Sesame Street characters. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Study: Sesame Street linked to improvement in children's intelligence

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NEW YORK - Parents have known for a long time that letting their kids watch Sesame Street could help teach the little ones their ABC's and 123's.

Now University of Rochester researchers have found that Big Bird and his friends may have expanded the kids' IQ as well.

In this study, researchers monitored the brain activity of 27 children aged four to 11 as they watched a 20-minute clip from the PBS kids show. MRI scans of the functional part of the youngsters' brains were compared to scans of 20 adults who also watched the sesame street video. The children in the study then underwent standardized tests for verbal and math IQ.

What the researchers found was that when the brain activity of those children watching Sesame Street resembled that of adults, those children scored higher on the math and verbal tests.

The research suggests a child's brain development progresses along a predictable path, and that longer videos might be a more effective way to measure that development.

To read more information about the study, go to http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=5212 .

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