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How to focus in the age of distraction

How to focus in the age of distraction | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon, Jeroen Clemens
David McGavock's insight:

Surviving in the 21st Century requires choices and knowing what pulls your attention.

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Sharrock's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:08 AM

This is valuable at a few different levels. It all comes down to habits and skills. students need this kind of reinforcement from home, school, and other points of contact (clergy, counselors, employers, etc.).

Sharrock's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:09 AM

This is valuable at a few different levels. It all comes down to habits and skills. students need this kind of reinforcement from home, school, and other points of contact (clergy, counselors, employers, etc.).

Marta Torán's curator insight, November 7, 2013 6:45 AM

Un mapa mental para que nos "enfoquemos".

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Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation
The science behind perception and action. What do we know about the brain-body? How can we apply this knowledge to be better learners and teachers.
Curated by David McGavock
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Introduction and additional resources on this topic ...

Introduction and additional resources on this topic ... | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it

I hope you find this topic useful and informative. I am striving to improve the quality and focus of the articles. So much is being published in neuroscience. Hopefully this selection serves your needs. 

 

I am most interested in neuroscience as it applies to education and learning in general. Memory, motivation and behavior all apply under this heading. As I read and listen to content within this topic I am honing my skill for finding resources that are practical; that can be applied in daily living. I am also trying to sharpen my skills for separating fact from fiction and neuro-hype. 

 

Often you will find a quote from an article in " ". I try to make it a paragraph that summarizes or highlights key points. Sometimes I also use the  "insight" box with a reflection of my own . This is intended to help you decide if the article is interesting and useful to you.

 

Along those lines, I want to offer an additional resource that might be useful to you. Please check out:

 

Diigo Bookmarks.

I like to use Diigo to catalogue much of my Internet reading. Within Diigo, I have created a Diigo reading list that you can use as a companion to my Scoop.it. As I read, I like to highlight the key ideas. It helps my comprehension of the story. Diigo affords this. Perhaps my highlights will make your life easier. From this date forward, you will find my "scoops" and other articles summarized in this Neuroscience Diigo List.

 

So if you want to skim or read the highlights of an article check this out:

 

https://www.diigo.com/list/dmcgavock/Neuro-science+-+Learning+-+Perception+-+Emotion/l0oblsk1

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Next Time Someone Tells You That Meditation Is a Waste of Time, Show Them This.

Next Time Someone Tells You That Meditation Is a Waste of Time, Show Them This. | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Meditating does more than you think -- a lot more...
David McGavock's insight:

This short video does well in laying out the basic benefits of meditation. No research is referenced but it underlines how popular the practice is becoming. There are other places to get the research.

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'Time-Outs' Are Hurting Your Child

'Time-Outs' Are Hurting Your Child | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
In a brain scan, relational pain—that caused by isolation during punishment—can look the same as physical abuse. Is alone in the corner the best place for your child?

Via Jocelyn Stoller
David McGavock's insight:

Dan Siegel has written many books on the subject of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology. His advice on parenting brings his understanding of neuroscience and therapy to bear. 

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Why our faith in cramming is mistaken

Why our faith in cramming is mistaken | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
You may think you know your own mind, but when it comes to memory, research suggests that you don't. If we’re trying to learn something, many of us study in ways that prevent the memories sticking....
David McGavock's insight:

Another way to look at this is to remember that tinkering and messing around with knowledge helps us to internalize it.


 "many of us think that actively thinking about trying to learn something will help us remember it. Studies suggest this is not the case. Far more important is reorganising the information so that it has a structure more likely to be retained in your memory. In other words, rewrite the content of what you want to learn in a way that makes most sense to you."

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Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Children learn their most important lessons on the playground, not in the classroom, researchers say.
David McGavock's insight:

This short radio story highlights the importance of "messing around" for brain development. Jaak Panksepp, one person interviewed,  is an authority on this subject.

