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 »

Learn all about the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit in less than 2 minutes

Check out the Summit Agenda and Reserve Your Spot

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

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 and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

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