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2015年5月29日 星期五

New From NPR! 環境與天資決定智能,只要有心就能練成腦肌!




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From NPR
Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time

When it comes to nature versus nurture, brain scientists think both matter.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:From pregnancy, let's turn the focus to childhood. There is new research into how genes and the environment interact基因與環境如何互動/作用, as they help shape how small children and adolescents青少年 learn. Here's NPR's social science Shankar Vedantam.SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: John Hewitt is a neuroscientist神經科學家 who studies the biology of intelligence. Hewitt has applied his scientific knowledge to his own children's upbringing.JOHN HEWITT: I'm a father of four children myself, and I never worried too much about the environment that I was providing for my children because I thought well, it would all work out in the end最後都會成功, anyway; aren't the genes especially powerful?
VEDANTAM: Hewitt and other scientists have found that intelligence has a strong biological component生物的構成要素. If your parents are smart, you'll probably be smart, even without a lot of fuss無須太過費力 about the right schools and learning environments. But recently, Hewitt discovered something that surprised him.HEWITT: Well, I might have been wrong. It may well be that the environmental boost環境的激勵 you can get, or the detriment傷害 you can suffer from adversity逆境, may indeed be a little more important at a critical period in adolescence than I had formerly thought. And this may be especially true for parents of very bright children非常聰明的小孩.VEDANTAM: What Hewitt is talking about is a new understanding of the interplay between your genetic inheritance基因的遺傳 and how you learn from the environment. He credits歸功於 another researcher, Angela Brant, for coming up with a new insight洞察into this critical period in development.
HEWITT: To understand what Brant found, here's some context:來龍去脈 Both kids and adults learn things, but children are better than adults at some kinds of learning. For example, Brant said, think about trying to learn a new language.
ANGELA BRANT: In language you have specific words and vocabulary, and you also have the broad patterns of the language更寬廣的語言模式 - the syntax語法. We know that adults can pick up vocabulary words, but they're less able to pick up syntax.VEDANTAM: Neuroscientists think the reason children do better than adults, when it comes to a new language, is that young brains are more receptive善於接受的 to learning.
BRANT: Early on in development, until adolescence, there are lots of new connections being made between neurons to store patterns and information collected from the environment.
VEDANTAM: By adolescence, this sensitive period in the brain comes to an end劃上句點. Learning new things gets harder - at least, that's what we thought. Brant, at Pennsylvania State University, and Hewitt, at the University of Colorado, as well as other researchers recently analyzed a large number of children and followed them over time. Some were genetically identical twins同卵雙胞胎, some were fraternal twins異卵雙胎胎; some were biological siblings親兄弟姊妹, and some were adopted siblings非血緣關係的兄弟姊妹.
Brant noticed that kids with higher IQs had an extended period持久的時期 in adolescence where they continue to learn things at a rapid pace, just like much younger children.
BRANT: I found that twins that had a higher IQ were showing a more childlike pattern of influence during adolescence.
HEWITT: It was as if there was an extended sensitive period in the higher IQ individuals. Or another way of looking at it, the sensitivity to the environment - which is characteristic of earlier childhood - seemed to end earlier for individuals with lower IQ.
VEDANTAM: Hewitt and Brant don't know why some teenagers continue to learn at the pace of much younger children. It may be that smart kids gravitate to challenging activities被具有挑戰性的活動所吸引, and this keeps them receptive to learning. Or it could be that genes that lead to high IQ also trigger觸發 an extended learning period.
The study, published in Psychological Science, suggests that for many children, it may be a mistake to stop learning new things. Even if you're a teenager, it might not be too late to start Chinese, chess or the cello大提琴.
Shankar Vedantam, NPR News.


2 則留言:

  1. Hi Teacher,

    An old dog will learn new tricks always. Ha~

    Have a good day !

    Tom

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  2. Hi Tom,

    True. And we can all learn regardless of our age as long as we're young at heart.

    回覆刪除