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People who doodled were able to remember 29% more information than nondoodlers, a study found

People who doodled were able to remember 29% more information than nondoodlers, a study found | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Recent research in neuroscience, psychology and design shows that doodling can help people stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information.
David McGavock's insight:

Interesting inquiry into the effect of doodling on memory and problem solving. I can relate to this from a subjective point of view. Especially interesting is the last paragraph of the article, "Doodling doesn't work for all tasks...when doodling and another task use the same cognitive pathways, "you have a traffic jam,".

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Ever So Slight Delay Improves Decision Making Accuracy

Ever So Slight Delay Improves Decision Making Accuracy | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Researchers discover decision making accuracy can be improved by postponing the onset of a decision by a fraction of a second.
David McGavock's insight:

Take time to save time. This study provides evidence to encourage a pause to improve decision making. 

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Teaching mindfulness in schools

Teaching mindfulness in schools | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Actress Goldie Hawn is bringing her MindUP program to schools around the world. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports....
David McGavock's insight:

This story has special significance to me. The principal is a friend of mine and I have worked in this school her for many years. I am grateful that our students have had this opportunity. It's time that we teach our children about how their minds and emotions work.

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"Mind in Life" with Evan Thompson - Brainscience Podcast

David McGavock's insight:

Evan Thompson also authored, "The embodied Mind" in 1991. 

 

"Embodied Cognition is a movement within cognitive science that argues that the mind is inseparable from the fact that the brain is embedded in a physical body. This means that everything that the brain does, from the simplest perception to complex decision-making, relies on the interaction of the body with its environment.  Evan Thompson's book, Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind, is an in-depth look at what he calls the "enactive" approach to embodied cognition. The enactive approach was pioneered by Thompson's mentor Francisco Varela, and it emphasizes the importance of the body's active engagement with its environment."


The ideas discussed in this interview have implications to the process of learning in that it lends support to learning that is active - involves the body. Also discussed is the field or practice or neuro-phenomenology. While not without controversy, this approach brings into account people's subjective experience in neuroscientific research.

 

"Neuro-phenomenology refers to an approach to neuroscience that incorporates information about experience. In particular, it seeks to train experimental subjects to describe their experience using terms from phenomenology, so that it will be possible to compare results between subjects." - Campbell

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On the Edge of Chaos: Where Creativity Flourishes

On the Edge of Chaos: Where Creativity Flourishes | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Scientists have come a long way in understanding how the brain generates creative ideas. Their work can inform classroom structures if educators want to inspire more creativity in students.
David McGavock's insight:

"To develop ideas that could be considered creative, the brain has to be both stable and flexible at the same time. Brains perform just this type of balancing act every second of every day. “The brain maintains a duality of systems that are constantly introducing flexibility into our thinking and then trying to stabilize our thinking,” Bilder said. The brain evaluates a new stimuli, compares it the plan originally set and then decides on the optimal degree of flexibility or stability to pursue. This cycle happens three times per second."

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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, May 12, 8:44 AM

Children are limitlessly creative... most of them... later we together, parents, school, society, we kill this in them... and then later on we find out, we need it and try to built it (back...).

 

Now, the first logical step would be not to kill it on the first place... I know it needs such a broad, longterm view which is difficult to achieve  our quarterly philosophy... 

Bodil Hernesvold's curator insight, May 14, 4:23 PM

Is there chaos or not in my classroom? Does it count if the teacher is in a state of chaos? How do we "manage" or "encourage" chaos, then?

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 | The Happy Movie

 | The Happy Movie | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
David McGavock's insight:

This movie will make you smile and remember what is important in life, while you learn about the science of happiness. Features scientists and psychologists; Richard Davidson, Read Montague, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 

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Feeling sleepy? Maybe your brain's too full

Feeling sleepy? Maybe your brain's too full – #Neuroscience – http://t.co/Pia7P492MN
David McGavock's insight:

Just a theory but from my subjective experience, it seems plausible:

 

"According to the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis, brain plasticity mostly takes place when we're awake and taking in new information from the environment. Functionally important information that's relevant to our daily function and survival prompts brain changes that lead to an overall increase in the strength and number of neural connections (synapses) in the brain as a whole.

