Brain – Use or Lose It Four Factors – Mental Agility Sleep and Memory



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  • Brain – Use or Lose It
  • Four Factors – Mental Agility
  • Sleep and Memory
  • Textbook Marking
  • Nutrition and the Brain
  • Textbook Reading
  • Environment Shapes the Brain
  • Mapping
  • G.A.P. Study Strategy
  • Test Anxiety
  • Imagery and the Nervous System
  • Plasticity of the Brain
  • Study Groups
  • The Nun Studies
  • Physical Exercise and the Brain
  • ADHD
  • Mental Exercise and the Brain
  • Meditation and Learning
  • Stress and Learning
  • Mental Action Imagery
  • Test-Wiseness
  • Cornell Note-Taking
  • The Principle is “Use It or Lose It”
  • The human brain’s amazing plasticity enables it to continually rewire and learn- not just through academic study, but through experience, thought, action, and emotion.
  • We can strengthen our neural pathways with brain exercise.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Use It or Lose It
  • Brain is a Dynamic Ecosysystem
  • The various neurons and networks are engaged in fierce competition for incoming stimuli.
  • Networks that succeed in processing new experiences or behaviors end up as strong, permanent members of the neuronal neighborhood.
  • While unused networks, cut off from the ebb and flow of information, wither away and die.
  • Two Profound Discoveries
  • 1. The brain uses the outside world to shape itself.
  • 2. It goes through crucial periods in which brain cells must have certain kinds of stimulation to develop such powers as vision, language, smell, muscle control, and reasoning.
  • Experience Determines How Brain is Put Together
  • The world outside is the brain’s real food.
  • The brain gobbles up its external environment in bits and chunks through its sensory system: vision, smell, touch, and taste.
  • Then the digested world is reassembled in the form of trillions of connections between brain cells that are constantly growing or dying, or becoming stronger or weaker.
  • Experience determines how our brain is put together.
  • What the Brain can do depends on whether or not it is used.
  • Reassembling Trillions of Connection Studies
  • Vision: convert brain cells that interpret sounds into cells that process visual stimuli demonstrated the interchangeability of brain cells in early development.
  • Touch: (one finger task) demonstrated that mature brain cells can perform totally new tasks.
  • Smell: within seconds of the first time a newborn smells its mother’s body, indelible networks rapidly form in the brain.
  • Sound: without proper stimulation, the connections that allow brain cells to process sound, and thus language, become scrambled. Experience or lack of it, can physically cause change in the brain and cause mental disorders.
  • Brain-Based Learning -Neurons
  • Neurons -- carry electrical charges and make chemical connections to other neurons
  • Cell Body -- contains the nucleus
  • Axons -- long fibers (extending from the cell body) that transmit messages
  • Dendrites -- short fibers (surrounding the cell body) that receive messages
  • Synapses -- tiny gaps between axons and dendrites (with chemical bridges) that transmit messages
  • www.educ.drake.edu/romig/cogito/brain_and_mind.html
  • Brain-Based Learning -The Dendrite Song
  • (sing to “Clementine”)
  • Use your dendrites, Use your dendrites, To connect throughout your brain. Take in info, analyze it, Grow some new ones Unrestrained.
  • Axons send out Neurotransmitters To the dendrites all around Across the synapse Jumps the impulse New ideas can now abound.
  • Stimulation Is what the brain needs To make dendrites stretch and grow. New connections Make us smarter In what we think and what we know.
  • Use your dendrites, Use your dendrites, To connect throughout your brain Take in info, analyze it, Grow some new ones Unrestrained.
  • Leah B., a graduate student in elementary education at Long Island Univ. Leah
  • Development
  • CORTEX
  • 80% of the human brain – cortex has regions specialized for particular functions that make us human:
  • associating words with objects
  • forming relationships and reflecting on them
  • Four factors which seem to determine mental agility in old age:
  • 1.Education, which appears to increase the number and strength of connections between brain cells.
  • 2.Strenuous exercise, which improves blood flow to the brain.
  • 3.Lung function, which makes sure the blood is adequately oxygenated.
  • 4.The feeling that what you do makes a difference in your life. (Let’s add sleep!)
  • Four Factors – Mental Agility
  • Sleep and Memory
  • Recent research reveals that "sleeping on it" is more than just a good idea.
  • In fact, neuroscientists now say that sleep is absolutely critical for key brain functions including learning, memory and performance.
  •  Nearly half of the population (47 percent) mistakenly believe that the brain rests when the body sleeps. The opposite is true.
  • Sleep allows the brain to go to work, filing and storing the day's events. "Most people incorrectly think the brain is resting or recuperating during sleep.
  • Actually, some parts of the brain are more active when you're asleep," www.bettersleep.org/media_zone/think.html
  • Sleep and Memory
  • Neuroscientists found that sleep allows the brain to take care of the business of memory consolidation.
  • "When you're asleep, the brain is processing information accumulated when you were awake.
  • It's no longer storing new input; it's organizing information,"
  • When a person is sleep-deprived, the brain's ability to move information from temporary memory to long-term stores is impaired. As a result, the information is lost or forgotten.
  • "Sleep is a time when the brain can rehearse recently learned material. "If you're sleep-deprived, you'll remember less of newly presented information."
  • Sleep and Memory
  • Harvard Medical School researchers, led by assistant professor of psychiatry Robert Stickgold, found that people who slept after learning and practicing a new task remembered more about it the next day than people who stayed up all night after learning the same thing.
  •  Getting less than 6 hours a night can affect coordination, reaction time and judgment, they said, posing "a very serious risk."
  • They found that people who drive after being awake for 17 to 19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.
  • www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/11/22/sleep.memory.ap/ &
  • www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/09/20/sleep.deprivation/index.html
  • Textbook Marking refers to anything you do on or near the text once you have identified something as being important to learn.
  • Textbook Marking can be
  • underlining,
  • highlighting,
  • coding (like boxing a technical term and it's definition),
  • simple labels (like "ex" and "def"),
  • summarizing,
  • outlining,
  • charting.
  • Marking is vital because it gets you actively involved in selecting and organizing the information and gets you writing to start the rehearsal process. www.acad.sunytccc.edu/instruct/grossman/Reading.htm
  • Highlighting:
  • Highlighting tells you at some later point that the information was important. By itself highlighting is next to worthless.
  • What it doesn't tell you is WHY OR WHAT MAKES that piece of information was important!
  • This is a key - it is so much more valuable, both as you are reading and later, to indicate what made this worth marking.
  • Don't just highlight it, write "def" next to it. Or code it, along with all your other definitions, in green highlighter. Or box the term and underline the definition with a regular pen. Or write the term and the definition in the margin.
  • All of these are more active strategies that identify what made the piece of information important to learn.
  • Some other tips and techniques:
  • Try to read one heading or sub-heading's worth of material before marking rather than marking sentence-by-sentence. This gives you a clearer picture of the main points and how the details fit together.
  • Try to develop a consistent coding system.
  • Use brackets of various types in the margins (with labels, of course) rather than highlighting or underlining whole sections of text. For example: The author defined the term "boycott" and then gave a one-paragraph illustration of Rosa Parks and riding the bus... You could put a bracket next to the whole Rosa Parks paragraph and label it "BOYCOTT EX. - ROSA PARKS"
  • Write margin markings in complete points and include numbers when appropriate. For example: 3 types of memory
  • Write markings as questions. For example: What are the 6 steps in SQ4R?

