Sunday, May 12, 2019

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds






Do Schools Promote Executive Functions? Differential Working Memory Growth Across School-Year and Summer Months - Jenna E. Finch, 2019

Children's working memory (WM) skills, which support both academic and social success, continue to improve significantly through the school years. This study leverages the first nationally representative data set with direct assessments of elementary school students' WM skills to examine whether WM grows more during the school year or summer months and whether WM growth rates differ by household income. Results demonstrate that WM skills grow more during the school-year months compared to the summer months, suggesting that school environments provide children with unique opportunities to improve and practice their WM skills. Further, lower-income children have significantly faster WM growth rates in the first 2 years of school and the intervening summer, compared to their peers from higher-income families, leading to an overall narrowing in WM disparities by household income during the early school years. However, there was no evidence that schools equalize or exacerbate differences in WM skills between children from lower-income and higher-income households.


Do Schools Promote Executive Functions? Differential Working Memory Growth Across School-Year and Summer Months - Jenna E. Finch, 2019
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858419848443

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

IQ and Society



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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The efficacy of different interventions to foster children’s executive function skills: A series of meta-analyses. - PsycNET

Citation

Takacs, Z. K., & Kassai, R. (2019). The efficacy of different interventions to foster children's executive function skills: A series of meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin. Advance online publication. 
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000195

Abstract

In the present meta-analysis all available evidence regarding the efficacy of different behavioral interventions for children's executive function skills were synthesized. After a systematic search we included experimental studies aiming to enhance children's (up to 12 years of age) executive functioning with neurodevelopmental tests as outcome measures. The results of 100 independent effect sizes in 90 studies including data of 8,925 children confirmed that it is possible to foster these skills in childhood (Diamond & Lee, 2011). We did not find convincing evidence, however, for the benefits to remain on follow-up assessment. Different approaches were effective for typically and nontypically developing samples. For nontypically developing children (including children with neurodevelopmental disorders or behavior problems) acquiring new strategies of self-regulation including biofeedback-enhanced relaxation and strategy teaching programs were the most effective. For typically developing children we found evidence for the moderate beneficial effects of mindfulness practices. Although small to moderate effects of explicit training with tasks loading on executive function skills in the form of computerized and noncomputer training were found, these effects were consistently weaker for nontypically developing children who might actually be more in need of such training. Thus, atypically developing children seem to profit more from acquiring new strategies of self-regulation as compared with practice with executive function tasks. We propose that explicit training does not seem to be meaningful as the approaches that implicitly foster executive functions are similarly or more effective, and these activities are more enjoyable and can be more easily embedded in children's everyday activities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)




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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Thursday, April 25, 2019

The mysterious disappearance of blogmaster of IQs Corner

My regular readers have noticed that I have not posted anything to my three blogs since last thanksgiving.  Why?

Well..I came down with a serious illness and spent 82 days in the hospital, 72 of which were at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.  I have since returned home and am doing OT and PT rehab....that is now my full time job.  

I want to thank all who learned of my experience and sent kind words of support.  I shall return.

If you want more details you can check out the Caring Bridge log my lovely wife maintained.

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kevinmcgrewiq



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Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Dr. Nina Kraus on Why Musical Training Helps us Process the World Around Us



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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Friday, November 09, 2018

National Cancer Institute Designates BrainHQ as a Research-Tested Intervention Program



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National Cancer Institute Designates BrainHQ as a Research-Tested Intervention Program
// Posit Science | Brain Fitness & Brain Training

Monday, November 5, 2018

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the US National Institutes of Health has designated BrainHQ online brain exercises, made by Posit Science, as a part of its "Research-Tested Intervention Programs" (RTIPs). BrainHQ is now included in the NCI database of evidence-based cancer interventions and program materials for program planners and public health practitioners.

The RTIPs program was set up by NCI to more rapidly move new science into "programs for people." It is a searchable database to help practitioners and program planners find evidence-based interventions that have sufficient relevance to be considered for use in real-world settings.

BrainHQ was selected for inclusion into the RTIPs program because it was tested in research studies, produced positive behavioral and psychosocial findings in cancer survivors, and study results were published in peer-reviewed medical journals. These findings were independently reviewed and scored by NCI and its partners as part of the process by which BrainHQ was included in the RTIPs program.

In selecting BrainHQ for RTIPs, NCI looked at published studies on the use of BrainHQ to address common complaints of cognitive impairment associated with cancer and its treatment. These cognitive impairments are often referred to as "cancer-induced cognitive impairment" or, more colloquially, as "chemobrain." Up to 90 percent of cancer survivors report cognitive issues from cancer or its treatment. There is no widely-accepted treatment for chemobrain.

