A Press Democrat Blog

Dr. David Sortino


Electronic Screen Syndrome: Putting the genie back in the bottle

One of the greatest challenges parents and teachers will face will be Electronic Screen Syndrome (ESS), the collective effect electronics will likely have on your student’s learning brain. Today’s students, aged five to sixteen, spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen, compared with around three hours per day in 1995, according to market research firm Child Wise, (2015). Teenaged boys spend the longest, with an average of eight hours! Eight-year-old girls… Read More »

5 myths surrounding learning

With the school year in full force it would make sense to eliminate some common myths about your student’s learning brain.  Myth Number One: According to brain researchers most attempts to motivate students to “try harder” do not light up unused neural circuits; academic achievement does not improve by simply running up a neural volume switch (Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2010). Instead, researchers advocate that effective learning should be similar to the experience of the long distance runner: steady, consistent, etc. In other… Read More »

The (World Series champion) Giants’ Brain?

What are the motivating factors to the fantastic success of the Giants at their World Series playoffs:  experience, leadership, athletic skill? The one angle that is not being addressed has to do with the function of the players’ brains when concerned with the perception of winning or losing. For example, I work with young athletes who are often placed in competitive situations that actually lead them to failure. Often, their brains are not ready to compete at a high level… Read More »

Global warning, not just global warming

Every generation has its challenges. In the ’30’s and ’40’s it was the Great Depression. In the ’60’s, it was the Vietnam War.  For today’s generation of students it should be global warning and not just global warming.  Unfortunately, global warming is something long term and not in your face like Vietnam and the Great Depression. Perhaps this is why you do not see more of this current generation marching in the streets and/or questioning the status quo regarding global… Read More »

Neurofeedback and the Learning Brain

One of the greatest problems confronting parents and teachers in dealing with your child’s learning brain is the array of choices one faces when dealing with underachievement and/or a learning disorder. Intensive tutoring, medication and/or various other therapies may be  tried with little success. Ultimately, these parents come to me, a neurofeedback facilitator, for additional support. I’ve found neurofeedback to be a  successful hands-on strategy to help children achieve a successful learning brain.  And in over 90% of my caseload,… Read More »

Throw Like a Girl?

A recent commercial sponsored by Research Now called “throw like a girl” describes how the loss of power (confidence, self esteem) can occur when a girl reaches puberty. According to the commercial, when the interviewer asked girls who had reached puberty to demonstrate what it is like to “throw like a girl” the girls demonstrated “stereo typical limp arms” and/or “silly facial expressions” of what it is like to “throw like a girl.” However when the interviewer asked pre-puberty girls,… Read More »

Common Core Standards’ Impact on High School Drop Out Rate

We will learn in a year or so whether or not Common Core Standards is a successful program. Particularly, we will discover whether it lowers the consistent (high) school drop out rate, which can run between 45 and 55% respectively (inner city) or if the program has raised the drop out rate. The state will always have a percentage of students who will excel regardless of the educational philosophy. Another percentage of students will get by and another percentage of… Read More »