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How did you develop your brain’s ability to learn?

“Imagine immigrants who come to a new country who can absorb its new language easily and without a different accent, within only a few months, and imagine how the lives of older people who have been laid off their jobs will transform if they become able to learn a new skill with the same activity they had in childhood” (1) )

This imagination does not seem like a fantasy in the opinion of some researchers who believed that our minds possessed much more than we actually use in building our capabilities, so they tracked the amazing capabilities of the brain, and discovered many of its secrets, and it may become one of the achievements of neuroscientists to possess the ability to learn like the one we possessed In childhood, with the same ease, and we continuously develop the capabilities of our minds to learn to take advantage of them as much as possible.

Our brain does not stop changing, in the critical period of development, which is a building stage in which the nervous system is particularly sensitive to some environmental stimuli, the cerebral cortex is so elastic that its structure easily changes once it is exposed to new stimuli, and this is what allows infants and very young children to develop language In a short period of time, and learn words as soon as they hear them from their parents, after the critical period adults can learn other languages ​​but they have to make a greater effort to pay attention.

The difference between the plasticity of the brain in the critical period and the plasticity of adults, as Norman Doidge tells us in his book, The Brain and How it Develops Its Structure and Performance, is that brain maps in the critical period can be changed by simply exposing them to the world, because the learning mechanism continues uninterrupted, so infants do not know what will be important For them, what will not be important, and therefore they pay attention to everything.

Learning in the critical period is easy because the basal nucleus is always in working order, and what Mirznik, the most prominent neuroplastic specialist and his colleague, did is an experiment in which they artificially activated the basal nucleus of adult rats, to notice a tremendous expansion in their brain map, and work similar to the work of the brain in the critical period Thus, they were able to find a way to reopen the critical period in adults, through an electrode or ICSI of certain chemicals or through drugs, and so it becomes possible for people to learn the facts of science or history and crafts once they are exposed to them for a short period.

This is how Mirznik tells us, about which Norman Doidge, author of the book “The Brain and How to Develop? Its Structure and Performance?” Neurons in the brain maps, Mirzic asserts, is that the brain adapts itself according to what we do, and is always “learning how to learn”. (2)

Neuroplasticity allows the brain to regenerate, supports its ability to remember and recombine, and reduces the influence of structural imbalances that lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and others.

Plasticity is compliance, change and modification, a term that refers to the plasticity and ability to change neurons in our brains and nervous systems. Scientists have shown that the mental abilities that we are born with are not fixed, and that a damaged brain can distinguish itself so that one part replaces another if this part fails in Do its job.

The idea that the brain can change its structure through thinking and activity is one of the revolutions with profound effects that will increase human understanding of love, sadness, relationships, learning, addiction, culture and technology, and the impact will extend to all social, human and physical sciences. (3) – (4)

As adults we live in a state of stability after our bodies stopped changing in adolescence, and we became skilled in our work, we think we can still learn, but the truth is probably that we continue to work for many years in jobs that no longer require our attention after we have mastered them And we speak in our native language as if we are reusing skills we have learned, not learning new, to discover at the age of seventy that we may not have been operating the systems that regulate plasticity for nearly fifty years.

It is our neglect of learning as we get older that weakens the brain systems that modify and control plasticity, and neuroscientists have been able to develop brain exercises to treat age-related cognitive decline.

“Brain exercises are just as useful as drugs for treating severe illnesses such as schizophrenia. Plasticity exists from cradle to grave, and a radical improvement in cognitive function – how we learn, how to think, understand and remember – is possible even in the elderly.”

Mirznik tells us that learning activities that require focus or solve puzzles that challenge our minds, or change our careers that require mastering new skills stimulate the plasticity control system to continue its work, and he confirms that everything a young brain can do can happen in the older brain, provided That the person gets enough reward or punishment to stimulate his attention and keep him from getting bored. (5)

Superior learning means continuing skill training after achieving a standard level of achievement, for example when the criterion is 10 successful free throws in basketball within 10 attempts, the player’s continuation in training until he reaches 15 successful throws during 15 attempts means achieving (50) %) Of Superior Learning.

