Tuesday, January 31, 2006

ETS Accommodating Students with Disabilities on State Assessments conference

Registration information is now available for the ETS sponsored "Accommodating Students with Disabilities on State Assessments: What Works?" conference.

The following was lifted from the web page.
  • Date: March 19, 2006 - March 21, 2006
  • Location: Savannah, Georgia
The No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are examples of legislation that has had a profound impact on the assessment of students with disabilities in K-12 settings. Experts in the field of school testing have been caught between the need to ensure that test scores from assessments are valid and reliable and the need to provide accommodations that improve the accessibility of state assessments.

ETS, the College Board, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Institute for Urban School Improvement are hosting a conference that will provide a forum for practitioners and leading researchers to discuss current issues associated with accommodating students with disabilities on state standards-based assessments.

Be there to learn the latest on the following vital issues:
  • the fairness and validity of test accommodations
  • implementation of test accommodations in K-12 and postsecondary settings
  • use of accommodations in instruction
  • the influence of K-12 assessments on instructional practices
  • helping Individualized Education Program teams make decisions about selecting accommodations
  • legal concerns about accommodating students with disabilities.
Come with questions. Leave with a better sense of how best to provide fair, valid, and accessible assessments to students with disabilities.

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E-assessment lit review posted

FYI from the "Authentic Assessment Web site"

E-assessment literature review

.......The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Futurelab produce periodic literature reviews on educationand technology. One of the more recent reports looks at e-assessment. (A pdf version is available here.) It's a little UK-centric, but a jolly good read all the same, especially as 'open web' examinations get an honourable mention. A short critique of the report is also available at elearning-reviews.org.

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Accessible reading assessments - NARAP and PARA

  • The National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects (NARAP) is a collaboration of projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to conduct research to make large-scale assessments of reading proficiency more accessible for students who have disabilities that affect reading. Because public schools are accountable for demonstrating the reading proficiency of the diverse population of students in schools today, it is more important than ever that these assessments be accessible and reflect the students' true knowledge and skills.
[Disclaimer....I, Kevin McGrew (dictator of this blog) have a consulting contract with the U of M to work on this grant.]

The above center is also part of PARA as described below

  • The Partnership for Accessible Reading Assessment (PARA) is a consortium of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) , the National Center on the Research on Evaluation, Standards , and Student Testing (CRESST), and Westat, Inc. Together the partners are addressing the very challenging issues surrounding reading assessment, with CRESST leading the research activities and Westat leading the field test activities. PARA is conducting a program of research and development designed to make large-scale assessments of reading proficiency more accessible for students who have disabilities that affect reading. This research will contribute to the ultimate goal of making large-scale assessments more “universally designed,” that is, designed from the beginning to be accessible and valid for the widest range of students, including students with disabilities.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

CHC human cognitive elements table

Over on the IAP CHC listserv someone suggested that there might be a need for a CHC table of human cognitive elements, to help impress others (from other fields) of the importance of the CHC taxonomy to the field of cognitive testing and theory.

Bingo....I crafted such an animal back in 1999. It can be viewed/downloaded by clicking here. Understanding the abbreviations can be aided by viewing the CHC Definition Project page. It does not reflect recent changes/revisions to CHC theory and, if someone wants to be creative, it could be extended in many ways.

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Cross-cultural 3 to 5 year old cognitive development study

Cross-cultural study compares cognitive development in 3-to-5-year-olds

Thanks to Adrew Livanis for a post regarding the following article.
  • Sabbagh, M.A., Xu, F., Carlson, S.M., Moses, L.J., Lee, K. (2006). The development of executive functioning and theory of mind.Psychological Science, 17, 1, 74-81.
As stated by Livanis, "I find this article extremely interesting for many reasons. The
researchers decided to compare a group of Chinese preschoolers to American preschoolers. They administered tests of verbal abilities to match controls and then they administered several tests of executive functioning....... Click on link above to visit School Psychology blog for more indepth discussion.

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Quote to note - Certainties and doubts - Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon

  • "If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties."

New normal children fMRI database project

Thanks to Mind Hacks for the FYI re: a new fMRI database of normally developing childrens brains.

Revolutionary child brain database launches

A database of MRI scans of normally developing children has been launched that could revolutionalise the understanding of childhood brain function, injury and disease. It includes brain scans of 500 children from 7 days to 18 years-old and aims to be representative of the population at large.

Click link aboved for more info............

