Children In the News ...

Toddlers learn to reason logically before they learn to speak, according to study   Medical Express - September 6, 2023
Natural logical thinking, which manifests itself from a very early age and does not depend on knowledge of language, also facilitates the learning process

Research Suggests There's a Big Overlooked Benefit of Having Dyslexia   PhysOrg - June 26, 2022

The modern world is stitched together by threads of written language. For those with the reading disorder dyslexia, the endless tangle of words can feel like an obstacle to survival. Long framed purely as a learning disorder, the neurological condition that makes the decoding of text so difficult could also benefit individuals and their community in a world full of unknowns. University of Cambridge psychologists Helen Taylor and Martin David Vestergaard reexamined the traditional view of developmental dyslexia as a disadvantage, proposing its neurological characteristics could carry advantages under different circumstances. Specifically, they suggest brains that find it hard to quickly interpret written words could find it easier to explore their environments for useful clues that improve decision-making.

How Do Kids Figure Out What Words Mean? New Computer Model Has Answers   Science Alert - July 5, 2021
Scientists are continually discovering more about how we pick up language from the earliest ages, and a new study looks specifically at how very young children integrate different sources of information to learn new words.

New software helps analyze writing disabilities   Medical Express - September 28, 2018
Nearly 10% of elementary school students have trouble learning to write, with potentially lasting consequences on their education. EPFL researchers have developed a software program that can analyze these children's writing disabilities and their causes with unparalleled precision.

Genetic tools uncover cause of childhood seizure disorder missed by other methods   Medical Express - August 13, 2018
Early childhood seizures result from a rare disease that begin in the first months of life. Researchers at University of Utah Health have developed high-tech tools to uncover the genetic cause of the most difficult to diagnose cases. If the condition is not diagnosed early and treated with the available medications, the seizures hinder normal development, leading to intellectual impairment and often an early death. Although more than 50 genes are associated with the disease, routine genetic tests fail half the time to pinpoint the cause of the illness, limiting the medical practitioner's ability to alleviate the child's symptoms.

A video game can change the brain, may improve empathy in middle schoolers   Medical Express - August 8, 2018
A space-exploring robot crashes on a distant planet. In order to gather the pieces of its damaged spaceship, it needs to build emotional rapport with the local alien inhabitants. The aliens speak a different language but their facial expressions are remarkably humanlike.

Giving kids plates with segments and pictures caused them to eat more vegetables   Medical Express - August 8, 2018
A pair of researchers at the University of Colorado has found that preschool kids ate more vegetables when presented with segmented plates with pictures of fruits and vegetables on them.

Genes and environment have equal influence in learning for rich and poor kids, study finds   PhysOrg - April 3, 2018
More than 40 years ago, psychologist Sandra Scarr put forth a provocative idea: that genetic influence on children's cognitive abilities is linked to their family's income. The wealthier the family, the more influence genes have on brain development, the thinking went. Scarr turned the nature-nurture debate on its head, proposing that how much "nature" matters varies between environments.

Is this the clearest autism test ever? Two-minute questionnaire could detect the disorder in children earlier than anything else   Daily Mail - February 7, 2018
A simple two-minute questionnaire could detect autism in toddlers, new research suggests. The Psychological Development Questionnaire (PDQ-1) consists of 10 questions that help gauge how children interact with others, including whether the child points or gestures to show interest, responds to their name, and speaks in phrases. Autism affects one in 45 children, but early detection of the disorder is challenging since there isn't a single behavioral or observational approach that will be reliable for all children. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.

Brain imaging predicts language learning in deaf children   Medical Express - January 15, 2018
Researchers created a machine learning algorithm that uses brain scans to predict language ability in deaf children after they receive a cochlear implant. This study's novel use of artificial intelligence to understand brain structure underlying language development has broad reaching implications for children with developmental challenges.

