Interesting Links for Educators

Here are some pages on my website that are useful and interesting for schools and educators!

Edutopia is great resource for educational materials.

Great Schools is a website with very useful for information about any school in the country, private or public.

Psychology in Action is a UCLA graduate student blog that writes about really interesting psychological research.

Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence Dr Steinberg’s book now in Paperbook – excellent resource for understanding the research behind how teens brains and bodies develop

This site (SafeSmartSocial)has tutorials and information on some of the latest social media apps popular with kids.

Take this test to find out how many times your (or your teens) personal data has been exposed to hackers!

A Digital Glossary to understand all the social media jargon your kids use

Test your knowledge of technology with this Pew quiz.

Key and Peele — how tone is lost in texting

Can we Autocorrect Humanity?  Prince EA

Video on this article at the bottom on Sleep and why it’s important – Dr Daniel Siegal

Are screen-addicted kids frying kids their brains?

Kids Want Fame More Than Anything

Internet Addiction—Epidemic or Fad?

The Science of Selfies

Kids and Multitasking, with Patricia Greenfield

Adolescents and Electronic Media, with Patricia Greenfield

The Science of Why Your Kids Can’t Resist Frozen


Interesting Links for Parents

Here are some pages on my website that are interesting and useful to parents!

This Biblioparenting free sampler provides extracts from some of the top books from parenting experts.

My number one resource as a parent is Common Sense Media.

Kids in the House has videos from parenting experts in multiple fields of expertise.

3 Things to consider before buying your kid a cellphone this holiday season is an article I wrote for Time magazine.

Here is a PDF collection of a variety of teachable moments linked to Digital Footprints.

Show your kid that every Facebook post is saved.  Download all Facebook data, which you can do by going to General Settings and following the bottommost link.

A Digital Glossary to understand all the social media jargon your kid uses

Show kids that the web archives data by going to this site that saves pages of websites.

Here is an article about what girls show on Instagram versus how they are really feeling — helps teach them about FOMO (fear of missing out).

An app that can guess who you are from Facebook – teach kids how much information they (and you) are giving away!

The Science of Why Your Kids Can’t Resist Frozen

The internet will not turn your teenagers into brain-dead zombies

As Digital Tools Abound, Help Kids Self-Regulate


Multitasking Video Game Improves Cognition in 79-year-olds!

GuesNeuroRacert Post By Psychology in Action blogger, Joey Essoe

Nature published evidence that training on a multitasking video game improved older adults’ cognitive ability beyond the scope of the game to untrained aspects of cognition.

The article featured a four-year research led by Drs. Adam Gazzaley and Joaquin Anguera at UCSF. They utilized a relatively simple video game, NeuroRacer to train older adults on multitasking.   NeuroRacer requires participants to drive a cartoon car, and to respond to relevant signs as they appear: simulating a day-to-day scenario of driving and responding to traffic signals or street signs.

A long-lasting plight for cognitive aging scientists has been the lack of “Transfer” in training tools. That is, training can reliably improve older adults’ performance on the tasks they are trained on; sometimes they even exceed their younger counterparts. However, these changes all too often do not transfer to other tasks that utilize different aspects of cognition (“Cognitive Domains”).

By comparing participants’ brainwaves and test scores on various cognitive domains the were recorded before-, after-training, and 6 months later, Drs. Gazzlaey and Anguera were able to see whether the game’s benefits transferred to untrained domains. These tests included sustained attention, inhibition, working and long-term memory, logical and visual reasoning/memory, motor control, etc.

They found that training on NeuroRacer’s multitasking version benefited cognitive control abilities, such as sustained attention and working memory. After training, older participants’ brainwave activities were more similar to those of younger adults. Additionally, these changes were still there after six months. Moreover, they reported evidence that these improvements were related to training-induced neuro-plasticity, and that they were not present if participants were trained on the drive and the sign tasks separately.

What’s Next?

The same research group is extending NeuroRacer to the following projects at various stages

– NeuroRacer and Autism
NeuroGrocer: NeuroRacer under working memory load (See “Disclosure” section below)
– Clinical trial of a consumer version of the NeuroRacer
– Brainwave-computer interface: to use real time neural signals to adjust video game difficulty for maximum training effectiveness
– Closed-loop non-invasive brain stimulation + EEG to increase plasticity of specific brain regions and networks

Brain Training Games?

Many consumer games claim to “improve the brain”.  Many of them lack empirical testing, and others showed mixed results in the ability to promote transferable benefits.

In my opinion, NeuroRacer stands out from the crowd because of its immersive environment and that it forces the brain to do multiple things at once. If I were in the market for “brain games”, I would look for to select training games that reproduce these strengths.

More Information

NeuroRacer Press Video

Nature Article by Alison Abbot

New York Times Article by Matt Richtel

Peer-Reviewed NeuroRacer Article
Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Anguera, J.A., Boccanfuso, J., Rintoul, J.L., Al-Hashimi, O., Faraji, F., Janowich, J., Kong E., Laraburro, Y., Rolle, C.,  Johnston, E., & Gazzaley, A. Nature 501: 97-101 (2013)