We are Big Idea Hunters…
We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.
A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think
Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.
Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.
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What's the Latest Development?
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences follows up on a 2010 study in which Duke University researcher Elizabeth Brannon and colleagues tested the innate number sense of a group of six-month-olds. In that study, the infants were shown two screens with fixed and varying numbers of dots respectively. Those that spent more time looking at the screen with the changing numbers of dots were determined to have a well-developed innate number sense. The new study revisited those same children and tested them on a number of different mathematical skills. The kids who performed best were the same kids who did well on the innate number sense test three years prior.
What's the Big Idea?
Humans are born with an ability to distinguish between groups of different sizes. Past studies have proven that those in whom this ability is strongly developed tend to be good at math. However, the Duke study may be the first to identify a possible correlation between innate number sense in infancy and math skills in early childhood. The researchers suggest that finding ways to further develop this sense in infants could help them become stronger in math later on.
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