kids

When nature won’t, Pluto will

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{ Effect of a clown’s presence at botulinum toxin injections in children }

Everything is real

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{ Chino Otsuka superimposes her adult self into childhood photos }

If you replace all of your cells one by one, are you still the same person?

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Childhood amnesia kicks in around age 7

You could travel the world with an infant aged under 3 and it’s almost guaranteed that when they get older they won’t remember a single boat trip, plane ride or sunset. This is a phenomenon known as childhood or infantile amnesia, that means most of us lose all our earliest autobiographical memories. It’s a psychological conundrum because when they are 3 or younger, kids are able to discuss autobiographical events from their past. So it’s not that memories from before age 3 never existed, it’s that they are subsequently forgotten. […]

Bauer and Larkina uncovered a paradox - at ages 5 to 7, the children remembered over 60 per cent of the events they’d chatted about at age 3. […] In contrast, children aged 8 and 9 recalled fewer than 40 per cent of the events they’d discussed at age 3, but those memories they did recall were more adult-like in their content.

{ BPS | Continue reading }

‘The world wants to be deceived.’ —Petronius

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Humans show a natural tendency to discount bad news while incorporating good news into beliefs (the “good news–bad news effect”), an effect that may help explain seemingly irrational risk taking. Understanding how this bias develops with age is important because adolescents are prone to engage in risky behavior; thus, educating them about danger is crucial.

We reveal a striking valence-dependent asymmetry in how belief updating develops with age. In the ages tested (9–26 y), younger age was associated with inaccurate updating of beliefs in response to undesirable in- formation regarding vulnerability. In contrast, the ability to update beliefs accurately in response to desirable information remained relatively stable with age. This asymmetry was mediated by adequate computational use of positive but not negative estimation errors to alter beliefs.

The results are important for understanding how belief formation develops and might help explain why adolescents do not respond adequately to warnings.

{ PNAS | PDF }

‘Burrow for seed, the screech in hole’ —@TNI_InfantBat

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{ The Hidden Mother | More }

‘This is a bad idea = one of the greatest aphrodisiacs of all time’ –Emily Cooke

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Teenagers’ brains are wired to confront a threat instead of retreating, research suggests. The results may help explain why criminal activity peaks during adolescence.

{ Science News | Continue reading }

Just loll there: quiet dusk: let everything rip. Forget.

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An eye-opening 2005 paper estimated the number of children who are not the biological offspring of their presumed father.

Looking at studies from around the world, it concluded that the median number of kids who are not the children of the person they call ‘dad’ is 3.7% with studies typically finding a rate of between two and ten percent.

This is presumably due to children being conceived during clandestine affairs.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

So come gimme a hug if you’re into getting rubbed

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{ You need to see this 17-minute film set entirely on a teen’s computer screen | thanks Stella }

The world only cares about what it can get from you

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By about 1900, the need for child labour had declined, so children had a good deal of free time. But then, beginning around 1960 or a little before, adults began chipping away at that freedom by increasing the time that children had to spend at schoolwork and, even more significantly, by reducing children’s freedom to play on their own, even when they were out of school and not doing homework. Adult-directed sports for children began to replace ‘pickup’ games; adult-directed classes out of school began to replace hobbies; and parents’ fears led them, ever more, to forbid children from going out to play with other kids, away from home, unsupervised. There are lots of reasons for these changes but the effect, over the decades, has been a continuous and ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play and explore in their own chosen ways.

Over the same decades that children’s play has been declining, childhood mental disorders have been increasing.

{ Aeon | Continue reading }

‘It’s 4:30 in the morning, it’s always 4:30 in the morning.’ –Charles Bukowski

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Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
 and—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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Back in 1978, the Chinese politburo enacted the “one-child policy”, whose main purpose was to “alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems” in China as a result of the soaring population. According to estimates, the policy prevented more than 250 million births between 1980 and 2000, and 400 million births from about 1979 to 2011. And while not applicable to everyone, in 2007 approximately 35.9% of China’s population was subject to a one-child restriction.

Regardless of the numbers, things are about to change: with the Chinese economy now having peaked and suddenly finding itself in rapid deceleration with excess credit growth providing virtually no boost to marginal growth, the Chinese government is forced to reexamine 35 years of social policy in order to extract growth from the one place where for nearly 4 decades it had tried to stifle: demographics. 

According to the 21st Business Herald which cited sources close to the National Population and Family Planning Commission, China may relax its one-child policy at end-2013 or early-2014 (read end) by allowing families to have two children if at least one parent is from a one-child family. A plan for allowing all families to have two children after 2015 is also being reviewed.

{ ZeroHedge | Continue reading }

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

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When she became pregnant, Ms. Martin called her local hospital inquiring about the price of maternity care; the finance office at first said it did not know, and then gave her a range of $4,000 to $45,000. […]

Like Ms. Martin, plenty of other pregnant women are getting sticker shock in the United States, where charges for delivery have about tripled since 1996, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Truven Health Analytics. Childbirth in the United States is uniquely expensive, and maternity and newborn care constitute the single biggest category of hospital payouts for most commercial insurers and state Medicaid programs. […]

The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found. […]

Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }