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Splash! What kids discover in a puddle

By Siu-Lan Tan
It’s spring and about this time each year, a little ritual takes place. After the winter melt, many children encounter their first puddle with the zeal of an explorer discovering a new land.

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Three reasons why we’re drawn to faces in film

By Siu-Lan Tan
If we were to measure looking time (for instance, with an eye-tracking device), we would probably find that most people would scan all the pictures, but focus mostly on the frames with the faces. Even though the exterior shots and full-figure frames are more complex and colorful, our gaze would tend to fix on the faces.

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Why does this baby cry when her mother sings?

By Siu-Lan Tan
This mesmerizing video has received over 21 million views, and is spreading rapidly through social media. The baby is 10 month-old Mary Lynne Leroux, who weeps as her mother Amanda sings My Heart Can’t Tell You No, a song most recently popularized by Sara Evans.

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Gravity: developmental themes in the Alfonso Cuarón film

By Siu-Lan Tan
Spoiler Alert: This article includes plot details from the film. Watching Gravity as a professor who teaches child psychology, I could not help but see the developmental themes that resonate with this film. One of the luminous images that lingered with me long after the film ended is the scene in which Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is nestled in the safety of a spacecraft following a grueling battle for her life. 

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How film music shapes narrative

By Siu-Lan Tan
Reflecting on his futuristic 2002 film Minority Report, Steven Spielberg said “one of the most exciting scenes” he had to shoot was this action scene – in which two characters (John and Agatha) traverse a busy shopping mall with armed police in pursuit, relying on Agatha’s ability to see into the future in order to hide and successfully evade capture.

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