Risk taking and intelligence - thanks to the DI blog

Nice post and discussion, plus links to other comments re: methodological study flaws, regarding recent research that suggests a link between risk taking and intelligence. A tip of the hat to Developing Intelligence for this note. I'm becomming a big fan of the DI blog and will keep my readers posted on interesting DI posts

Risk Taking and Intelligence

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Off task - quantoid art - photo equations

For the quantoids of this blog. Thanks to Boing Boing for the FYI post regarding mathematical equation photo art. My Xmas shopping for next year is now made easier

Photos of mathematical equations -- London show open Feb 1

Justin Mullins, an artist who produces framed equations with textual material explaining their meaning to everyday life, is having his first exhibition in London, Feb 1-12, at Lauderdale House. Mullins's work -- which he calls "mathematical photography" -- goes beyond gimmicky amusement. Sustained attention to the equations and diagrams he's chosen really does inspire the same kind of moving feeling that photos of the physical world can bring

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Memory and autistic children study - with CHC interpretation

Hat tip to Andrew Livanis for posting information regarding a recent research article dealing with memory functioning in autistic children. More importantly, Andrew inserts his CHC ability interpretations in his summary of the article.

Specific memory issues found in autistic children

(Tip for Andrew....you may want to insert a link to IAP's online CHC definition page when inserting CHC ability codes in posts. URL is: http://www.iapsych.com/chcdef.htm

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Flynn Effect in UK - "Intelligence in UK declining?"

Interesting post at Gene Expression regarding the Flynn Effect.

Intelligence in UK declining?

"..........Today's London Sunday Times (January 29) has an article in the Education section on new research which claims that British children's 'intelligence' has declined dramatically in the last 30 years. If the link works, the article is here.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Neural oscillations and Mozart Effect fyi

Check out the very nice treatment and discussion of the "Mozart Effect" over on the Developing Intelligence blog. A hat tip to Chris Chatham.

Neural Oscillations and the Mozart Effect

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Gv (Visual spatial processing) teaching tool

A video demo at the Mind Institute (click on "Upright JiJI" demo) might be a good teaching tool for demonstrating the Gv ability of Vz (visualization).

  • Visualization (Vz): The ability to apprehend a spatial form, object, or scene and match it with another spatial object, form, or scene with the requirement to rotate it (one or more times) in two or three dimensions. Requires the ability to mentally imagine, manipulate or transform objects or visual patterns (without regard to speed of responding) and to ?see? (predict) how they would appear under altered conditions (e.g., parts are moved or rearranged).
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Werner Wittman gender differences - more discussion

Society Decides Against Boys

A return tip of the hat to Al Fin for following up on my FYI post regarding Werner Wittman's presentation on gender differences at the 12th biennial meeting of the ISSID in Adelaide.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bilingualism and growing your brain

Bilingualism is Good for You post over at the Eide Neurolearning Blog.

  • "Although it does require extra cognitive work and attention to be bilingual, bilingualism builds more gray matter in the language parts of the brain...

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wittman paper/presentation re: gender and academic success posted

Werner Wittman has updated his web page with links to a paper/presentation (Gender Differences in Academic Success) made at the 2005 International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) conference.

Interactive metronome - synchronized metronome tapping

Andrew Livanis has weighed in with his thoughts regarding synchronoized metronome tapping as a potentially useful academic-related intervention. He, like I, appears to be viewing this as a positive skeptic. In addition to Andrew's musings, below are the various posts I've devoted to this intriguing intervention method.
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Sunday, January 22, 2006

More on gender IQ difference research.

Al Fin takes off on my recent gender difference study post re: the NNAT test, adds a little visual humor (Al Fin - beware of the PC police), and provides additional links. A tip of the hat to Al Fin.

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Intelligence and national wealth

Ok....this is getting off-the-beaten path re: practical applications of intelligence theory and tests....but.....it can make for good cocktail party trivia.

In 2002 Lynn and Vanhanen published the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations which established an empirical link between the mean intelligence and economic wealth (GDP) of countries. Various scholars have commented/criticizied this controversial work and many have reanalyzed the primary data.