Toddler's knowledge of grammar 'explodes' when they hit 24 months, study finds   Daily Mail - February 24, 2017
Researchers have debated whether grammar skills are innate or learned
New research found that toddlers' grammar skills are not inherent but learned
Grammatical knowledge emerges gradually with a large increase at 24 months
Learning and using language is a big difference between us and other species
The researchers say that studying language learning in children is one way for us to try to find out what makes us human

Infants use prefrontal cortex in learning   Science Daily - October 5, 2016
Researchers have long thought that the region of the brain involved in some of the highest forms of cognition and reasoning -- the prefrontal cortex (PFC) -- was too underdeveloped in young children, especially infants, to participate in complex cognitive tasks. A new study suggests otherwise. Given the task of learning simple hierarchical rules, babies appeared to employ much the same circuits as adults doing a similar task.

Common brain changes found in children with autism, ADHD and OCD   Science Daily - July 27, 2016
A team of scientists has found similarities in brain impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. The study involved brain imaging of white matter in 200 children. Many of the behaviors that contribute to impairment in autism, ADHD, and OCD, such as attention problems or social difficulties, occur across these conditions, and differ in severity from person to person. The researchers found that the brain's white matter structure was associated with a spectrum of behavioral symptoms present across these diagnoses. Children with greater brain impairment also had higher impairments in functioning in daily life, regardless of their diagnosis.

Map of teenage brain provides evidence of link between antisocial behavior and brain development   Medical Express - June 15, 2016
The brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behavior problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers, providing the clearest evidence to date that their behavior stems from changes in brain development in early life.

Kids have "and/or Problem" despite sophisticated reasoning   Medical Express - May 23, 2016
Children seem to interpret disjunction like conjunction. Although it has been claimed children are very different from adults in the interpretation of logical words, the study's larger implication is almost the opposite - namely that the child is otherwise identical to the adult, but there is a very small parameter that distinguishes them. Imagine, for a moment, you are a parent trying to limit how much dessert your sugar-craving young children can eat. "You can have cake or ice cream," you say, confident a clear parental guideline has been laid out. But your children seem to ignore this firm ruling, and insist on having both cake and ice cream. Are they merely rebelling against a parental command? Perhaps. But they might be confusing "or" with "and," as children do at times, something studies have shown since the 1970s. What seems like a restriction to the parent sounds like an invitation to the child: Have both!

Putting on a 'Happy Face' for Kids Takes Emotional Toll on Parents   Live Science - February 24, 2016
Parents who hide their true emotions from their children, putting on an insincere "happy face," tend to feel bad about it afterward, a new study finds. Researchers asked parents to remember times when they didn't feel great, but put on a "happy face" anyway when talking with their kids. Overall, parents felt that putting on a fake happy face decreased their sense of well-being and the quality of the bond they had with their kids, the researchers found. It turns out that parents may experience "more pain than pleasure … when parents express more positive emotions than they genuinely feel and mask the negative emotions that they do feel when caring for their children," the researchers said in the study.

10 Health Findings From 2015 Every Parent Should Know About   Huffington Post - December 10, 2015
Reading changes kids' brains.
75 percent of parents face car seats the wrong way.
Children with pet dogs are less likely to have anxiety issues.
Kids should probably eat less pizza.
ADHD rates are up -- especially in girls.
Autism diagnoses may also be up.
Picky eating may not just be a benign, passing phase.
Delaying cord clamping could have benefits that last for years.
A startling number of children are assaulted by their siblings.
A measles outbreak showed how important vaccination is.

More US Kids Are Being Diagnosed with ADHD   Live Science - December 8, 2015
The number of children and teens in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased significantly over the past decade, according to a new study. Researchers found that the number of U.S. children diagnosed with the disorder has increased by 43 percent since 2003. The findings suggest that 5.8 million children ages 5 to 17 in the United States have ADHD.

  The Benefits Of Meditation For Children   Huffington Post - December 4, 2015
Meditation is quickly becoming an integral part of the classroom, as a way for children to manage stress and increase focus. It is currently being used in over 10,000 schools around the world, and has led to fewer student absences, fewer days lost to suspension and a higher graduation rate.

