This is your brain on ‘Sesame Street’.
Scientists can’t really know what a child is thinking, but they are interested in the brain processes that happen in educational settings.
To that end, a new study in PLOS Biology compares the brains of children and adults, using “Sesame Street” as a way to test what happens on a neurological level during a popular TV program aimed at learning.
Researchers found that adultlike brain responses tended to show up in kids who demonstrated higher math and verbal knowledge levels.
A brain region called the interparietal sulcus appeared to be linked to mathematics, as activity in that area tended to increase during math-related “Sesame Street” segments.
This area of the brain has been linked to working memory in previous research, and there has been some debate about its role in mathematics learning.