Childish: 2nd-hand looks at brain activity

Some brain scientists use their brains to explain how they think other people’s brains are used. They also use (in addition to their brains) fMRI [functional magnetic resonance imaging], a technique in which complex equipment measures some of the things that happen inside a brain while a person is using that brain. (NOTE: the technique has […]

Kids distinguish improbable from impossible?

A new study suggests that (perhaps unlike certain adults?) most children easily distinguish between the improbable and the impossible. The study is: “Young children discriminate improbable from impossible events in fiction,” Deena Skolnick Weisberg [pictured here, sort of] and David M. Sobel, Cognitive Development (in press). The authors explain: “Can young children discriminate impossible events, which cannot […]

The Clown, The Kids, the Botulinum Toxin

Experiments in Denmark explore what happens when you combine a clown, several children, and injections of botulinum toxin. Details are in the study: “Effect of a clown’s presence at botulinum toxin injections in children: a randomized, prospective study,” Lars Kjaersgaard Hansen, Maria Kibaek, Torben Martinussen [pictured here], Lene Kragh, Mogens Hej, Journal of Pain Research, vol. […]

Astronomical objects & human children

University of Tel Aviv astronomer Alon Retter alerts us to his provocative paper positing a mathematical similarity between astronomical objects and human children. Retter’s monography is another example of the spectacular nature of many research papers in the small, new viXra depository (profiled here recently; see “Alternate everything: the joy of viXra“) as compared to […]

The BARF scale. You know… for kids!

A new study presents and evaluates a way for nauseated children to indicate their level of medical distress (thanks to investigator Neil Gaiman for bringing it to our attention): “Development and Validation of a Pictorial Nausea Rating Scale for Children,” Amy L. Baxter [pictured below], Mehernoor F. Watcha, William Valentine Baxter, Traci Leong and Matthew M. Wyatt, […]