Brain-Based Learning Application

  • We all breathe the same air, but we all don’t have the same oxygen-carrying capacity to our brains. Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, and non-repetitive movements such as those often found in dance, gymnastics, or martial arts have surprising positive effects on academic performance, especially on spelling ability and reading comprehension.
  • http://thunder1.cudenver.edu//OTE/nn/vol9/9_1.htm

Brain-Based Learning Application

  • Food- Nutrition - Dehydration
  • The brain is more than 80% water. In 1995, neurophysiologist C. Hannaford noted that poor learning performance can often be traced simply to mild dehydration. Dehydration is a special problem in areas like Denver, which are typified by dry air and high altitude. Learning specialists advocate eight to fifteen glasses of water daily to optimize learning performance. Soda, coffee, and common tea are considered as substandard water substitutes. Although some professors ban eating and drinking in class, one should rethink such policies, especially with respect to bottled water.
  • http://thunder1.cudenver.edu//OTE/nn/vol9/9_1.htm

Brain-Based Learning Application

  • Food- Nutrition - Glucose
  • Glucose is a major nutrient used by the brain, and glucose is most depleted after a night’s sleep. Thus “Breakfast of Champions” has special meaning for academics. Students who skip breakfast to attend a morning class will not be at their best potential for learning or participation.
  • http://thunder1.cudenver.edu//OTE/nn/vol9/9_1.htm

