Quietude

The brains of children ages 6 to 9 have a significantly harder time than adult brains tracking and distinguishing voices amid background noise, such as other voices or sounds, according to Education Week’s coverage of a new study conducted by Belgian researchers and published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

There’s more in the article, but this is no surprise. Eliminate distractions and children will excel. The most innocuous things to an adult can be an insurmountable distraction to a child, and the children probably won’t tell you, because usually they can’t. It’s our job to maintain a quiet environment.

Walking

More generally, writes Ferris Jabr in The New Yorker, “the way we move our bodies further changes the nature of our thoughts, and vice versa.” Applying modern research methods to ancient wisdom has allowed psychologists to quantify the ways in which this happens, and to begin to explain the reasons why. Jabr summarizes the experiments of two Stanford walking researchers, Marily Oppezzo and her mentor Daniel Schwartz, who found that almost two hundred students tested showed markedly heightened creative abilities while walking. Walking, Jabr writes in poetic terms, works by “setting the mind adrift on a frothing sea of thought.”