 

But this increase cannot be sustained forever because higher synaptic strength requires lots of energy, cellular resources, and space. So the system becomes inefficient and signalling between neurons becomes more erratic, reducing the capacity for learning and memory.

 

This is where sleep comes in – it puts the brain into an "offline" state during which thesynaptic strength accumulated during wakefulness can be surveyed through spontaneous electrical activity. And it ensures the process is uninterrupted by the external environment."

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Daily Kos: The neuroscience of false beliefs

Daily Kos: The neuroscience of false beliefs | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
In today's New York Times, I have an editorial on the brain science of why people form false beliefs, co-written with my co-...
David McGavock's insight:

I am fascinated by the phenom of false memory and bias. It is a critical neurological process to understand given that our beliefs, politics, and choice begin at the level of individual conclusions / memory. 


While this article is dated 2008 and references the false belief that Obama is Muslim, the science is current.

 

"The brain does not simply gather and stockpile information as a computer’s hard drive does. Facts are stored first in the hippocampus, a structure deep in the brain about the size and shape of a fat man’s curled pinkie finger. But the information does not rest there. Every time we recall it, our brain writes it down again, and during this re-storage, it is also reprocessed. In time, the fact is gradually transferred to the cerebral cortex and is separated from the context in which it was originally learned. For example, you know that the capital of California is Sacramento, but you probably don’t remember how you learned it."

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Strategic or random? In the face of uncertainty, the brain chooses randomness as the best strategy

Strategic or random? In the face of uncertainty, the brain chooses randomness as the best strategy | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Many of the choices we make are informed by experiences we've had in the past. But occasionally we're better off abandoning those lessons and exploring a new situation unfettered by past experiences.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
David McGavock's insight:

I experience this when I have an especially difficult technical problem to solve. I find that after trying some systematic solutions to a problem I resort to random attempts.

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Exercise Is ADHD Medication

Exercise Is ADHD Medication | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Physical movement improves mental focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility; new research shows just how critical it is to academic performance.
David McGavock's insight:

More research on the effects of exercise to counteract the symptoms of ADHD. Cites a few different studies including John Ratey's work on the subject. 

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How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
David McGavock's insight:

Provides some explanation on the chemistry of depression and protective factors generated through exercise.

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UW research on brain activity delivers lessons on how kids learn

UW research on brain activity delivers lessons on how kids learn | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Scientists at the UW are figuring out what happens as children learn — and how to assist those who struggle. Their discoveries are already helping parents and schools.
David McGavock's insight:

Supports the benefits of sharing reading with children as a way of promoting literacy.

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Many depressed preschoolers still suffer in later school years

Many depressed preschoolers still suffer in later school years | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Children diagnosed with depression as preschoolers are likely to suffer from depression as school-age children and young adolescents, new research shows.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
David McGavock's insight:

Considering the number of people suffering from depression, this seems like a good line of research. 


Makes sense that we have pushed childhood depression into the background given...

"The reason it hasn't yet become a huge call to action is because we don't yet have any proven, effective treatments for depressed preschoolers," she explained. "Pediatricians don't usually want to screen for a condition if they can't then refer patients to someone who can help."

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Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review

Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
2013 research review of major studies relating to multitasking and distraction, with an emphasis on young people and social media.

Via Howard Rheingold
David McGavock's insight:

Nice survey of the research on multitasking. We're just getting started...


"Clifford Nass, notes that scholarship has remained firm in the overall assessment: “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.” - See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/social-media/multitasking-social-media-distraction-what-does-research-say#sthash.I21dv2wV.dpuf";

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Howard Rheingold's curator insight, June 25, 7:51 PM

A literature review of the not-yet-very-extensive research (about a dozen studies in this review) on attention and media multitasking.

Bodil Hernesvold's curator insight, August 6, 2:54 AM

Attention is important. This entry gives an overview of some research that has been done on multitasking.

Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 20, 11:53 AM

As our lives are becoming increasingly technical, it is not surprising that research into media multitasking is becoming more widespread. This article is particularly authoritative as it has curated relevant university studies. It notes  that "people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They're basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking." This comment alone is enough to inspire me to both research this subject matter more, ans strive towards mindfulness myself!!

