Archive for February, 2011

Parents beware: even Nintendo is warning young users against its upcoming Nintendo 3DS

Monday, February 14th, 2011 by admin

By Nintendo’s own admission, its new Nintendo 3DS, a handheld gaming system with 3D capabilities, may cause problems for children under the age of six.  The company issued a statement on its Japanese website.  The 3DS’s 3D gaming feature may stunt the growth of children’s eyes.  More and more research is suggesting that learning disabilities are centered in the eye.  A product that further debilitates children’s eyes is, therefore, undesirable.While Nintendo’s warning applies specifically to children under the age of six, Brainjogging has noticed even in older students that any video games derail their academic progress and alter their eye movement patterns; the effects are even more apparent when the video game was 3D.

In an attempt to placate parents, Nintendo included the ability to turn off the 3D capabilities of its new 3DS.  Additionally, parents can set passwords to regulate children’s interaction with the 3D function.  Nintendo goes so far as to ask all gamers using the 3DS to take breaks from the game as frequently as every hour or 30 minutes.

It is discouraging that Nintendo would market the 3DS to children when it is aware of so many risks associated with the product.  Nintendo’s admission of its product’s dangers should warn parents away from the product.  The 3DS will hit markets in Japan in February and in the United States in March.  Parents, be wary of this product; by its maker’s admission, it is not beneficial for children, particularly those under the age of six.  Even adults are asked to take periodic breaks from the system.  If an adult’s fully-developed brain can handle the 3DS for only 30 minutes to an hour, imagine the havoc it could wreak on a child’s still-developing mind.

Television maker Samsung issues warnings about its 3D products

Friday, February 11th, 2011 by admin

[Brainjogging believes that many children are sensitive to digitized media.  This sensitivity is most closely observable in children with autism.  Brainjogging’s students do not play video games and parents, particularly of children with autism, are warned against allowing their children to watch 3D movies or television programs.  The following message has been taken directly from Samsung’s web site message regarding its 3D products.  CNN’s SciTechBlog recently featured Samsung’s warning.]

Samsung’s web site message can be found here in its entirety.  The following are some of the warnings “highlights”:

* Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain television pictures or video games. If you or any of your family has a history of epilepsy or stroke, please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function.

* If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately stop watching 3D pictures and consult a medical specialist: (1) altered vision; (2) lightheadedness; (3) dizziness; (4) involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; (5) confusion; (6) nausea; (7) loss of awareness; (8) convulsions; (9) cramps; and/or (10) disorientation. Parents should monitor and ask their children about the above symptoms as children and teenagers may be more likely to experience these symptoms than adults.

* Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the likelihood of these effects. If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume until the symptoms have subsided.

* Watching TV while sitting too close to the screen for an extended period of time may damage your eyesight. The ideal viewing distance should be at least three times the height of the TV screen. It is recommended that the viewer’s eyes are level with the screen.

* Watching TV while wearing 3D Active Glasses for an extended period of time may cause headaches or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop watching TV and rest.

* Viewing in 3D mode may cause disorientation for some viewers. DO NOT place your television near open stairwells, cables, balconies or other objects that may cause you to injure yourself.

Take care of your children’s developing minds. If they exhibit atypical behavior directly after or even within a few hours of watching digitized media on a 3D product, discontinue use and contact a medical consultant.

Rhesus monkeys provide insight about childhood anxiety

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by admin

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health recently focused their intellectual efforts anxiety and brain activity in an attempt to discern which areas of the brain are relevant to developing childhood anxiety.  Ned  H. Kalin and his colleagues revealed that “increased brain activity in the amygdale and anterior hippocampus could predict anxious temperaments in young primates” (Science Daily).

Kalin stated, “Children with anxious temperaments suffer from extreme shyness, persistent worry and increased bodily responses to stress. […] These children are at increased risk of developing anxiety, depression and associated substance abuse disorders.”

Kalin’s past research substantiated that “anxious young monkeys are similar to children who are temperamentally anxious.”  In this study, researchers attempted to assess the extent to which genetic and environmental factors affect activity in anxiety-related brain regions.  Using a sample group of 238 young rhesus monkeys, researchers conducted postiron emission tomography (PET) scans; in humans, PET scans are used to “understand regional brain function by measuring the brain’s use of glucose.”

The study’s findings included the following:

“Young rhesus monkeys from a large related family showed a clear pattern of inherited anxious temperament;

Monkeys with anxious temperaments had higher activity in the central nucleus of the amygdale and the anterior campus; additionally, researchers could predict an individual’s degree of anxious temperament by its brain activity;

Genes and environmental factors affected activity in the amygdale and hippocampus in different ways, providing a brain-based understanding of how nature and nurture might interact to determine an individual’s vulnerability to developing common psychiatric disorders.”

Most surprising, however, was that “activity in the anterior hippocampus was more heritable than in the amygdale.”  This suggests that familial risk markers for anxiety could be “identified by understanding alterations in specific genes that influence hippocampal function.”  The study’s findings suggest that perhaps environmental factors can be modified in order “to prevent children from developing full-blown anxiety.”

The study substantiates, as many others have, that reaching children at an early age is crucial to successful intervention.  Brainjogging is one highly successful tool for successful intervention for anxious children or those at risk for developing anxiety.  Brainjogging increases children’s focus and decreases their anxiety. Parents and teachers generally notice an uptick in the moods of children with depressive tendencies and a settling of children with hyperactivity.

Learning Disabilities Association of America now offers a student rate

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 by admin

LDA 48th Annual International Conference – REGISTRATION

February 23-26, 2011
Jacksonville, Florida

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is the voice for people with learning disabilities of all ages.  LDA‘s mission is to create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities and to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations.

Brainjogging’s own Katie Cyphers, M.Ed., is the Chair of LDA’s Young Leaders Committee.  The Young Leaders Committee championed promoting a student rate for LDA membership.  In 2010, LDA began offering a $25 membership fee to students. This is a great opportunity!  Please consider sponsoring a student in your area.  LDA is also offering a special student conference rate of $100.

This year’s conference will be in Jacksonville, Florida, February 23-26, 2011.  Mark your calendars so that you can join us there!  LDA Young Leaders will also be hosting a special luncheon, specifically for students and young professionals, on Friday at the national conference. Hope to see you there!