NCI reviewed an 82-person randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of Indiana, which found that those who used a set of visual processing exercises now found in BrainHQ showed improvements, as compared to the control group, in objective measures of processing speed and verbal memory, as well as on standard measures of perceived cognitive functioning, symptom distress (anxiety, mood, fatigue), and quality of life. NCI also took note of a 242-person pragmatic study led by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, which found improvements compared to the control group in self-reported cognitive symptoms, symptom distress, and quality of life.

"We are honored that BrainHQ has been selected by the National Cancer Institute for inclusion in the Research-Tested Intervention Programs," said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. "It is our mission to get scientific breakthroughs like brain-plasticity-based training out of the research lab and into the hands of people it can help. That crucially depends on groups like NCI RTIPs to qualitatively evaluate the level of evidence in new scientific fields, so that program planners and public health practitioners can deliver services that improve people's lives. "

There are now more than 100 peer-reviewed medical and science journal articles on the benefits of Posit Science exercises and assessments, across varied populations. BrainHQ exercises have been shown to improve standard measures of cognition (speed, attention, memory), quality of life (mood, confidence, health-related quality of life) and real-world activities (gait, balance, driving) in healthy adults.

About Posit Science
Posit Science is the leading provider of clinically proven brain fitness training. Its exercises, available online at www.BrainHQ.com, have been shown to significantly improve brain speed, attention, memory and numerous standard measures of quality of life in multiple studies published in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in leading science and medical journals. Three public television documentaries as well as numerous stories on news programs, in national magazines, and in major newspapers have featured Posit Science's work. The company's science team is led by renowned neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, PhD.

Press Contact
Posit Science PR Team
media@brainhq.com


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Friday, November 02, 2018

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Problems with bi-factor intelligence research - theoretically agnostic and psychologically naive

Kevin McGrew (@iqmobile)
Problems with #bifactor #intelligence #IQ test research studies. #gfactor may not represent a real thing or ability but may be an #emergent factor...like #SES or #DJI. #g and primary abilities uncorrelated....seriously????? Bifactor models are theoretically #agnostic pic.twitter.com/Go77F32UTI

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Levels of intelligence research, explanation and reductionism - see you at #FASP2018

Levels of #intelligence research and explanation.  Part of my #CHC theory update presentation at #FASP2018 this coming week.  #brain #brainnetworks #neuroscience #psychometrics #IQ 




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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Friday, October 19, 2018

CHC UPDATE: Running with scissors at FASP

Kevin McGrew (@iqmobile)
#runningwithscissors #CHC theory update next week at #FASP conference is when I tackle the #bifactor #allyouneedisg #ghadist negative #IQ test research for the first time. A wild romp in the research. pic.twitter.com/X1gNJu1FPO

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 - The Brain Clock "Times"

https://paper.li/iqmobile/1316026988?edition_id=afeb56a0-cd6f-11e8-842a-0cc47a0d1609#/


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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics
www.themindhum.com
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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Timing Training in Female Soccer Players: Effects on Skilled Movement Performance and Brain Responses

Timing Training in Female Soccer Players: Effects on Skilled Movement Performance and Brain Responses. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Article link.

Marius Sommer, Charlotte K. Häger, Carl Johan Boraxbekk and Louise Rönnqvist

Abstract

Although trainers and athletes consider “good timing skills” critical for optimal sport
performance, little is known in regard to how sport-specific skills may benefit from timing training. Accordingly, this study investigated the effects of timing training on soccer skill performance and the associated changes in functional brain response in elite- and sub-elite female soccer players. Twenty-five players (mean age 19.5 years; active in the highest or second highest divisions in Sweden), were randomly assigned to either an experimental- or a control group. The experimental group (n = 12) was subjected to a 4-week program (12 sessions) of synchronized metronome training (SMT). We evaluated effects on accuracy and variability in a soccer cross-pass task. The associated brain response was captured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while watching videos with soccer-specific actions. SMT improved soccer cross-pass performance, with a significant increase in outcome accuracy, combined with a decrease in outcome variability. SMT further induced changes in the underlying brain response associated with observing a highly familiar soccer-specific action, denoted as decreased activation in the cerebellum post SMT. Finally, decreased cerebellar activation was associated with improved cross-pass performance and sensorimotor synchronization. These findings suggest a more efficient neural recruitment during action observation after SMT. To our knowledge, this is the first controlled study providing behavioral and neurophysiological evidence that timing training may positively influence soccer-skill, while strengthening the action-perception coupling via enhanced sensorimotor synchronization abilities, and thus influencing the underlying brain responses.

