Study Claims Brain Tests on Three-Year-Olds Can Predict Their Future

February 10, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. tolerance / ˈtɒl ər əns / (n.) – the ability to endure an unpleasant feeling
Example: Children usually get annoyed easily because they have low tolerance for frustration.

2. impulsiveness / ɪmˈpʌl sɪv nɛss / (n.) – the tendency to be saying or doing something without much thought
Example: He has made a lot of bad decisions because of his impulsiveness.

3. follow up on / fɒl oʊˌʌp ɒn / (idiom) – to continue to monitor a person or the progress of something
Example: I went to the hospital to follow up on the results of my medical tests.

4. prescription / prɪˈskrɪp ʃən / (adj.) – available only through a doctor’s advice
Example: Depression may be treated through prescription drugs.

5. intervene / ˌɪn tərˈvin / (v.) – to try to change the result of something by getting involved
Example: The student was having trouble with her homework, so her tutor decided to intervene and help her.


Read the text below.
A series of brain tests done on three-year-olds can predict their future, a study claims.

The New Zealand-based study by researchers from different universities suggests that the tests can determine whether the children will have behavioral or health problems in the future. In the study, researchers conducted a 45-minute test on more than 1,000 children to gauge their language abilities and motor skills. The children’s level of toleranceimpulsiveness, and restlessness were also evaluated during these tests.

After more than 35 years, the researchers followed up on those who previously took the tests. They found that among those who got a low score, majority have been convicted for a crime or were required to take prescription drugs as they got older. Others have also become obese, prone to sickness, or developed a smoking habit.

According to the researchers, the participants who encountered issues later in life may not have received enough mental stimulation during their early childhood. The lack of mental stimulation during the early stages of life may lead to less developed brains, which may cause behavioral problems or poor health as a person grows older.

According to the researchers, the results may also suggest that the people who scored low in the test did not receive the help and support they needed when they were young. In line with this, the team believes that brain tests must be done on all children so that those who are at greater risk can be identified and helped as soon as possible. The researchers claim that intervening at an early age can help avoid negative consequences.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that the results of the brain tests really predicted the future of the participants? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, what kind of help can be given to children who scored low on the tests? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you believe that the results of the study can be applied to all children? Why or why not?
·         Aside from brain development during the early stages, what do you think are other factors that may affect the future of a person?

February 10, 2017