aging.” Begley gives readers an understanding as to how and why the brain ages the way that it does. Not only does the brain age, but Begley states that the mind also changes. As humans age, as well as the world, humans adapt to these changes. Those changes consist of routines, habits, appearances and even the overall

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brain. Scientists study the differences between 20-year-old brains versus 80-year-old brains. Studies like this allow scientists and brain enthusiasts to determine and understand the aging of the brain.

Like every other part of the body, the brain ages. Some brains age more quickly than others, but the differences between a 20-year-old brain and an 80-year-old brain are sure to be interesting. If you think about all the knowledge someone learns in a basic year of school, imagine what they learn in 80 years. I was most interested by this article because it causes you to think. While I was reading, I tried to think of my brain in middle school compared to now, finishing high school. It is interesting to imagine how much your brain changes within a few years. Although, I was especially curious as to what the brains of people who age more rapidly than others look like. For example, Benjamin Button aged backward; what would his brain be like?

-Rachel

Is He Robot or Human?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2012 by rmshertzog12

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In a video blog done by David Hanson, Hanson presents “Robots That ‘Show Emotion.'” He opens the video by stating that he “builds robots with character.” Although his presentation does not focus exactly on the brain, his relation of emotion, characteristics and feelings within robots peaks an interest of various neuroscientists. Hanson shows the viewers how when he smiles at the robot, the robot simply mirrors his expression. By explaining how machines, robots, have become capable of determining things such as emotions and ideas greater than humans ever thought before.

Although I am not a huge robo-fan, even I am aware that one way to always tell whether something is robot or not is by its ability to show emotion. That entire theory has changed. Specific areas in our brains tell us how to feel and how to react with emotions. A robot does not have a brain, so how in the world do they know how to respond based on the emotion of the person they are talking to? Hanson may not focus on brain activity, but anyone interested in neuroscience would be intrigued by this video. How do characteristics that completely revolved around the brain present themselves without having an actual brain?

-Rachel

I’m a Cyborg; You’re a Cyborg; We’re All Cyborgs!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2012 by rmshertzog12

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Telling an interesting point of view about how technology is changing human nature, Amber Case uses a video called “We Are All Cyborgs” to share her point of view. I first came across this video when someone posted it in a comment on my blog. Intrigued, I began watching the video. Case talks about how humans have always adapted to new tools and objects for thousands of years, but it is the latest tool that has caused her to be most interested. She says how technology, cell phones to Facebook, has caused humans to create “a second self.” Case explains how humans not only have to take care of themselves, but now they have to take care of their second selves. Case also relates cell phones as a wormhole. Not physically transporting ourselves, but mentally, verbally and with technology. Therefore, humans have become cyborgs.

People think they know what they are capable of during with cell phones, but there is truly so much more. Humans do not realize everything they are able to do. Thinking back to what was learned from Egyptians, they did not have cell phones, but they adapted themselves to the new tools they created. Today, humans have created cell phones, computers and daily technical advances. As we adapt to these new ‘tools’, we change ourselves and basically are able to create a ‘second self’ within the small, but increasingly large technological devices. My cell phone, working with Facebook, allows me to communicate with my German exchange partner in just a few short seconds. Just how Amber Case put it; our cell phones are virtual wormholes.

-Rachel

You Tell Me No, but Your Face Tells Me Yes

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2012 by rmshertzog12

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In an article titled How to Read a Face by Anne Underwood, Underwood discusses the relationship between emotions and facial expressions. When social interactions were first under research, scientists could not determine just how human interactions related to emotion. Social neuroscience allowed neurologists to determine that our conscious and unconscious processes, parts of the brain that work with memory, allows humans to scan someone’s face. Someone may not have to say anything, but the nonverbal connection allows there to be communication without saying one word. Humans use this ability to determine how someone is feeling from across the room without even speaking with the person.

This article is similar to others that I have posted about. Also relating to the book I have read, The Naked Brain, this article helps readers to understand how humans read someone’s emotions without even trying. Facial expressions are very interesting to me because humans can observe someone beside him or her, from across the room or even from across the street. Without knowing that person, he or she is able to determine the person’s emotion based on what they see on the person’s face. If this topic seems to be new, next time patience is running low, observe someone close and watch how the emotion of that person’s face changes quite frequently. Try this now. Look at someone sitting close, watch their face change and then guess their emotion. Try not to laugh out loud, although sometimes it is difficult because some of the faces people make are entirely hilarious.

-Rachel

Au Natural, The Brain and its Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 by rmshertzog12

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The following is a summary of The Naked Brain by Richard Restak. Restak explains how and why our brains work the way that they do. As the world influences humans and what they do, Restak explains how the brain is adapting to the world. By explaining the different emotions of humans, Restak is able to interest the reading into understanding why humans do what they do. By processing information the brain has acquired, it causes the body to react in different ways. Out of fear, joy, romance and other emotions, Restak touches on each one explaining why the human brain chooses that emotion accordingly to the situation. Restak also teaches the reader how and why humans react the way they do toward other people. The brain is greatly influenced by the emotions of others around them. Touching base on memory, Restak explains why the brain is able to remember some events but not others. With the idea of memory, Restak was also able to determine how producers trick consumers. Throughout the book, Restak explains why and how the brain does what it does. Do not let the new vocabulary intimidate you, because behind the vocabulary is an interesting, intriguing book.

By reading The Naked Brain, I was able to further my knowledge on everyday emotions and reactions. It is interesting to take something so simple that we, as humans, naturally do and to be given an understanding as to why we do something a certain way. Often after reading the book, I may react joyfully or with anger to something, but I then think of the book and try to figure out why I reacted that way. The book gives you inside tricks to understanding the complex brain. Restak also shows you how he is able to read people by their emotion. One of my favorite understanding in the book is when he explains how one of the best times to read someone’s emotion is when they are in a daze because their face changes due to what they are thinking. Next time someone is in a daze, observe them and how their emotion changes. Throughout the book there are many short, simple experiments that allow the reader to interact with the book. As you read through the chapter, you are able to do the experiment or at least think of it and of the reaction. Books are often just read but the Naked Brain allows the reader to interact and become part of the intriguing story.

“A detailed knowledge of that incredibly complex structure won’t be required. All you’ll need is to remain mindful of two useful distinctions. The first is between controlled and automatic processes. The second distinction is between cognitive and emotional processes” (13-14).

-Rachel

What are Cellphones Really Doing to Us?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 by rmshertzog12

From the database SIRS, Shirley S. Wang writes an article titled Brain Reacts to Cellphones. In the article, Wang first starts the article by saying that “cellphone use appears to increase brain activity in regions close to where the phone antenna is held against the head…” The article later states that the radiation could be hurting our brains. It is also a concern to how sensitive our brains are to electromagnetic radiation. Studies have not concluded whether cellphones are causing us harm or not. Although, the main concern for scientists is whether or not the radiation is causing us long-term harm with frequent cellphone use.

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I’ve heard many things about whether or not cellphones are bad for us, but it was not until this article that I thought about how the radiation is affecting us. Although scientists have not found problems exactly linked to cellphone use, it is questionable that there may be a long term use. This causes me to question whether or not cellphone companies will begin to change how they make the phones before there is a serious effect. I also doubt that even if there is a serious effect on cellphone use, people will not be able to stop their continuous use.

-Rachel

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