Study looks at how kids with autism spend their screen time

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media. A new study by Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looks at how children with ASDs spend their screen time. “We found a very high rate of use of solitary screen-based media such as video games and television with a markedly lower rate of use of social interactive media, including email,” Shattuck says.

Finding educational toys is not hard; key is keeping child’s age in mind

Parent/child interaction with a toy is key to inciting learning.Many parents around the country will purchase toys for their children this coming holiday season. While choosing toys that will further a child’s education development is important, it’s also a great idea for parents to remember to play with their children and engage with them in their new gifts. R. Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., associate professor of education in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, offers advice to parents worried about making the right toy choice for their children. Video available.

Finding educational toys is not hard; key is keeping child’s age in mind

Parent/child interaction with a toy is key to inciting learning.Many parents around the country will purchase toys for their children this holiday season. While choosing toys that will further a child’s education development is important, it’s also a great idea for parents to remember to play with their children and engage with them in their new gifts. R. Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., associate professor of education in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, offers advice to parents worried about making the right toy choice for their children. Video available.

Teenager moves video icons just by imagination

Photo by David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoResearchers enabled a 14-year-old to play a video game using signals from his brain.Teenage boys and computer games go hand-in-hand. Now, a St. Louis-area teenage boy and a computer game have gone hands-off, thanks to a unique experiment conducted by a team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and engineers at Washington University in St. Louis. The boy, a 14-year-old who suffers from epilepsy, is the first teenager to play a two-dimensional video game, Space Invaders, using only the signals from his brain to make movements.

Teenager moves video icons just by imagination

Photo by David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoResearchers have enabled a 14-year-old to play a two-dimensional video game using signals from his brain instead of his hands.Teenage boys and computer games go hand-in-hand. Now, a St. Louis-area teenage boy and a computer game have gone hands-off, thanks to a unique experiment conducted by a team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and engineers at Washington University in St. Louis. The boy, a 14-year-old who suffers from epilepsy, is the first teenager to play a two-dimensional video game, Space Invaders, using only the signals from his brain to make movements. More…

Biomedical engineer shows how people learn motor skills

Photo by David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoThoroughman (background) and Taylor tracked the moves that people make.Practice makes perfect when people learn behaviors, from baseball pitching to chess playing to public speaking. Biomedical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have now identified how people use individual experiences to improve performance.

Gamers’ brains no different than yours or mine

Gamers are faster than you and I.While Mortal Combat, Grand Theft Auto, or Halo may be foreign to aging generations, a new study out of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Toronto suggests that video games like these promote a kind of mental “expertise” that could prove to be useful in the non-virtual world — potentially in rehabilitation and for the elderly. Alan Castel, Ph.D., Washington University post doctorate fellow in psychology in Arts & Sciences, conducted a study to examine how video games can lead to a degree of expertise in certain domains, and how that might influence video game players’ visual search patterns.