dyscalculiaThe Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary online defines dyscalculia as, “impairment of mathematical ability due to an organic condition of the brain”.

Talk about definition that leaves you cold! How many kids (and adults for that matter) struggle with math these days? While this ponderous definition isn’t the answer by itself, it may actually contain a key for students with chronic math failure.

Low math performance is reaching an epidemic level in the United States. Wall Street Journal contributor, Robert Tomsho sites, “The National Assessment of Educational Progress — often called the “nation’s report card” — found fourth-graders had made no learning gains since the last time the NAEP math test was given, in 2007. Previously, fourth-graders had made scoring gains on every NAEP math test given since 1990.” (Emphasis ours- Read Robert Tomsho’s article here )

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Your Brain on Food: How Spices & Nutrients Affect Your Cognitive Abilities

Teenage Girl Balancing Apple on her headDid you know that eating a potato can calm you down? Or that nutmeg and cinnamon can cause feelings of euphoria? Amino acids and other natural compounds are able to steer our mood swings. Nutrients can stimulate different regions of the brain and release chemicals that enhance brain activity or protect the brain from aging.

A specialist in Alzheimer’s disease, and a professor from Ohio State University, Gary Wenk started delving into the medicinal impact of food while studying how natural plants could impact memory.

People from the Indian subcontinent, he found, are much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. The reason? They scarf down a lot of curry, which contains an antioxidant that keeps brain cells from aging.

For more about your brain on curry, and lots of other fascinating stuff, check out this article from the New York Post!

Do You Love Your Grandmother? Watch This Video.

stroke recoveryThink LearningRx is just for kids? Virginia Romero, from Shreveport, LA is 82 years old.  She had a stroke and lost some of her abilities.  She couldn’t remember where she lived or how old she was – so she called LearningRx in Shreveport to see if they could help. The following video is proof.  She is self-confident, enjoying novels, and beating the other ladies at cards. In her own words “…everything moves better and faster than it did before…when I read, I understand and retain more than what I did before… the main thing, I think, for me is, that it gave me hope that I’m not really at the end of my life. I’m 82 years old, but I’m still not ready to go and just give up. I’m still looking forward to new things, and LearningRx has certainly played a big, big part in that.”

What Does Dyslexia Feel Like?

dyslexiaRead this:

We pegin our qrib eq a faziliar blace, a poqy like yours enq zine. Iq conqains a hunqraq qrillion calls qheq work qogaqhys py qasign.

Having trouble reading this? Well, this gives you just a little taste of what it’s like to have a reading struggle.

Now that school has started back up, you may see your child struggle to read. Maybe you have trouble reading and wish others could understand your struggle. Dyslexia is, simply, difficulty reading or learning to read; it is a symptom of underlying difficulties. Visual processing, auditory processing, phonological processing, and other cognitive skills all need to be strong for reading to be successful. So, see for yourself what it’s like to have trouble reading.

Once you have experienced dyslexia, come back and see me.

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Disembodied Rat Brain Controls Robot

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rat brain robotScientists in England have done something that makes all the science fiction you’ve ever watched or read seem suddenly plausible. They’ve taken brain cells (neurons) from the brain of a rat, and put them in a bell jar. Creepy enough already, but just wait. They also made a little robot, with sensors that “speak” to the rat’s brain via bluetooth. The data the sensors collect is transmitted to the actual brain. In the bell jar. Then, the brain (in the bell jar) sends commands back to the robot’s wheels. Yes. In this way, the disembodied rat brain actually learns, and, using its robot body, figures out how to avoid walls and scamper about like a normal rat. The most amazing part? Since the brain cells only live for about 3 months, they’ve used several different rats. And guess what? The robot behaved differently with every change. This is a real, live, rat cyborg. Now you’ve officially seen everything (let’s hope!) Watch the video, it’s totally creepy and amazing.