There are all kinds of "brain-training" programs out there that promise to help you stay smart even as you age. The problem is that there's little evidence that they work — but a lot of evidence that they are a waste of money.
As time goes by, science provides more and more evidence that your brain is malleable and continually changing in response to your lifestyle, physiology, and environment.
This concept is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity—meaning, you are literally reforming your brain with each passing day. It used to be thought that your brain was static, except during some critical developmental periods, but today, we know this isn’t true.
One way to promote engagement and learning is to consciously create pauses throughout the day. We can create a sense of spaciousness in our classroom by slowing down the pace of our speech and punctuating our lessons with silence. Introduced well, this practice can improve classroom discourse.
When you're learning new material, it can be overwhelming when you think about how much time you need to truly understand it all. This studying technique can help you stay focused and take on more information with shorter study sessions.
While everyone learns slightly differently, we do have similarities in the way our brains take in new information, and knowing how this works can help us choose the most efficient strategies for learning new things.
Here are six things you should know about the brain’s learning systems.
Brain scans of the meditators showed "increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory" and "a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress," the New York Times reported. "A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.”
The human brain has an amazing capacity to wield a potent cognitive strategy: selective attention. When we consciously focus our attention on something, we bring the power of the prefrontal cortex to this endeavor.
Although we can learn a lot of great information from books, articles, interviews, and conversations, we naturally forget a lot of it. Create a system to regularly remind you of lessons you've already learned. Here are three simple ways you can do that.
There is also accumulating evidence (the article below references seven studies) that giving students teacher-prepared notes or PowerPoint slides does not improve their performance. Students need to take notes in ways that are meaningful to them. It also helps when notes are restructured. The material presented in class is usually ordered in a linear fashion.
On the left side of your brain there's a special region called Broca's Area, also known as the speech center of the brain. Now a group of neuroscientists have discovered something strange about it. Even though this brain region supposedly controls speech, it shuts down when you are speaking.
Remember being drilled multiplication tables? Or taking a timed math exam? These have been common activities in school, but Stanford experts say they’re not really helpful to kids learning math facts. In fact, they deter students who might otherwise be excellent mathematicians.
When you're trying to learn, do something with your new knowledge, such as summarising it or explaining it to someone else. This deepens your memories and helps integrate what you've learned with what you already knew. A new study has tested the benefits of another beneficial learning activity - drawing.
Personality traits like conscientiousness and openness are better indicators of long-term academic success than traditional, standardized ways of measuring intelligence, according to a new study out of Griffith University.
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