A Intelligence "in press" article by Dickerson presents a new methodological twist on the data. Although the mathematics and statistics may turn off most readers, the conclusions are relatively easy to digest


Plots of mean IQ and per capita real Gross Domestic Product for groups of 81 and 185 nations, as collected by Lynn and Vanhanen, are best fitted by an exponential function of the form: GDP=a *10b*(IQ), where a and b are empirical constants. Exponential fitting yields markedly higher correlation coefficients than either linear or quadratic. The implication of exponential fitting is that a given increment in IQ, anywhere along the IQ scale, results in a given percentage in GDP, rather than a given dollar increase as linear fitting would predict. As a rough rule of thumb, an increase of 10 points in mean IQ results in a doubling of the per capita GDP.

To read the article........

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Gf (fluid intelligence) gender difference research--NNAT test study

The following article, which is "in press" in Intelligence, reports (in very large samples) no "practically" significant gender differences (from ages 5-17) in Gf (fluid intellignece) as measured by a matrices battery. Readers should digest this article in the context of other recent (and controversial) research re: IQ-gender differences research.

Rojahn, J. & Naglieri, J (in press). Developmental gender differences on the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test in a nationally normed sample of 5–17 year olds. Intelligence.

  • Lynn [Lynn, R. (2002). Sex differences on the progressive matrices among 15–16 year olds: some data from South Africa. Personality and Individual Differences 33, 669–673.] proposed that biologically based developmental sex differences produce different IQ trajectories across childhood and adolescence. To test this theory we analyzed the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNA; [Naglieri, J. A. (1997). Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test-Multilevel Form. San Antonio: Harcourt Assessment Company.]) standardization sample of 79,780 children and adolescents in grades K-12, which was representative of the US census on several critical demographic variables. NNAT data were consistent with Lynn’s developmental theory of gender differences insofar as (a) there were no gender differences between 6 and 9 years; (b) females scored slightly higher between 10 and 13 years; and (c) males were ahead of females between the ages of 15 and 16. However, the discrepancies between the genders were smaller than predicted by Lynn. In fact they were so small that they have little or no practical importance. In other words, the NNAT did not reveal meaningful gender differences at any stage between the ages of 6 and 17 years.
To read article......

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Off task - Kids perceptions of scientists

Thanks to Boing Boing for an interesting post re: a recent survey of British kids perceptions of scientists.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Phonological awareness (Ga-PC) summary article

Current Directions in Psychological Science is a must read for scholars looking for a brief, contemporary “taking stock” summary of an area of psychological research. I review the contents of this journal on a regular basis. The articles are a good starting point for getting your head into a new research area or, for ascertaining the general consensus re: a research topic in psychology (broadly defined).

I recently stumbled across this nice summary of the phonological awareness (Ga-PC) research.

Anthony, J & Francis, D. (2005). Development of Phonological Awareness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(5), 255-259.

  • Phonological awareness is critical for learning to read in alphabetic languages like English. This report summarizes normal development of phonological awareness as it has been revealed through recent multidisciplinary and cross-cultural research. We argue that a consensus on the definition of phonological awareness has emerged, that research has identified a general sequence of phonological awareness development that is universal across languages, and that certain characteristics of spoken and written languages influence the rate of normal development and levels of phonological awareness that are normally achieved.

Other conclusions/statements to note (emphasis added by blogmaster):

  • Numerous definitions of phonological awareness have been offered, each with relatively well-developed theoretical underpinnings and some empirical support. Alternative definitions vary in generality from highly exclusive to highly inclusive of different phonological awareness skills. Phonological awareness skills are distinguished by the task performed and size of the unit of sound that is the focus of the task.
  • Methodologically sound studies using large samples, multiple measures, and advanced statistics support a unified phonological awareness construct—that is, phonological awareness as a single cognitive ability that manifests behaviorally in a variety of skills….It is a single, unified ability that manifests itself in a variety of phonological skills that emerge in a predictable sequence. [Note – this conclusion mirrors a conclusion I offered from a recent review of the Ga factor analysis literature…click here for more information].
Click here to read article…..

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Think fast (Gs) - be socially active as you age

Interesting article below that suggests that staying socially active and engaged helps protect against deterioration of mental processing speed (Gs-P; perceptual speed in particular). Although the methodology and technical language of this article is a bit steep, the bottom line supports the common sense notion of staying socially active during old age may protect against cognitive decline in cognitive processing speed.

Lovden, M., Ghisletta, P., & Lindenberger, U. (2005). Social participation attenuates decline in perceptual speed in old and very old age. Psychology and Aging, 20(3), 423-434.

