Aired: August 21, 2010

New Brains, Old Brains

Holding a student’s attention for longer than five seconds is no easy task.  Despite an innate curiosity, children often find classrooms downright boring.  But why?   Daniel Willingham (University of Virginia), a cognitive scientist, believes the trick to keeping young brains engaged in school is to find the perfect level of challenge – not too easy and not too hard.  Also featured: When does the human brain start to deteriorate? The Salthouse Cognitive Aging Lab has tested the memories of more than 1,000 people over the last eight years to answer that question. Timothy Salthouse (University of Virginia) says that even though cognitive decline may begin before you turn 30 years old, that’s no reason to be nervous.


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