Posted in Uncategorized, tagged children, empathy, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, pacific standard, Psychological Science, psychology, robert hepach, tom jacobs, wish to help on August 3, 2012 |
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Tom Jacobs alerted me to a piece he published at Pacific Standard, a publication that reports on studies in the social sciences.
Newly published research, he says, provides some support for the notion that children by nature want to help others.
“ ‘From an early age, humans seem to have genuine concern for the welfare of others,’ concludes a research team led by Robert Hepach of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. …
“But how exactly do you discover a toddler’s motivation? The researchers took a novel approach: by looking straight into his or her eyes.
“They note that our pupils enlarge in response to emotionally stimulating sights, and deduced this could provide an indication of what specifically prompts kids to perk up and take notice. Are they aroused by the sight of someone in need—or, perhaps, by the realization that they could play the hero by helping?
“Their experiment featured 36 2-year-olds, who viewed a scene in which an adult needed help reaching for a can or crayon. One-third of the children were allowed by their parents to help the person in need (almost all did so); another third were held back from providing assistance.”
Curious? Read more.
(By the way, the same institute was behind some research that Alan Alda featured on the PBS show The Human Spark, here.)
Photograph: Two-year-old meeting his cousin’s need for conversation.
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Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard reports on new research into the benefits of music for children.
“Music education produces myriad benefits,” he writes, “strengthening kids’ abilities in reading, math, and verbal intelligence. New British research suggests it may also teach something less tangible, but arguably just as important: The ability to empathize.
“In a year-long program focused on group music-making, 8- to 11-year old children became markedly more compassionate, according to a just-published study from the University of Cambridge. The finding suggests kids who make music together aren’t just having fun: they’re absorbing a key component of emotional intelligence.”
The research team was led by Tal-Chen Rabinowitch of the university’s Centre for Music and Science. Read more.
Photograph: Pete Pahham/Shutterstock
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged art, arts, arts education, miller-mccune, national endowment, nea, pacific standard, test scores, tom jacobs on April 2, 2012 |
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Thank you ArtsJournal.com for another good link!
Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard offers new evidence from the National Endowment for the Arts that arts education is associated with better overall student performance.
“Students from the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder,” he writes, “tend to do less well in school than those from more upscale families. But newly published research identifies one sub-group of these youngsters who tend to exceed expectations: those who participate heavily in the arts.
“ ‘At-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied,’ a team of scholars writes in a new National Endowment for the Arts Research Report. ‘These findings suggest that in-school or extracurricular programs offering deep arts involvement may help to narrow the gap in achievement levels among youth.’ ” Read more.
Doesn’t surprise me that the arts can do that. But I think the key word here may be intensive. What do you think?
Photograph: Richard Thornton/Shutterstock
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged immune suppression, immunity, Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Masanori Nimi, mice, miller-mccune, mozart, music, opera, pacific standard, surgery, tom jacobs, verdi on March 28, 2012 |
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Mice find Verdi and Mozart more healing than Enya. Tom Jacobs at Miller-McCune (now called Pacific Standard) explains.
“Writing in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery,” he says, “a team of Japanese researchers led by Dr. Masanori Nimi describe an experiment in which a group of 8- to 12-week-old mice underwent heart transplants. The rodents were randomly assigned to one of five groups: those exposed to opera (a recording of Verdi’s La Traviata, conducted by Sir Georg Solti); instrumental music by Mozart; New Age music (The Best of Enya); no music; or ‘one of six different sound frequencies.’
“After one week, the mice whose personal soundtrack featured Enya, one of the sound frequencies, or no music at all ‘rejected their grafts acutely,’ the researchers report. …
“In contrast, those exposed to Verdi or Mozart ‘had significantly prolonged survival.’ …
“In explaining the results, the researchers point to the immune system. They report exposure to classical music generated regulatory cells, which suppress immune responses and are thus vital to preventing rejection of a transplanted organ. …
“In any event, this provides more evidence that classical music has a health-inducing impact on the body.” Read more.
Hmmm. You want to suppress your immune system when you have a transplant because you don’t want your body to reject an organ from a donor. But suppose you want a strong immune system for some other reason? Would classical music be bad for you (or a mouse) in that case? Hard to get my head around that one.
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