Tutoring relieves math anxiety, changes fear circuits in children, study finds   PhysOrg - September 8, 2015
Anxiety about doing math problems can be relieved with a one-on-one math tutoring program, according to a new study. Even if they are good at math, many children feel anxious about doing math problems. For some, the anxiety persists throughout life, discouraging them from pursuing advanced math and science classes as well as careers that rely on mathematical expertise. Yet almost no attention has been paid to how to help alleviate this problem.

Research examines relationship between autism and creativity   Science Daily - August 14, 2015
People with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to produce unusually creative ideas, new research confirms. While the researchers found that people with high autistic traits produced fewer responses when generating alternative solutions to a problem, the responses they did produce were more original and creative. It is the first study to find a link between autistic traits and the creative thinking processes.

Sudden Infant Deaths Linked to Elevation   Live Science - May 25, 2015
Babies who live at high elevations, those above 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), may face a slightly increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, new research finds.But researchers urge parents not to panic about the new findings. "The absolute risk of SIDS remains very low, and ... this is in no way a call to abandon residence in or visits to high-altitude" locations. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Babies as young as six months using mobile media   Science Daily - April 27, 2015
More than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day.

Bullying May Leave Worse Mental Scars Than Child Abuse   Live Science - April 28, 2015
Being bullied during childhood may have even graver consequences for mental health in adulthood than being neglected or sexually abused, according to the first-ever study to tease out the effects of peer abuse from childhood maltreatment. Children in the study who had been bullied by their peers, but didn't suffer maltreatment from family members, were more likely to have depression and anxiety in adulthood than children who experienced child abuse but weren't bullied, according to researchers from the United States and United Kingdom. One in 3 children worldwide reports being bullied. Studies have shown that victims of bullying have impaired stress responses and high levels of inflammation, as well as worse health and less workplace success as adults, the researchers said.

5 Simple Tips For Raising A Child With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder   Epoch Times - April 8, 2015
Raising a child is the most wonderful job in the world; though it wouldn't be wrong to say that it is also the hardest. You have the responsibility of shaping an individual's future, often when you are still trying to add the finishing touches to your own. During the course of your parenthood journey, you may discover certain unique traits (both positive and negative) about your child that make him stand apart. A lot of these behavioral traits could also have medical associations. Parents often attribute their child's performance and conduct to their innate behavior. Rarely do they dig deep to understand its cause.
1. Stay Calm And Patient
2. Follow A Structured Approach
3. Encourage Physical Activity
4. Set Ground Rules
5. Build On Your Child's Social Skills

Element of surprise helps babies learn   Science Daily - April 3, 2015
Cognitive psychologists have demonstrated for the first time that babies learn new things by leveraging the core information they are born with. When something surprises a baby, like an object not behaving the way a baby expects it to, the baby not only focuses on that object, but ultimately learns more about it than from a similar yet predictable object.

Auditory brainstem implant: Hearing experts break sound barrier for children born without hearing nerve   Science Daily - February 16, 2015
Medical researchers are breaking sound barriers for children born without a hearing nerve. Hearing loss manifests in various forms, most of which can be partially restored through hearing aids and cochlear implants. Those devices cannot help a small population of individuals who do not have a cochlear, or hearing, nerve -- these people are unable to perceive sound, no matter how loud, outside of feeling vibration. The ABI is considered revolutionary because it stimulates neurons directly at the human brainstem, bypassing the inner ear entirely.

It's all about emotional frequencies and body language.

Babies Understand Friendship, Bullies and Bystanders   Live Science - February 4, 2015
Babies who are just over a year old already comprehend complex social interactions - they understand what other people know and don't know, and expect them to behave accordingly, new research shows. In the new study, 13-month-olds who watched a puppet show in which one character witnessed another behaving badly expected the witness to shun the villain. But the babies did not expect a shunning if the villain acted badly when the witness wasn't looking.

'Innovative' Intervention Helps Babies at High Risk of Autism   Live Science - January 22, 2015
Babies who have a high risk of developing autism may benefit when their parents receive some video-based lessons on how to work with their infants, a new study finds. Researchers found that the babies of parents who completed the lessons were moderately more engaged with other people, did a better job of paying attention and showed more social behaviors, compared with babies whose parents didn't complete the lessons. The results suggest that although early intervention does not prevent autism, it may lessen its features in some children who have a high risk of developing the disorder.