Textbook Reading Tips

  • Textbook Reading Tips
  • Before You Read
  • FFind a comfortable place where there are few distractions.  A distraction can be the television, other people, or even your bed!
  • GGather your pencils, hi-liters, reading glasses, snacks, and any other necessary materials before you open your book.  Otherwise, you will have to interrupt your studying to retrieve these things.
  • QQuickly skim the pages you plan to read in order to get an idea of what you'll be learning about.  If it is a large assignment, locate logical places in the text to take breaks.
  • www.lsc.cis.pitt.edu/services/studyskills/workshops/texttips.html
  • Textbook Reading Tips
  • While You Read
  • RRead small portions of the text, and then try to summarize what you've read in your own words.
  • TMake notes or highlight only after you read the entire paragraph or section.  Otherwise, you might waste time recording every little detail while completely missing the main idea.
  • TMake breaks periodically.  Non-stop studying is tiring, and exhaustion makes learning much more difficult. Spread very large assignments out over several days.
  • www.lsc.cis.pitt.edu/services/studyskills/workshops/texttips.html
  • Textbook Reading Tips
  • After You Read
  • PPeriodically review your notes to keep the material fresh.
  • UUse other resources to understand topics which weren't clear from the text.  Examples of such resources: other textbooks, your notes, the professor, other students, etc.
  • MMake up questions to test yourself on the material.
  • www.lsc.cis.pitt.edu/services/studyskills/workshops/texttips.html
  • Learning
  • Neuron Competition to Make Connections
  • Neurons are constantly competing to make connections.
  • An accurate map of the brain would be different for each of us, and would shift over time.
  • Changes in environmental input continually move the boundaries.
  • Connections which receive input frequently will expand and take up more area than those that receive input less frequently.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Learning
  • Changing Pattern of Thinking
  • Changing your pattern of thinking also changes the brain’s structure.
  • Example: Obsessive-compulsive patients who changed their problematic behavior by repeatedly not giving in to an urge, and deliberately engaging in other activity instead, showed a decrease in brain activity associated with the original, troublesome impulse.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Learning
  • Neuron Competition to Make Connections
  • Neurons get stuck in a rut of abnormal patterns of activity, becoming under active or overactive or just nonperforming.
  • A person who forcibly changes his behavior can break the deadlock by requiring neurons to change connections to enact the new behavior.
  • Important: Changing the brain’s firing patterns through repeated thought and action is also what is responsible for the initiation of shelf-choice, freedom, will, and discipline.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Mapping
  • http://scied.gsu.edu/Hassard/mos/8.5d.html
  • G.A.P. (Gather, Arrange, and Present)
  • G.A.P. (Gather, Arrange, and Present) strategy is a tool that can benefit developmental reading instruction.
  • G.A.P. teaches students to gather up all the ideas being presented from their textbook, the supplementary material, the lecture, and even other sources they collect in order to understand.
  • Next, we teach students to arrange those ideas into main ideas, details, and examples by adding them to their knowledge map created from the textbook.
  • Then, we teach students to confirm that they understand by presenting those ideas to others to confirm what is known.
  • Adding information to existing knowledge maps and convincing themselves that they know by presenting that information to others guides students through the thinking process of converting simple information into complex knowledge.
  • www.ci.swt.edu/courses/CI5318/Caverly98.htm
  • Brain-Based Learning -Reorganizes Itself Good and Bad Ways
  • When someone can’t understand language, or can’t read or do math, or has some behavioral problem, people tend to think it is caused by a defect in the brain.
  • “It’s not a brain defect or limitation at all. These kind of problems really represent a different learning pathway that the brain has taken.
  • Learning disabilities are usually learned.
  • Akin to the discovery that germs cause disease.
  • Kotulak, Ronald, Inside the Brain, 1997
  • What can you do to control test anxiety?
  • Be well prepared for the test.
  • Include as much self-testing in your review as possible.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle -- tough to do when you have to study for exams: get enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise, some personal "down" time, and a reasonable amount of social interaction.
  • As you anticipate the exam, think positively, i.e., "I can do OK on this exam." "I have studied and I do know my stuff."
  • Do some serious "thought stopping" if you find that you are mentally comparing yourself to your peers or thinking about what your parents, partner, children, or other significant others may say about your performance on this exam.
  • Before you go to bed on the night before the exam, make sure to collect together anything that you will need for the exam -- pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, calculator, etc. Double check the time of the exam and the location.
  • Get to the exam in plenty of time. www.sdc.uwo.ca/learning/mcanx.html