Conclusion

In summary, this is the first controlled study demonstrating that improved motor timing and multisensory integration, as an effect of SMT, also is associated with changes in functional brain response. The present study provides both behavioral and neurophysiological evidence that timing training positively influences soccer-skill, strengthens the action-perception coupling by means of enhanced sensorimotor synchronization abilities, and affect underlying brain responses. These findings are in accordance with the idea that SMT may result in increased brain communication efficiency and synchrony between brain regions (McGrew, 2013), which in the present study was evident by reduced activation within brain areas important for temporal planning, movement coordination and action recognition and understanding (cerebellum). Also, our results complement findings indicating that the cerebellum plays an important role in the action-perception coupling (Christensenetal.,2014),and confirm recent theories supporting a cognitive-perceptual role of the cerebellum (e.g., Roth et al., 2013).Probing the influence of timing training on the underlying brain activation during soccer specific action observation is an important approach as it provides a window into the brain plasticity associated with non-task specific (timing) training, and to the underlying brain activation of skilled performance. The present study suggests that the underlying brain activation during action observation, which is claimed to be important for action recognition and understanding (e.g., Rizzolatti and Craighero, 2004), may be influenced in other ways than through task-specific training (e.g., Calvo-Merino et al., 2005) or observational learning (e.g., Cross et al., 2013). Such knowledge of how SMT may alter brain activity within regions facilitating the action perception coupling is likely important for enhancing training techniques within sports, as well as for developing new rehabilitative techniques for many clinical populations.



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Monday, August 27, 2018

Intelligence and Uncertainty: Implications of Hierarchical Predictive Processing for the Neuroscience of Cognitive Ability



Intelligence and Uncertainty: Implications of Hierarchical Predictive Processing for the Neuroscience of Cognitive Ability
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763418302045

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******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Vol 1423, No 1



Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Vol 1423, No 1
https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/17496632/2018/1423/1

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

A distributed brain network predicts general intelligence from resting-state human neuroimaging data.



A distributed brain network predicts general intelligence from resting-state human neuroimaging data.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30104429

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******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
******************************************************

Friday, August 17, 2018

On the biological basis of musicality - Honing - 2018 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences



On the biological basis of musicality - Honing - 2018 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.13638

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******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Brain Networks Responsible for Naming Objects Identified



Brain Networks Responsible for Naming Objects Identified
https://neurosciencenews.com/object-naming-networks-9704/

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Beyond IQ: Mining the “no-mans-land” between Intelligence and IQ: Journal of Intelligence special issue

I am pleased to see the Journal of Intelligence addressing the integration of non-cognitive variables (personality; self-beliefs; motivational constructs; often called the “no-mans land” between intelligence and personality— I believe this catchy phrase was first used by Stankov) with intellectual constructs to better understanding human performance. I have had a long-standing interest in such comprehensive models as reflected by my articulation of the Model of Academic Competence and Motivation (MACM) and repeated posting of “beyond IQ” information at my blogs.

Joel Schneider and I briefly touched in this topic in our soon to be published CHC intelligence theory update chapter. Below is the select text and some awesome figures crafted by Joel.

Our simplified conceptual structure of knowledge abilities is presented in Figure 3.10. At the center of overlapping knowledge domains is general knowledge—knowledge and skills considered important for any member of the population to know (e.g., literacy, numeracy, self-care, budgeting, civics, etiquette, and much more). The bulk of each knowledge domain is the province of specialists, but some portion is considered important for all members of society to know. Drawing inspiration from F. L. Schmidt (2011, 2014), we posit that interests and experience drive acquisition of domain-specific knowledge.

In Schmidt's model, individual differences in general knowledge are driven largely by individual differences in fluid intelligence and general interest in learning, also known as typical intellectual engagement (Goff & Ackerman, 1992). In contrast, individual differences in domain-specific knowledge are more driven by domain-specific in-terests, and also by the “tilt” of one's specific abilities (Coyle, Purcell, Snyder, & Richmond, 2014; Pässler, Beinicke, & Hell, 2015). In Figure 3.11, we present a simplified hypothetical synthesis of several ability models in which abilities, interests, and personality traits predict general and specific knowledge (Ackerman, 1996a, 1996b, 2000; Ackerman, Bowen, Beier, & Kanfer, 2001; Ackerman & Heggestad, 1997; Ackerman & Rolfhus, 1999; Fry & Hale, 1996; Goff & Ackerman, 1992; Kail, 2007; Kane et al., 2004; Rolfhus & Ackerman, 1999; Schmidt, 2011, 2014; Schneider et al., 2016; Schneider & Newman, 2015; Woodcock, 1993; Ziegler, Danay, Heene, Asendorpf, & Bühner, 2012).


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