Century-old drug reverses autism-like symptoms in fragile X mouse model   Science Daily - January 18, 2015
Researchers previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice. Now, a new study suggests that a genetic form of autism-like symptoms in mice are also corrected with the drug, even when treatment was started in young adult mice.

Parents: How to Help a Shy Kid   Live Science - December 18, 2014
Shy babies and toddlers are at greater risk of developing anxiety later in life, compared with outgoing kids. A new study, however, finds that good parenting can offset that risk for little wallflowers. In fact, shyness and withdrawal from new situations is linked to later anxiety only in babies and toddlers without a secure attachment to their caregivers, according to new research published today (Dec. 18) in the journal Child Development. A secure attachment is a warm, nurturing relationship in which kids feel confident to explore when their mom or dad is around, and also feel comfortable seeking reassurance from them when upset.

A step towards solving the enduring puzzle of 'infantile amnesia'   PhysOrg - December 1, 2014
A study led by Professor James Russell shines a light on the phenomenon of infantile amnesia. He argues that children's ability to recall events depends on their being able to unify the environmental elements of when, what and where. Most children develop this ability aged between two and three. Most of us cannot remember toddling around at the age of 18 months or so, let alone being breast or bottle fed as tiny infants. Our early life is a blank to us. It is a blank in the sense that it is not accessible to so-called "episodic memory," which means conscious or "re-experiential" recall of autobiographical events.

Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak   PhysOrg - September 30, 2014
In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds "might" be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new Rutgers research.

Artificial intelligence that imitates children's learning   PhysOrg - September 23, 2014
The computer programs used in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are highly specialized. They can for example fly airplanes, play chess or assemble cars in controlled industrial environments. However, a research team from Gothenburg, Sweden, has now been able to create an AI program that can learn how to solve problems in many different areas. The program is designed to imitate certain aspects of children's cognitive development.

Study finds link between beat synchronization in preschoolers and learning reading skills   PhysOrg - September 23, 2014
Devising a test for reading aptitude prior to teaching children to read, it is believed, would help children of all levels learn better. If a teacher knew beforehand that a child was going to have a reading disability, for example, that child could be placed into a program developed specifically for their needs, hopefully offering a better long term outcome.

Presence or absence of early language delay alters anatomy of the brain in autism   PhysOrg - September 23, 2014
A new study led by researchers from the University of Cambridge has found that a common characteristic of autism - language delay in early childhood - leaves a 'signature' in the brain.The researchers studied 80 adult men with autism: 38 who had delayed language onset and 42 who did not. They found that language delay was associated with differences in brain volume in a number of key regions, including the temporal lobe, insula, ventral basal ganglia, which were all smaller in those with language delay; and in brainstem structures, which were larger in those with delayed language onset.

Message to parents: Babies don't 'start from scratch'   PhysOrg - August 14, 2014
There's now overwhelming evidence that a child's future health is influenced by more than just their parents' genetic material, and that children born of unhealthy parents will already be pre-programmed for greater risk of poor health. The paper concludes that parental influences on a child begin before conception, because stored environmental factors in the egg and sperm are contributing more than just genetic material to the child.

Outgrowing emotional egocentricity   PhysOrg - May 27, 2014
Children are more egocentric than adults. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have demonstrated for the first time that children are also worse at putting themselves in other people's emotional shoes. According to the researchers, the supramarginal gyrus region of the brain must be sufficiently developed in children for them to be able to overcome their egocentric take on the world. Egocentrism refers to the inability to differentiate between one's own point of view and that of other people. Egocentric people consider themselves to be the centre of all activity and assess all events and circumstances from this perspective. They project their own ideas, fears and desires onto the environment and others.

Activity levels in mums and children directly linked   BBC - March 24, 2014
The more active a mother is, the more physically active her child will be, suggests a UK study of 500 mums and four-year-olds. But many mothers' exercise levels fell way below recommended levels, it said. Children are not just naturally active, the study concluded - parents have an important role to play in developing healthy exercise habits early on in life.