  • Does an engaged and active lifestyle in old age alleviate cognitive decline, does high cognitive functioning in old age increase the possibility of maintaining an engaged and active lifestyle, or both? The authors approach this conundrum by applying a structural equation model for testing dynamic hypotheses, the dual change score model (J. J. McArdle & F. Hamagami, 2001), to 3-occasion longitudinal data from the Berlin Aging Study (Time 1: n = 516, age range = 70-103 years). Results reveal that within a bivariate system of perceptual speed and social participation, with age and sociobiographical status as covariates, prior scores of social participation influence subsequent changes in perceptual speed, while the opposite does not hold. Results support the hypothesis that an engaged and active lifestyle in old and very old age may alleviate decline in perceptual speed.
Other important (select) conclusions by the authors (emphasis added by blogmaster):
  • Decline in some other cognitive ability than perceptual speed might have an impact on engagement in social activities because individuals experience these declines as more immediately limiting their functional capacity.
  • Little is known about the exact mechanisms by which lifestyle factors such as social participation might influence cognitive decline. An engaged lifestyle might provide greater readiness for compensatory changes in response to neurophysiological decline (e.g., Schaie, 1996; Stern, 2002).

  • Lifestyle factors might also modify or protect against potential neurophysiological changes underlying cognitive aging in more direct ways than by introducing interindividual differences in the ability to cope with them.
  • The exact mediating mechanisms might be one or a combination of several alternatives, such as neurophysiological effects of mental stimulations (e.g., environmental complexity and learning) and reduced cardiovascular pathology as an effect of physical activity, which in turn might be associated with social participation.

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Gv-Vz - 3D block rotation study

Interesting post at Cognitive Dailey regarding classic Shephard's 3D block rotation experiments, which clearly measure the CHC ability of Gv-Vz.

WJ III Diagnostic Supplement test users will notice the obvious similarity to the WJ III Block Rotation.

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2006 International Neuropsychology Conference

2006 International Neuropsychology Conference in Boston...still time to register.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sudoku - Fluid Reasoning (Quantitative) as per CHC

In the current issue of "The Week" (my favorite news magazine) there is an interesting article re: the increased interest, origins, history, allure, etc., in the game Sudoku.

I often refer people to this game as an example of the CHC broad/narrow cognitive ability of Gf-RQ (Fluid Intelligence-Quantitative Reasoning).

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Neuropsychologist sued for defense exam malpractice

Interesting post at the Brain Injury blog re: the suing of a neuropsychologist (who performed an evaluation for the defense) in a brain injury law suit.

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Student progress monitoring 2005 instrument review report

From the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring (today), an announcement (below) that the 2005 review of student progress monitoring tools is completed.
  • "In 2004, thirteen commercially available student progress monitoring tools were submitted to the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring for the TRC review. In 2005, four new tools were submitted for TRC review and two previously reviewed tools provided new information."

West Coast Neuropsych Conference 2006

Registration information is now available for the 2006 West Coast Neuropsych Conference in San Diego (March 23-26). The theme for the conference is "Advances in pediatric neuropsychology: From toddlers throug school-age children."

Of interest to this CHC-flavored blog is a presentation by Dr. Richard Woodcock and Dr. Raymond Dean - Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory Approach to Neuropsychological Evaluation of Childhood Disorders

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Neurscience videos online

Thanks to Mind Hacks for another link to yet another collection of streaming video on various neuroscience topics/lectures. Another 129 available from the NIH.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

RTI and cognitive assessment EWOK

I'm trying an experiment in knowledge development and sharing.

I'm currently working on a literature review (for a journal article) related to the role of cognitive assessment in RTI (response to intervention) special education assessment models. As a known Gv guy (aka Dr. Gv), I make frequent use of a mind map program called Mind Manager (from Mind Jet). It is a great tool for storing notes, copies of articles, etc,. in a visual map. Then, as I continue to read I rearrange the map as my thinking evolves.

Given the recent interest in RTI and the role of cognitive assessment, and given my interest is ascertaining if people would find dissemination of information via web-based maps (what I am calling EWOKS - Evolving Webs of Knowledge :) ), I thought I'd post my current working notes for people to view. This accomplishes two goals.

1. Sharing the literature (on this important topic) I've located to date.
2. Demonstrating how this information dissemination strategy mechanism works....and to see if folks might find it useful as a means to build living and breathing EWOKs on topics.

Take a peak at this URL.

