LearningRx Featured in Scientific American

Scientific-American Should teachers teach to individual learning styles?

Does research show that teaching to learning styles is effective?

Are learning styles determined by brain skills or preference?

An article in Scientific American explores these and other questions that matter to educators and parents everywhere.

The article begins with the story of Dr. Ken Gibson who, inspired by his own reading challenges, founded LearningRx, a brain training company that strengthens cognitive skills weaknesses.

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Everyday Tips for Improving Your Brain

200313650-001Did you know that living with stress, eating junk food, and embracing the sedentary life as a couch potato aren’t just bad for your mood and body, they’re bad for your brain, too? This is the reason professionals who deal with brain health often tout the benefits of exercise, eating well and reducing stress.

Your brain can benefit from other everyday things, as well. Laughter, for example, releases stress and—if you’re laughing with a friend—is a great way to connect with those around you. (Social connection is a key indicator of brain health, and experts say that social interaction helps build something called “cognitive reserve.”)

Getting plenty of sleep is also an everyday activity that is critical for brain health because it’s when you are asleep that your brain solidifies learning and makes recent memories permanent.

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The Real Cause of Dyslexia: Brain Scans Show the Story

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iStock_000021178612XSmall A common myth about dyslexia is that it’s caused by weak visual processing.

One reason this myth is so stubborn is because it sounds reasonable. After all, we use vision to read, so if reading is hard, there must be a problem with the brain’s visual system, right?

Wrong.

Scientists have known for years that the real cause of dyslexia lies in the brain’s auditory system. Kids and adults with dyslexia who confuse letters like b’s and d’s don’t do it because they see the letters as the same, but because they hear them as the same.

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Little White Lies Are Good for Your Brain (Just kidding. But see how easy it is to let one slip?)

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iStock_000000335618SmallYour grandmother asks how you liked her Spam® burger. Gulp. Choosing your words carefully, you say, “I’ve never eaten anything like it! What unique texture!” Your boss asks why you’re late. Gulp. You tell him about the accident that tied up two lanes of traffic, but you conveniently leave out the fact that you also overslept.

Oh, the little white lies we tell. If we’re honest, most of us have undoubtedly stretched the truth at times. Call it exaggeration or fibbing, but leading deception expert Pamela Meyer concludes that the average person lies between 10 and 200 times every day. White lies are the seemingly harmless “untruths” we offer to minimize someone’s disappointment or anger, avoid embarrassment or forego an unpleasant outcome. But lies of any degree can affect more than your reputation, your career and your relationships—they can mess with your brain, alter your health and decrease your longevity. Really? Yes really.

“I don’t think that dress makes you look fat.”

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Train Your Brain to Listen: Five Fun Activities for Kids

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We hear sounds (like birds chirping) and voices (like a teacher giving a homework assignment), but do we really listen?

Carole Elkeles is a retired educator who believes that if kids know how to listen, both school and life will be easier to handle. She says, “Listening skills are learned…and listening is basic for communicating, learning, thinking and acquiring awareness of the world around you.

Learning to listen can help increase the quality of relationships, reduce misunderstandings and improve productivity in the classroom or the workplace.

In her article “Listening Games and Activities,” Elkeles says that the skill of listening can be honed in about five minutes a day. It starts with knowing what types of listening skills need to be developed. Here are the five skills:

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