There's Hope! 10 Pieces of Research That Show Your Child's Brain Function Can Improve
It's easy to feel hopeless when you're starting your daughter's third hour of homework, or your son's PSAT score is so low that you're just assuming he'll live in the basement after graduation.
But your child's (or teen's) learning struggles don't have to be set in stone. In fact, a new study found that even IQ can change-quite significantly! How about 21 points?
If you're in desperate need of hope that things can change for your child (and your family!), read on. We've got 10 pieces of research that are sure to brighten your day in the form of a light at the end of the tunnel.
IQ can change.
A first of its kind study published in The Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology has found a one-on-one cognitive training program improved cognitive skills and IQ scores by 21 points in students ages 8 to 14. The ThinkRx® training program, created by leading researchers and experts at LearningRx, significantly improved an average IQ and seven cognitive skills: associative memory, working memory, long-term memory, visual, processing, auditory processing, logic and reasoning and processing speed. [Source]
Childhood music lessons improve attention skills.
When researchers at the University of Vermont College of Medicine looked at the brain scans of 232 children (ages 6 to 18), they found that the cortical thickness in the brain of those who played a music instrument matured faster. This area of the brain is associated with motor planning and coordination, visuospatial ability, and emotion and impulse regulation. The more a child trained on an instrument, the faster the cortical organization in attention, anxiety management and emotional control. [Source]
ADHD is rooted in clusters of weak brain skills.
A new report explains that learning struggles are rooted in clusters of weak cognitive skills. About 30% of clients were diagnosed with ADHD before enrolling in LearningRx. Most of those students, in addition to weak broad attention skills, had weak long-term memory, processing speed and working memory. But cognitive skills can be targeted with personal brain training, which incorporates immediate feedback, intensity and loading, among other features, to train those weak skills. Over a six-year period, 5,416 children and adults (mean age 12.3) diagnosed with ADHD went through LearningRx programs. The cognitive performance of these clients was measured before and after brain training, and the largest gains were seen in IQ, auditory processing, long-term memory and broad attention. After LearningRx brain training, IQ scores improved by an average of 15 standard points, and broad attention skills improved an average of 24 percentile points. [Source]
Breakfast can change improve brain function.
There are countless studies linking poor nutrition to brain fog, attention struggles, low grades and slow processing speed. While eating healthy foods-like salmon, sardines, walnuts and blueberries-is great for your brain, so is the mere act of eating breakfast. Eating breakfast has been shown to boost academics by improving memory and neural efficiency. Adding a school breakfast program has been shown to increase standardized test scores. Research has found that breakfast eaters do better on specific cognitive tests, including immediate memory recall, than those who skip breakfast. Other studies have found that skipping breakfast may lead to a shorter attention span, difficulty concentrating and memory problems. [Source]
We can create new connections in the brain.
A Randomized Control Trial (RCT) testing LearningRx's ThinkRx personal brain training program has been completed and analysis of the brains of the students found significant physical changes. In the study, 30 high school students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: ThinkRx, digital training, or study hall (control) for a 15-week training period. All students underwent cognitive testing and MRIs pre- and post-training. Analysis of cognitive testing scores found that training groups scored significantly higher than controls on multiple tasks, with the most significant gains occurring in auditory processing. fMRI analysis of resting state connectivity with the auditory cortex by Neuroscientist and Research Fellow at LSU Health Sciences Center Dr. Christina Ledbetter revealed:
- Significant changes in the resting state connectivity with multiple cortical regions involved in cognitive processing occurred following cognitive training:
- An increase in global network efficiency occurred following cognitive training
- Network changes in the brain correlated to auditory processing gains [Source]
Quality sleep can improve math and language performance
Researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University found a link between sleep efficiency (quality of sleep) and academic performance in math and languages. Controlling for variables like socio-economic status of the parents, the researchers studied 75 children between 7 and 11 years old. The results showed a significant performance variable related to a good night's sleep: 7% for English, 8% for French and 14% for math. [Source]
Personal brain training boosted state reading achievement test scores.
A study of LearningRx's ReadRx personal brain training program results found that after training, the group of students made statistically significant gains on tests of Word Attack, Spelling Sounds, Sound Awareness and Passage Comprehension. Additionally, 91% of students who completed the ReadRx program showed improvement on state reading achievement tests. For the group of 65 students in the study, the mean gain across reading achievement tests was 3.6 years. Prior to training, the mean percentile for the group was 33. After training, the group jumped to the 47th percentile in reading. [Source]
Just a single session of exercise can change a child's brain's function.
A consensus statement from researchers in eight countries says that exercise is vital not only to a child's physical and mental health, but also academic performance. Just one session of moderate exercise has been shown to have an "acute benefit" on academic performance, cognition and brain function. [Source]
Even oppositional behavior can been reduced.
A survey of parents of 226 school-age children who had been previously identified as having oppositional behavior and academic difficulties, found that many reported significant improvements in behavior and academics following LearningRx personal brain training. The study consisted of three groups: 77 students who completed 60 hours of ThinkRx cognitive training; 69 students who completed 120 hours of ReadRx cognitive training, and a control group of 80 students who didn't undergo any training. The results showed:
- Both treatment groups saw a reduction in academic difficulty
- The control group saw an increase in academic difficulty
- Both treatment groups improved on ratings of oppositional behavior
- The control group's ratings of oppositional behavior worsened [Source]
Learning a second language improves your brain.
Research from the National Endowment from the Arts found that children who learn a second language tend to perform better on IQ tests and standardized tests than children who only know one language. The study also cites sharper memories and listening skills, as well as greater cognitive flexibility, better problem solving and higher order thinking skills. [Source]
To learn more about how one-on-one brain training might help your child, visit www.LearningRx.com.