[Note to fellow Gv folks....click on the "overview map" link if you want to see the entire visual map]

Be gentle...all I've done is cut and past text from various PDF copies of articles into branch nodes. I've made no attempt to format anything to look pretty. I've not yet started the step of taking the notes and starting to write. I'm not done with my literature acquisition and
review. The cut-paste notes (with some bolding for me to think about) are presented "as is." This is NOT any kind of finished web product...it is just an attempt to present something "in process".......these are my working notes.

What is really cool (re: this product as a tool for writing and dissemination) is that once you save it in web format and upload via an ftp program, all the links work....and the links to the original articles, if they are also uploaded, are active.......so folks can click on the links and view the articles themselves.

Enough geek self-revelation for now. I'd be interested in feedback regarding the perceived value of EWOKS (much more polished, of course). Remember that the concept would be for special topic EWOKs to be constantly updated, revised, extended, etc.

A nicer example (without the pdf article links) can be found at this link.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tech tidbit - Intelligent adaptive toys for children

Interesting information over at Developing Intelligence regarding "intelligent adaptive toys."

Autism blog

Up front caveat....autism is condition I have spent little studying, so I can't evaluate the utility of an interesting autism blog highlighted at Mind Hacks. Interesting readers are encouraged to take a peak and make up their own mind.

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Retraining the brain interventions

Interesting story at CBS News re: interventions designed to retrain the brain.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

New "intelligence" related blog

Another intelligence blog discovered that is devoted to "tracking the development of intelligence in both natural and artificial systems, including humans, monkeys, dolphins, chatbots, and neural network simulations alike." Welcome Developing Intelligence to the blogsphere.

I will monitor the posts of this blog and make appropriate FYI posts to IQs Corner.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Gf-I (Inductive reasoning) intervention study

Klauer, K. J., Willmes, K., & Phye, G. D. (2002). Inducing inductive reasoning: Does it transfer to fluid intelligence? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27(1), 1-25.

  • Based on a prescriptive theory of inductive reasoning, a training program to foster inductive reasoning has been developed. Children from 12 first- grade classes, mean age about 7 years, N = 279, participated in a training experiment. The children of 6 classes were trained to apply a strategy to reason inductively while the children of the remaining classes continued their regular classroom activities. It was expected that trained children would outperform the untrained children with respect to Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices but not with respect to a vocabulary test, thus indicating convergent and discriminant or domain- specific training effects. Results confirmed this expectation. Moreover, it was expected that training would improve performance on the inductive subtests of Cattell's Culture Fair Test 1, but not influence subtests that did not involve inductive reasoning. Considerable transfer to both kinds of subtests was found on the immediate transfer task. However, with a delayed posttest 6 months later, the expected differential training effect could be observed. Finally, a LISREL model analysis confirmed the hypothesis that training children to reason inductively improved fluid but not crystallized intelligence.

Decscription of training/intervention
  • The training was based on the program published by Klauer and Phye (1994). Basic cognitive and metacognitive objectives of the program are to teach the children to recognize an inductive problem, to differentiate between the types of problems (not necessarily by labeling them), to apply the adequate solution procedure to the type of problem, and finally to check one’s own solution. Particular emphasis was put on teaching for transfer such that the children should become able to apply the cognitive and metacognitive strategies on any inductive problemwhenever they met one.
  • The project started at the beginning of the second half of the school year. In all schools, one class received training and the other class continued with regular classroom activities. The training lasted 5 weeks. In each of the weeks, every child participated in 2 training sessions of maximally 45 min so that 10 training lessons were administered to each child. The training sessions took place in small groups of about three to five children. It was administered in a separate room so that the children had to leave their classroom in order to participate in the training. Trainers were two female psychologists who were very experienced in the application of the training program.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Book to note: Review of Essentials of WISC-IV Assessment

Thanks to Andrew Livanis for his blog post book review of "Essentials of WISC-IV Assessment" and his pleasure in noting that interpretation is provided within the CHC theoretical framework.

Neuroscience video lectures on demand

Thanks to Mind Hacks for the cool link to a page where one can view (id you have the correct media players....I couldn't view all of the links...but was able to view many of them) approximately 50 video's of lectures by some of the leading neuroscience/brain researchers in certain domains.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

New book by Arthur "g" Jensen

I just learned (thanks to UberKuh) that Arthur Jensen is publishing a new book (Clocking the Mind) on mental chronometry---is to be released this April. Stay tunned.

