30 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Exercise Increases the Number of Mitochondria in Brain Ti...

Past experiments have shown persuasively that exercise spurs the birth of new mitochondria in muscle cells and improves the vigor of the existing organelles. This upsurge in mitochondria, in turn, has been linked not only to improvements in exercise endurance but to increased longevity in animals and reduced risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease in people. It is a very potent cellular reaction. [...] Like muscles, many parts of the brain get a robust physiological workout during exer...
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A study on mice finds that exercise increases the production of mitochondria in brain tissue in addition to their production in muscle tissue (I dig the term "mitochondrial biogenesis" as describing the benefit).

21 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Practice Walking Helps Infants Walk Earlier

In fact, contrary to all of the early anecdotes claiming that practice has no effect on the onset of walking, one carefully controlled study has shown that special exercise can indeed accelerate it. In this study, a group of newborns were given just ten minutes per day of "practice walking." Every day between one and nine weeks of age, the baby would be held upright by a parent, with his feet on a table, and allowed to exercise his stepping reflex. Two additional groups of babies received, re...
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By having the parent hold the infant upright on a table to practice walk for just 10 minutes a day, they are able to accelerate the child's acquisition of this skill; however, infant walkers are found to be detrimental to this purpose for the lack of feedback they provide.

29 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Shortening a Baby's Crying Duration

What seems to work best is simple human contact. Peter Wolff long ago demonstrated that picking up a baby works better than anything else to stop any baby from crying. In another study, infant researchers BeU and Ainsworth showed in the 1970s, with a sample of twenty-six infants, that consistent and prompt response by the infant's mother is associated with a decrease in the duration of infant crying. Urs Hunziker and Ronald Barr recently took this idea even further when they experimented with...
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Nothing works better than carrying the baby and responding quickly to its needs.