Why Talking To Little Kids Matters | Anne Fernald
For babies, good conversation is nourishment for the brain. Dr. Anne Fernald is the director of the Language Learning Lab of the Stanford Psychology Department and one of the world’s leading experts in infant-directed speech. In her TEDxMonterey talk she explains how the quality of our interactions with infants and young children effects their brain development for life.Anne Fernald is the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology at Stanford University. As director of the Language Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology, she conducts experimental studies of language processing by infants and young children, as well as observational studies of parent-infant interaction. Fernald and her research team have developed sensitive measures of the time course of infants’ understanding as they learn to interpret language from moment to moment. In longitudinal studies with English- and Spanish-learning children from advantaged and disadvantaged families, this research reveals the vital role of early language experience in strengthening speech processing efficiency, which in turn facilitates language learning. Fernald is also conducting research in West Africa, examining speech to children in relation to language learning in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this research is to help parents understand that they play a crucial role in supporting children’s language growth – providing their infant with early linguistic nutrition and language exercise.
Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking
Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.
Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self
“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the “end of history illusion,” where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we’ll be for the rest of time. Hint: that’s not the case.
The healing power of music: Robin Spielberg
Robin Spielberg, a renowned contemporary pianist and composer, tells a very personal story about the healing power of music. Her experiences inspired her to share how music makes an impact on our well-being and helps us through difficulties.
Cortney Warren: Honest Liars: The Psychology of Self-Deception
By providing content, resources, and connections, Dr. Cortney Warren’s goal is to support anyone who is brave enough to live a more conscious life. For when we are honest about who we really are, we have the opportunity to change.
Dr. Dean Ornish: Your genes are not your fate
Dr. Dean Ornish shares new research that shows how adopting healthy lifestyle habits can affect a person at a genetic level. For instance, he says, when you live healthier, eat better, exercise, and love more, your brain cells actually increase. And new findings show that a healthier lifestyle can turn off disease-provoking genes and turn on the good ones.
Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey has proposed that our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive.
Mary Lou Jepsen: Could future devices read images from our brains?
As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient herself, she is driven to know more about the neural activity that underlies invention, creativity, thought. She meshes these two passions in a rather mind-blowing talk on two cutting-edge brain studies that might point to a new frontier in understanding how (and what) we think.
Why you should listen
Mary Lou Jepsen is the head of the Display Division at Google [x]. Previously she has founded or co-founded 4 different startups and served as the CTO or CEO at all of them. In 2005, with Nicholas Negroponte, she co-founded One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to build affordable computers for the world’s poorest children. As CTO she invented, architected and delivered to high-volume production a machine that the titans of technology believed was impossible to make. Dr. Jepsen then founded Pixel Qi Corp. in 2008 in an attempt to transform a broken display component industry into an innovation engine. In the past she has been a professor at MIT, the CTO of Intel’s Display Division and a globe-trotting high-tech media artist. She has been ranked in the top 50 female computer scientists of all time, and Time Magazine inducted her into its “Time 100″ as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
What others say
Jepsen is known among her friends as the “light lady” for her work with computer imaging. But the kind of light she’s shedding goes far beyond the screen. Time, April 30, 2009
Siddharthan Chandran: Can the damaged brain repair itself?
After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself, building new brain cells to replace damaged ones. But the repair doesn’t happen quickly enough to allow recovery from degenerative conditions like motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS). Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.
Rewiring Your Brain: Michael Weisend
A neuroscientist at the Wright State Research Institute, Michael Weisend is an expert in neuroimaging with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) both in a clinical setting and for research into the mechanisms of learning, memory and epilepsy. In recent years, he has used this expertise to develop neuroimaging-guided, non-invasive brain stimulation strategies to enhance memory and other aspects of human performance.