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Tech tidbit - Google on your cell phone

It was bound to happen...access to Google via a cell phone.

As one who tends to adopt things early (on the "bleeding" edge of technology), I'm likely to get sucked into this technology sooner rather than later.

Off task - you can own a "brain in a vat"

Thanksk to Mind Hacks for the interesting post re: "The brain in a vat" product.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Male-female differences in math and science aptitude

Aside from race IQ difference research, research on gender differences in intelligence has been one of the more controversial issues in the study of intelligence for decades.

Adding new fuel to the ongoing scholarly debate is a new article just published in APA's American Psychologist that supports the position that there are no proven inborn genetic advantages for males over females in mathematic/scientific aptitude (as per CHC theory - primarily involvement of Gf and Gq?). An overview of the article can be read in the electronic version of the current APA Monitor.

  • This article considers 3 claims that cognitive sex differences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and science: (a) males are more focused on objects from the beginning of life and therefore are predisposed to better learning about mechanical systems; (b) males have a profile of spatial and numerical abilities producing greater aptitude for mathematics; and (c) males are more variable in their cognitive abilities and therefore predominate at the upper reaches of mathematical talent. Research on cognitive development in human infants, preschool children, and students at all levels fails to support these claims. Instead, it provides evidence that mathematical and scientific reasoning develop from a set of biologically based cognitive capacities that males and females share. These capacities lead men and women to develop equal talent for mathematics and science.
Readers who want to read/listen/view additional information re: the gender-IQ issues should visit the Edge where information re: the April 22, 2005, Harvard University's Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative (MBB) debate between the articles author and another Harvard scholar (Pinker vs Spelke) are presented.

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March is brain injury awareness month

Thanks to the Brain Injury blog for the FYI post re: brain injury awareness month.

"Look away" improves childrens problem solving

Interesting BPS post regarding inreased problem-solving performance in children who are instructed to "look away" (gaze aversion) when thinking.

One positive "i" in RTI research

Just so folks recognize that the spirit of my prior "Where is the 'I' in RTI?" post is grounded in a search for empirical answers, and not as another "test author" attempting to influence practitioners to not endorse the positive features of the RTI paradigm push in US special education policy circles, I'd like to share one successful "I" that I ran across recently. They do exist and practioners need to become aware of these good studies.

The study summarized below, which did employ random assignement of classes of students to treatments, is an optimistic sign for the development of empirically-based interventions, particulary for students with disabilities.

Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Prentice, K., Burch, M., Hamlett, C. L., Owen, R., & Schroeter, K. (2003). Enhancing third-grade students' mathematical problem solving with self-regulated learning strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 306-315.

  • The authors assessed the contribution of self-regulated learning strategies (SRL), when combined with problem-solving transfer instruction (L. S. Fuchs et al., 2003), on 3rd-graders' mathematical problem solving. SRL incorporated goal setting and self-evaluation. Problem-solving transfer instruction taught problem-solution methods, the meaning of transfer, and 4 superficial-problem features that change a problem without altering its type or solution; it also prompted metacognitive awareness to transfer. The authors contrasted the effectiveness of transfer plus SRL to the transfer treatment alone and to teacher-designed instruction. Twenty-four 3rd-grade teachers, with 395 students, were assigned randomly to conditions. Treatments were conducted for 16 weeks. Students were pre- and posttested on problem-solving tests and responded to a posttreatment questionnaire tapping self-regulation processes. SRL positively affected performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)
  • In an experimental investigation of the effects of self-regulated learning (SRL) strategy training on mathematical problem-solving (Fuchs, Fuchs, Prentice, Burch, Hamlett, Owen & Schroeter, 2003), 24 third-grade teachers were randomly assigned to three different treatment conditions (8 per condition—one condition being a control). Fuchs et al. (2003) reported that on both immediate- and near-transfer problem-solving measures, students in the problem-solving transfer treatment condition outperformed those in the control treatment. Effect sizes (ESs) were large, and ranged from 1.24 to 1.98 across different levels of initial (pre-intervention) achievement status. More importantly, the combined problem-solving transfer and SRL treatment produced stronger ESs that exceeded 2.00 standard deviations on immediate transfer, 1.81 to 2.40 on near-transfer, and between 0.81 and 1.17 on far transfer. The authors concluded that “whereas the problem-solving transfer treatment alone failed to promote reliable effects on the far-transfer measure (the most novel, and therefore truest, measure of mathematical problem solving in this study), the combination of problem-solving transfer and SRL succeeded in effecting this challenging outcome” (Fuchs et al., 2003, p. 313).
  • More importantly, Fuchs et al. (2003) reported comparable growth for the students with disabilities in the study, a group for whom learning transfer effects are often negligible. On immediate-transfer measures, ESs for students with disabilities (when compared to controls) were large: 1.07 for the transfer condition; 1.43 for the transfer plus SRL condition. Although the ESs failed to achieve statistical significance, Fuchs et al. (2003) considered the ESs of 0.95 (near-transfer) and 0.58 (far-transfer) to be “notable.”