Babies Know What Makes a Friend   Live Science - January 10, 2014
Babies as young as 9 months old know that friends usually have similar interests, new research suggests. The new study shows that babies who are too young to talk still have a set of abstract expectations about the social world.

The Secret to a Well-Behaved Child: Regular Bedtime   Live Science - October 14, 2013
Young children who don't have a regular bedtime behave worse than kids who go to sleep at the same time each night, a new study suggests. British researchers found that both mothers and teachers rated 7-year-olds who had inconsistent bedtimes as being more hyperactive than their better-rested peers, and as having more social, emotional and conduct problems. The results also revealed that behavior grew worse the more years a child spent without a firm bedtime. But the good news is that children's behavior noticeably improved when they switched to a scheduled bedtime.

Traits of Autism Seen in Some Kids with ADHD   Live Science - August 26, 2013
Nearly one in five children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have traits that are common among children with autism, and having these traits appears to increase children's risk of experiencing impairments in their everyday lives, a new study suggests. Among children in the study with ADHD, 18 percent had autistic traits, while less than 1 percent of children without ADHD had such traits. Children with ADHD and autistic traits were more likely to get in fights, be rejected by their peers, and have problems in school and with their siblings, compared with children with ADHD who did not have the autistic profile, the researchers said in their study.

Children and Smartphones: What's the Right Age?   Live Science - August 18, 2013
One of the biggest and most divisive debates among parents of young children and preteens deals with the age at which children should be allowed to have their own smartphone. The advent of kid-friendly apps and the ability to watch streaming videos in the palm of your hand have made the decision even more difficult for parents. A recent survey conducted by mobile service provider Zact found that 56 percent of children ages 10 to 13 have a smartphone, while a shockingly high 25 percent of children ages 2 to 5 have a smartphone. But should children so young have access to their own handsets? And what is an appropriate age to own a smartphone? We spoke with experts in the fields of child psychology and technology to help you decide when to finally cave and get your kid a smartphone.

Dyslexia 'seen in brain scans' of pre-school children   BBC - August 14, 2013
Brain scans may allow detection of dyslexia in pre-school children even before they start to read, say researchers. A US team found tell-tale signs on scans that have already been seen in adults with the condition. And these brain differences could be a cause rather than a consequence of dyslexia - something unknown until now.

Autism 'affects male and female brains differently'   BBC - August 9, 2013
Experts said girls with the condition could be more stigmatized than boys - and it could be harder for them to be diagnosed at all. Autism affects 1% of the population and is more prevalent in boys, so most research has focused on them.

Toddler Tech: How Young Is Too Young For a Smartphone?   Live Science - July 30, 2013
They may not be able to walk, talk or even be out of diapers yet, but that isn't stopping a number of parents from getting their children smartphones. New research has found that one-quarter of children ages 2 and younger own a smartphone, their parents say. Overall, 44 percent of children under age 17 own a smartphone, new research by eMarkerter found. Smartphones were most prevalent among children between ages 14 and 17, with two-thirds of respondents in that age group saying they owned a smartphone. Nearly 40 percent of children between ages 6 and 9 and 54 percent of 10- to 13-year-olds say they also own a phone.

How do babies learn to be wary of heights?   PhysOrg - July 24, 2013
Infants develop a fear of heights as a result of their experiences moving around their environments. Learning to avoid cliffs, ledges, and other precipitous hazards is essential to survival and yet human infants don't show an early wariness of heights. As soon as human babies begin to crawl and scoot, they enter a phase during which they'll go over the edge of a bed, a changing table, or even the top of a staircase. In fact, research shows that when infants are placed near a virtual drop-off - a glass-covered table that reveals the floor beneath - they seem to be enthralled by the drop-off, not fearful of it. It's not until later in infancy, at around 9 months, that infants show fear and avoidance of such drop-offs. And research suggests that infants' experiences with falls don't account for the shift, nor does the development of depth perception.

Some parents want their child to redeem their broken dreams: New study first to test popular psychological theory   PhysOrg - June 19, 2013
Some parents desire for their children to fulfill their own unrealized ambitions, just as psychologists have long theorized, according to a new first-of-its-kind study. Researchers found the more that parents see their child as part of themselves, the more likely they are to want their child to succeed in achieving their own failed dreams.

Transcendental Meditation may boost student grades - June 12, 2013
A form of meditation made popular by John Lennon and his band mates during the "flower power" era has been found to improve students' grades. A study of school pupils found that performing two 20-minute sessions of Transcendental Meditation each day improves academic achievement. The practice involves sitting still with eyes closed while chanting a mantra – also sometimes derided as “oming”.

Piped playground music may reduce bullying - June 12, 2013
Researchers played calming background music from the CD The Spirit of Yoga on speakers during a school's midday break. They found on days when the music, described as world music with a strong Indian influence, was played, there was an 80 per cent drop in physical and mental intimidation among pupils. The children also reported feeling calmer and happier when they returned to their classrooms. When the music was stopped, bullying increased again.

Normal or Not? Saying Goodbye to Asperger's   Live Science - June 11, 2013
Quirky, nerdy fictional characters have brought Asperger's syndrome into the realm of popular culture in recent years. But, as of late May, the disorder that has defined these characters, and been applied to a growing number of real people, will no longer exist thanks to revisions to psychiatric disorders in the new version of the DSM, the DSM-5. Asperger's disorder was marked by difficulties interacting with others, along with abnormal behaviors and abnormally intense interests in topics such as baseball statistics or trains. These characteristics can give people with the disorder a savant-like quality portrayed in pop culture.

Babies practice crying in the womb, Durham researchers claim   BBC - June 6, 2013
Unborn babies "practice" facial expressions of pain, researchers from Durham and Lancaster universities say. They believe the fetus is "learning" how to communicate after birth, through crying or grimacing in the womb. A study of ultrasound scans suggests movements develop during pregnancy, from simple smiling to more complex eyebrow lowering and nose wrinkling.

Meditation For Kids: Parents Turn To Mindfulness Practices To Help Children Stay Calm   Huffington Post - May 28, 2013

As more adults turn to mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation to combat mounting stress in their own lives (91 percent of Americans experienced stress in the month of March, according to a Huffington Post survey), they're also experimenting with alternative practices to teach their kids to relax. Unfortunately, little ones aren't immune to the damaging effects of stress -- but they may benefit from stress-relieving practices meant to calm the mind and release physical tension. Boston dad Andre Kelly told ABC News that he practices mindfulness meditation with his 10-year-old son Hayden every morning before school. Teaching kids mindfulness can go a long way in helping them boost awareness and control their moods, according to Kelly, who started a meditation program for children, Boston Buddha, to bring mindfulness programs into elementary schools.

The Childhood Age That Predicts Future Success   Live Science - May 9, 2013
If you want to see which kids will grow up to be the most successful adults, visit their second-grade classroom, new research suggests. A study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland discovered that math and reading ability at age 7 are linked with socioeconomic status several decades later. The researchers found that such childhood abilities predict socioeconomic status in adulthood over and above associations with intelligence, education and socioeconomic status in childhood.

Geneticists find causes for severe childhood epilepsies   PhysOrg - May 7, 2013
Using a state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technique, UA researchers have discovered genetic mutations underlying seizure disorders in previously undiagnosed children. Researchers at the University of Arizona have successfully determined the genetic mutations causing severe epilepsies in seven out of 10 children for whom the cause of the disorder could not be determined clinically or by conventional genetic testing.

Psychopathic Traits Seen in Children's Brains   Live Science - May 2, 2013
Children with severe behavioral problems have a suppressed response to others' pain, according to new brain-scan research. Researchers examined brain scans of kids with conduct disorder, which is marked by aggression, cruelty to others and anti-social behavior. Some kids with conduct disorder also display what psychologists call "callous-unemotional traits," which means they lack guilt and empathy.

