Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn — Ideas for New Year Resolutions

My inter­est in the brain stems from want­i­ng to bet­ter under­stand both how to make school more palat­able for stu­dents, and pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment more mean­ing­ful for fac­ul­ty. To that end, I began my Neu­rons Fir­ing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of read­ing, and been attend­ing work­shops and con­fer­ences, includ­ing Learn­ing & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learn­ing, then as edu­ca­tors it is incum­bent upon us to be look­ing for ways to max­i­mize the learn­ing process for each of our stu­dents, as well as for our­selves. Some of what fol­lows is sim­ply com­mon sense, but I’ve learned that all of it has a sci­en­tif­ic basis in our brains. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning habits, learning styles: The most recent findings

For an excel­lent review of the most recent find­ings on learn­ing habits, check out The New York Times recent arti­cle: For­get What You Know About Good Study Habits. Tons of unex­pect­ed and fas­ci­nat­ing results!

The find­ings can help any­one, from a fourth grad­er doing long divi­sion to a retiree tak­ing on a new lan­guage. But they direct­ly con­tra­dict much of the com­mon wis­dom about good study habits, and they have not caught on. For instance, instead of stick­ing to one study loca­tion, sim­ply alter­nat­ing the room where a per­son stud­ies improves reten­tion.

Take the notion that chil­dren have spe­cif­ic learn­ing styles, that some are “visu­al learn­ers” and oth­ers are audi­to­ry; some are “left-brain” stu­dents, oth­ers “right-brain.” In a recent review of the rel­e­vant research, pub­lished in the jour­nal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence in the Pub­lic Inter­est, a team of psy­chol­o­gists found almost zero sup­port for such ideas.

Com­ment: The way we learn mat­ters for two rea­sons: a) we need to effi­cient­ly retain some infor­ma­tion for the var­i­ous tasks we have to per­form every day, but also b) learn­ing induces neu­ro­plas­tic changes in the brain, which  in turn may increase our brain reserve and brain health (see our pri­or arti­cle on Brain Plas­tic­ity: How learn­ing changes your brain).

Brain-Based Carnival of Education, 186th Edition

Wel­come to the 186th edi­tion of the Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion, the week­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of dozens of blog­gers to dis­cuss all things edu­ca­tion.

Q: Why do you say this edi­tion is “brain-based”?
A: Because the Q&A frame we are using is inspired by how Chris at Ouroboros recent­ly host­ed Encephalon Brain and Mind blog car­ni­val. (Is clas­sic Greek mak­ing a come­back?).

Q: As edu­ca­tors, what inspires us to do what we do?
A: Tra­cy sug­gests, “Hope for the future”.

Q: And what may hap­pen in the future?
A: Eric pro­pos­es that the field can learn much about how ath­letes train their minds and bod­ies to max­i­mize per­for­mance.

Q: What should not hap­pen in the future?
A: Dave hopes we stop the Text­book Insan­i­ty, killing trees to cre­ate books not every­one uses.

Q: What comes first, sub­ject or learn­er?
A: Bogu­sia has “switched sides”. She now cen­ters her teach­ing around her stu­dents, to make sure they appre­ci­ate the beau­ty of the sub­ject.

Q: How do you know if some­thing is devel­op­men­tal­ly appro­pri­ate?
Read the rest of this entry »

10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn

My nat­ur­al rhythms are in cycle with the school cal­en­dar. Jan­u­ary 1st takes a back seat to my new year, which gets ush­ered in with the month of Sep­tem­ber when there is crisp­ness in the air that grad­u­al­ly shakes off the slow­er, more relaxed pace of summer.Conveniently, my career in teach­ing mesh­es with my nat­ur­al cycli­cal year. And as this year draws to a close, I am re-ener­gized by the pace of sum­mer, know­ing that any­thing may pop in to my mind as I engage in activ­i­ties not direct­ly relat­ed to school. But before that hap­pens, I’d like to reflect on this past year, in par­tic­u­lar as it was my first year of blog­ging about the brain.

My inter­est in the brain stems from want­i­ng to bet­ter under­stand both how to make school more palat­able for stu­dents, and pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment more mean­ing­ful for fac­ul­ty. To that end, I began my Neu­rons Fir­ing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of read­ing, and been attend­ing work­shops and con­fer­ences, includ­ing Learn­ing & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learn­ing, then Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Ability: Brain Games or Drugs?

A recent sci­en­tif­ic study is being wel­comed as a land­mark that shows how flu­id intel­li­gence can be improved through train­ing. I inter­viewed one of the researchers recent­ly (Can Intel­li­gence Be Trained? Mar­tin Buschkuehl shows how), and con­trib­u­tor Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon adds her own take with the great arti­cle that fol­lows. Enjoy!

Ref­er­ence: Jaeg­gi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Per­rig, W. J. (2008). Improv­ing Flu­id Intel­li­gence With Train­ing on Work­ing Mem­o­ry. Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, 105(19), 6829–6833

——————

What is intel­li­gence?

Intel­li­gence is a con­cept dif­fi­cult to define as it seems to cov­er many dif­fer­ent types of abil­i­ties.

One def­i­n­i­tion dis­so­ci­ates between crys­tal­lized intel­li­gence or abil­i­ties and flu­id intel­li­gence. Crys­tal­lized intel­li­gence refers to the knowl­edge acquired through­out life such as vocab­u­lary. Flu­id intel­li­gence is the abil­i­ty that allows us to adapt to new sit­u­a­tions or prob­lems.

Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.