Children raised near greener areas have higher IQs, study finds

Spending time in green spaces seems to yield many health benefits, most of which researchers are only beginning to understand.

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  • The longitudinal study examined the development of pairs of twins growing up in various parts of Belgium.
  • The results revealed a positive relationship between growing up near greener spaces and having a higher IQ.
  • The differences were especially significant on the lower end of the intelligence spectrum, suggesting that policy changes could make a significant difference in intellectual development.
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Home libraries boost child cognition. These are the best books for every age.

Early reading experiences play an important role in brain development.

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  • Recent studies have shown that children who grow up with books at home have increased literacy, numeracy, and information communication technology skills in adulthood.
  • Bookstores and libraries are great, but according to researchers, early exposure at the parental home matters because "books are an integral part of routines and practices that enhance lifelong cognitive competencies."
  • While age doesn't necessarily dictate reading level, here are titles suitable for children from a few months old up to 17 years.

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Taking a nap sharpens your brain, suggests new science

A new study finds that naps bring cognitive benefits.

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  • Researchers find that daytime naps help your brain deal with unconscious information.
  • A short sleep can improve brain processing speed.
  • Scientists looked at how subjects performed on tasks they were not consciously aware of.
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Playing Super Mario 64 Increases Brain Health in Adults

For older adults, playing video games isn't just a way for older adults to keep in touch with the younger generation — it might be also be a way to stay in touch with memory itself.

The perennially awesome Mario and the antagonist Bowser, about to duel.

For older adults, playing video games isn't just a way to stay in touch with the younger generation — it might also be a way to stay in touch with perception itself.

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How We Breathe Affects Our Thoughts and Emotions, Northwestern Researchers Find

Inhaling through the nose activates the regions of the brain associated with memory and emotion. 

 

Man with a lot on his mind. Getty Images.

Focusing on one’s breathing has been a preoccupation of Eastern philosophy for centuries and in some cases, millennia. It is considered a means to attain inner peace and illumination. Yogis and Zen masters alike have traditionally begun their teachings having students focus on their breathing. It seems that science has finally caught up. A new study published in the journal Neuroscience outlines the interrelationship between breathing and cogitation.

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