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Where is the "I" in RTI?

Let me state upfront that I don't subscribe to the RTI (response to instruction) vs. standardized testing issue being debated (in US special education circles) as an "either-or" proposition. I still see a place for judicious and selective cognitive assessment in special education, especially the use of "at risk markers" (e.g., Ga, working memory, Glr-NA [RAN], Gc-LD, etc.) at early ages/grades and for indepth assessments for treatment resistors. I also think the RTI paradigm, with the use of continuous monitoring measurement systems, is a long overdue and welcome development.

That being said, on the listservs I monitor, practitioners in the trenches often ask "where are the interventions?"

Unfortunately, the review article below, just published in the prestigious APA Journal of Educational Psychology, is not encouraging. If anything, despite the calls for more rigorous educational intervention research, the trend over the last two decades has been towards fewer intervention studies, interventions that are very brief, and few studies on school-age populations.

Furthermore, given the clarion call for "randomized experimental designs" during the current wave of educational reform (NCLB), it is sadly ironic that this review found that:
  • "the percentage of total articles based on randomized experiments decreased over the 21-year period in both the educational psychology journals (from 40% in 1983 to 34% in 1995 to 26% in 2004) and AERJ (from 33% to 17% to 4%)."

This is NOT good empirically-based news for implementation of RTI...which I believe is a good idea.

Caveat - the authors did not review school psychology and/or special education journals and indicated (in their article) that they have such a paper in preparation. Hopefully these results will be more encouraging.

Hsieh, P., et al. (2005). Is Educational Intervention Research on the Decline? Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 97, No. 4, 523–529

  • The authors examined intervention studies that appeared in 4 educational psychology journals (Cognition & Instruction, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Experimental Education) and the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ) in 1983 and from 1995 to 2004. The majority of studies included adults (age 18 and older) as participants, administered brief (less than 1 day) interventions, assessed intervention effects immediately following the intervention, and did not report treatment integrity. Most studies included multiple outcome measures and exhibited an increase in effect-size reporting from 4% in 1995 to 61% in 2004. The percentage of total articles based on randomized experiments decreased over the 21-year period in both the educational psychology journals (from 40% in 1983 to 34% in 1995 to 26% in 2004) and AERJ (from 33% to 17% to 4%). Limitations of the study and future research issues are discussed.
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Rhythm (Ga?), mental time-keeping and reading - again

Another article ( a couple years old) re: relationship between rhythm abilities (Ga?; mental time-keeping?) and reading disabilities. Thanks to Myomancy for the tip.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Quote to note: Asking and answering questions

"I can answer the question, but am I bright enough to ask it?"

- James Lee Byars, founder, The World Question Center

Quote to note - Merton on learning

Thomas Merton
  • "The least of learning is done in the classrooms."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Conative abilities and cognitive efficiency

Thanks again to the Eide Neurolearning Blog for the fyi post e: an article that highlights the importance of conative abilities in cognitive efficiency (Gsm+Gs).

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A few thoughts on cognitive overload

A very informative summary on the psychological causes of cognitive overload in today's busy world of work.

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11 steps to a better brain

If your new years resolution is to think smarter, maybe you should check out "11 steps to a better brain."

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Special Science issue on brain development

Thanks to the BrainEthics Blog for the notification of the special issue of Science devoted to brain development/platicity.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Top 2005 posts at Gene Expression blog

For blog readers interested in the filed of genetics, check out the top nominated 2005 posts at the Gene Expression blog.

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Music (Ga) and brain/cognitive development

I'm now wishing I had continued the piano lessons my mom forced me to take as a kid. Moutning evidence continues to suggest something special happens to the brains of musicians. See new post at the BrainEthics blog.

Also check out some prior musings regarding musical abilities (Ga- UM, U1, U9, U8) and cognitive functioning.

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