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How empathic are you?

How empathic are you? | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it

How empathic are you? 

 

They are:


Cognitive Empathy – this is about really understanding others, how they see the world, what their ‘model’ of the world is. Knowing how to talk and communicate with those others in such a way that leads to better performance.


Emotional Empathy – where an immediate sense of what is going on for others is felt.


Empathic Concern – knowing how others are thinking and feeling AND is predisposed and prepared to help. 

 


Via Edwin Rutsch, Jocelyn Stoller
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We dislike being alone with our thoughts

We dislike being alone with our thoughts | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Many people would rather endure physical pain than suffer their own wandering cogitations.
David McGavock's insight:

Interesting finding - that people don't know what to do with their minds when left alone. I wonder how prevalent this really is.

 

Interesting video explaining the study:

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-people-alone-thoughts-mind-dislike-electric-shocks-20140703-story.html

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Create more than you consume  — Medium

Create more than you consume  — Medium | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
But it’s how you consume that’s vital to creative inspiration
David McGavock's insight:

This article touches on some keys to improving your retention in learning. It isn't enough to simply conceptualize - one needs to play, tinker, and practice content... or even better, teach what you want to learn.

 

"One of the studies reviewed by our lab was on meditation and howbeing in the moment decreases the noise in your brain, leading to improved scores on working memory and intelligence tests.

 

When you allow yourself to fully immerse in an experience, you give your brain a chance to make deeper connections, thus enhancing your ability to recall these connections in the future."

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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, June 25, 12:04 PM

Well, it's a masterpiece... at least I was immersed in it totally...:-)))

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Focus@will

Focus@will | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
focus@will combines neuroscience + music to boost productivity and tune out distractions!

Via Howard Rheingold
David McGavock's insight:

I concur with Howard Rheingold's advice that consumers be wary of claims to boost attention and productivity. At the same time ,improving attention is a very useful skill in these daze of distraction. We are just learning more about what works. Share your review of this and other such apps with Howard.

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Howard Rheingold's curator insight, February 26, 1:35 PM

Apps like this are best approached with an open-minded skepticism. Open-minded because we're just beginning to see work on attention tools; skeptical because any mention of "neuroscience" raises the possibility of what has been called "neurobullocks" -- knowledge about the relationship between neural and attentional processes is very often nowhere near as precise as promoters would have us believe. Nevertheless, this is on my list to try out. I'll welcome feedback, both positive and negative, from anyone who tries this.

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5 Common Mistakes Your Brain Makes Every Day

5 Common Mistakes Your Brain Makes Every Day | Neuroscience - Memory - Learning - Mindfulness - Motivation | Scoop.it
Our brains are pretty amazing, but they can make a lot of mistakes that we are not even aware of. Sometimes these may have negative long-term consequences, but often they just mean a moment of misu...

Via Anne Leong, Wise Leader™
David McGavock's insight:

Some basic ways we misjudge situations and people. Good to remember as we go through day-day.

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Karen Bowden's curator insight, February 10, 10:23 AM

1. We trust our memories, even though they are often wrong.

2. We let our expectations decide what we're experiencing.

3. We feel losses more strongly than gains - which can lead to poor decision making.

4. We are highly prone to stereotyping people, even when we consciously try not to.

5. We are not great at predicting odds and probabilities, but we don't realize it.

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Brain Science Podcast: BSP 105 Brain Plasticity with Michael Merzenich

David McGavock's insight:

"there came a period in the middle of the century where the predominant belief was that the brain could only change—was only capable of changing physically and functionally—when you were a small child (a baby or very early in childhood), and then it froze in its connections, it froze in its operations, and you were pretty much defined with respect to your capabilities, what you would amount to in life, by the time you entered the schoolhouse door."

 

"In fact, it's constructed to continuously change itself. And those changes account for our abilities. And because we can acquire or improve our abilities at any point in life, we know that our brain is continuously plastic, subject to change; and if we control that change, for change for the better."

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