In the opinions of others, the term sometimes refers to the continuation of playing in the exercise of the skill regardless of an improvement in the result or not, for example, to the required competence, which is 10 successful shots during 10 attempts, but nevertheless continues with additional training on the skill to enhance learning, and make The skill is less likely to be forgotten, and can be easily performed no matter how complicated it is. (6)

The important thing here is to note that the increase in the improvement in performance decreases gradually and clearly as the person reaches a certain limit, there are limits of achievement that can be reached, and the degree of learning begins to decrease as the person’s competence reaches the higher level, that is, the more efficient he becomes in the skill that he learns. His field of improvement and progress is less, and he takes longer to push the boundaries of achievement, for example if he continued training so that he was able to achieve a proficiency level of 20 out of 20 successful free throws, the next training will not increase his progress, or his ability to maintain performance, in proportion to the time spent in additional training .

With the passage of time, a person’s ability to push this limit of achievement becomes less, and others begin to achieve better achievement and break the number that he cannot achieve, so people lose their desire for superior learning for reasons such as that the learning process becomes boring, and that continuation does not lead to significant improvement.

Some researchers suggest that superior learning will benefit us more in learning rapid movement skills such as basketball or ballet. As for other skills in which we usually rely on memory, such as learning languages ​​or facts, the superior learning has not been tested accurately, as it uses less specialized information processing. Inside the brain. (7) – (8)

It was the neuroscientist Marcus Reichle who discovered the unique energy in our brain in the 1990’s while conducting a series of experiments using magnetic resonance imaging to observe a person while at rest or sitting without doing anything or perhaps daydreaming, and the brain has shown a special life and amazing functions that it does In these moments.

Even in those moments when we don’t do anything or think about it, our brain is still immersed in its highly complex activities, the so-called hypothetical neural network activates in these moments of apparent cognitive inactivity, when we are separated from the world, we activate this part of the brain and allow For him to do his job, so that the brain does endless activities. (9) – (10)

Research indicates the importance of sleep in consolidating memories and achieving results in support of motor learning in the same way that superior learning does in improving visual learning. Participants in the experiment who took a 90-minute nap between training sessions were able to achieve similar results as that of superior learning. Most cannot get a 90-minute nap every time they learn something, so combining sleep with advanced learning might be a good plan for learning and memory preservation.

If you cannot practice superior learning, and you have to learn more than one skill at the same time, the most important thing that professionals will advise you is to avoid competition between skills in order to be able to preserve them all. (11) Finally, some of the easiest exercises and tricks that can stimulate the mind to reach its maximum potential and improve the neuroplasticity of our brain are:

Seeing new things, such as reading and listening to audios that contain information we didn’t know before, going to an exhibition, or being with people telling us new things. Briefly; That our minds meet new things, all of this requires activating the nerve circuits and patterns of brain work, and thus increases your neuroplasticity.

  • Playing sports

Neuroplasticity is something that can be acquired continuously, and there is no age at which we can say that we will not be able to remedy it, as our brain can generate new connections, in a study conducted on people between the ages of seventy and eighty compared their response to mental skills games such as sudoku, crossword puzzles, and physical exercises Like walking, surprisingly, what made these people smarter and stimulated the growth of specific areas of the brain was more for a walk than mental exercise.

  • Discover new paths

One very simple trick to improve our brain’s flexibility is to take new paths or pathways. We always have this tendency to go from the same road to work and the gym, but walking another road, or at least crossing the street makes us feel uncomfortable and some challenge because of fear of the unknown, thus stimulating our minds. (12)

  • listen to the music

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Sources

  1. The brain and how it develops its structure and performance
  2. Previous source.
  3. Neuroplasticity and perception
  4. The brain and how it develops its structure and performance
  5. Previous source.
  6. Ultimate learning
  7. Previous source
  8. The power of superior learning
  9. The default neural network, our brain “automatic pilot”
  10. 8 ways to increase your brain power
  11. The power of superior learning
  12. Neuroplasticity: 5 tricks to improve our brain




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