Food, skin allergies increasing in children, study finds   PhysOrg - May 2, 2013
Parents are reporting more skin and food allergies in their children, a big U.S. government survey found. Experts aren't sure what's behind the increase. Could it be that children are growing up in households so clean that it leaves them more sensitive to things that can trigger allergies? Or are mom and dad paying closer attention to rashes and reactions, and more likely to call it an allergy?

Are Teens Really Lazy & Greedy?   Live Science - May 1, 2013
Teenagers nowadays show a greater desire for nice things, but they don't want to work hard for the money to purchase such goods, new research suggests. The findings, published today (May 1) in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, may resonate with all the adults who say "kids these days" feel more entitled than past generations. "Compared to previous generations, recent high-school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things, but less likely to say they're willing to work hard to earn them," said study author Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, in statement. "That type of 'fantasy gap' is consistent with other studies showing a generational increase in narcissism and entitlement."

What Is Plagiocephaly?   Live Science - May 1, 2013
The condition in infants known as plagiocephaly, or flat-head syndrome, has an unusual medical history. Some cultures, including ancient Egyptian and Native American societies, intentionally molded a baby's soft skull into a preferred shape using boards or bands worn around the head, according to Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. In 1992, because cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) were rising, the American Academy of Pediatricians issued guidance that infants always sleep on their backs, not on their bellies.

Five psychiatric disorders 'linked'   BBC - March 1, 2013
Autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia all share several genetic risk factors, according to a major study. Versions of four genes increased the odds of all five disorders. Researchers hope to move the psychiatry away from describing symptoms towards fundamentally understanding what is going wrong in the brain.

Babies Start 'Mind Reading' Earlier Than Thought   Live Science - January 30, 2013
Globally, even babies as young as a year-and-a-half can guess what other people are thinking, new research suggests. Humans are very good at inferring other people's mental states: their emotions, their desires and, in this case, their knowledge.

Unique treatment proposed for children's developmental coordination disorder   PhysOrg - November 26, 2012
An Indiana University study proposes an innovative treatment for developmental coordination disorder, a potentially debilitating neurological disorder in which the development of a child's fine or gross motor skills, or both, is impaired.

Many Low IQs Are Just Bad Luck   Live Science - October 2, 2012
Intellectual disability affects 1 to 3 percent of children worldwide, half of whom are born to parents of normal intelligence. Researchers have discovered that most of these cases of "sporadic intellectual disability" result from new, random mutations arising spontaneously in the children's genes, not from faulty recessive genes inherited from their parents. The researchers say their finding is one of the first steps in understanding the underlying causes of this condition (also known as mental retardation), which is marked by having an IQ below 70, and is perhaps surprisingly the costliest of all health problems. Understanding the cause may eventually lead to new therapies, they said.

Babies classify by race and gender at 3 months, study shows   PhysOrg - September 11, 2012
Long before babies can talk - even before they can sit up on their own - they are mentally forming categories for objects and animals in a way that, for example, sets apart squares from triangles and cats from dogs, psychologists say.

Almost half of depression in adults starts in adolesence   PhysOrg - February 29, 2012
A new study by research psychologists at Bangor and Oxford Universities show that half of adults who experience clinical depression had their first episode start in adolescence. In fact, the most common age to see the start of depression is between 13-15 years-old.

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain   Live Science - February 14, 2012
Childhood abuse and maltreatment can shrink important parts of the brain, a new study of adults suggests. Reduced brain volume in parts of the hippocampus could help to explain why childhood problems often lead to later psychiatric disorders, such as depression, drug addiction and other mental health problems, the researchers say. This link could help researchers find better ways to treat survivors of childhood abuse.

Study: Babies try lip-reading in learning to talk   PhysOrg - January 17, 2012
Babies don't learn to talk just from hearing sounds. New research suggests they're lip-readers too.

New gene discovery unlocks mystery to epilepsy in infants   PhysOrg - January 17, 2012
A team of Australian researchers has come a step closer to unlocking a mystery that causes epileptic seizures in babies. Benign familial infantile epilepsy (BFIE) has been recognizied for some time as infantile seizures, without fever, that run in families but the cause has so far eluded researchers.