  • Set the alarm clock and then get a good night's sleep before the exam!
  • Don't talk to friends about the exam material just before going into the exam.
  • Sit in a location in the exam room where you will be distracted as little as possible.
  • As the papers are distributed, calm yourself down by closing your eyes and taking some slow deep breaths.
  • Make sure to read carefully any instructions on the top page of the exam.
  • As you work on the exam, focus only on the exam, not on what other students are doing.
  • If you feel very anxious or even panicky in the test, take a few minutes time out and calm yourself down. Stretch your arms and legs and then relax them again. Do this a couple of times. Take a few slow deep breaths. Do some positive internal self-talk; say to yourself, "I will be OK, I can do this." Then take your time and get back into the questions.
  • What can you do to control test anxiety?
  • If the exam is more difficult than you anticipated, try to focus and just do your best at that point. It might be enough to get you through, even with a reasonable grade!
  • When the exam is over, treat yourself. If you do not have any other commitments, maybe you can go to see a movie with a friend. If you have other exams to study for, you may have to postpone a larger treat, but maybe a half hour for a coffee with a friend or a quick swim in the pool will be the pick up that you need.
  • www.sdc.uwo.ca/learning/mcanx.html
  • Introduction - Test Anxiety Test anxiety is complex, but the remedy is fairly straight forward if you study using good study skills. The following lessons will tell you about anxiety, its symptoms, some things to know about learning that can help, what is usually going on mentally, how imagery can trigger anxiety, the relationship between muscle tension and relaxation, and an exercise that is very effective in reducing test anxiety.
  • NOTE: Just because you forget on a test does not mean that you necessarily have test anxiety. The most forgetting occurs within the first 24 hours of learning - 50%, and the average student forgets 80% within 2 weeks. You may merely need better memory study skills.
  • Test Anxiety
  • Anxiety is fear of the unknown.
  • I turn the corner and come face to face with a tiger. I start to shake - That's fear. I studied for my test and know the information. I walk in to take the test and my stomach gets butterflies - That's anxiety. Anxiety has a "what if" quality about it. "What if" I don't pass the test? It is experienced from a past or future reference point with future consequences that may not even exist.
  • Test Anxiety
  • State and Context Dependency
  • Hang in there; all of this will come together in the Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Imagery Exercise.
  • Context dependency states that where you learn information, you recall it better there. If you are at the kitchen table by the refrig when studying, then you will recall the information better there than anywhere. In the imaging exercise we will do later, we will take advantage of this information.
  • Test anxiety
  • Past, Present and Future
  • If you have studied and know your information, but find yourself getting anxiety gitters just at the thought of taking a test, it may be that the test itself has nothing to do with triggering your anxiety. What is happening is that you are going to the past and making the past your present, thus affecting your thouhgts about the future. Let's move to the next page and find out what is happening to cause this.
  • Imagery and the Nervous System
  • Listen carefully - The nervous system can't tell the difference between imagery and reality.
  • If you sit in a chair close your eyes and practice shooting free throws with a basketball in your mind's eye, studies show that you will improve just as much as you would if you had actually practiced shooting free throws.
  • Remember Context Dependency in an earlier lesson - you recall information better where you learned it. Ideally, you would study in the classroom where you are going to take the test. But the world isn't ideal, so we go for the next best thing.
  • Imagery and the Nervous System – cont.
  • We study and learn our information,
  • Then relax our muscles
  • Next we review by sitting in a chair with our eyes closed and image the classroom where we are going to take the test in as much detail as possible. Then, we mentally go over the information while imaging the classroom.
  • It works just like studying in the classroom. The imaging exercise we do following the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise. This pairs relaxation with the information and with the test taking situation.
  • Muscle Tension and Relaxation
  • Here is a simple, but powerful piece of information. There is a one-to-one correspondence between muscle tension and anxiety. To the extent you have muscle tension, to that extent you are anxious. If you can relax your muscles, you will reduce anxiety. If you can train your muscles to relax deeply on command, then you will have taken a giant step toward being able to reduce anxiety. That is the function of the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise to come.
  • Muscle Tension and Relaxation –cont.
  • One way of reducing anxiety is through progressive muscle relaxation. What is it and how does it work? The process of progressive muscle relaxation is simply that of isolating one muscle group, creating tension for 8 -10 seconds, and then letting the muscle relax and the tension go. For example: take your right hand, tighten it into a fist, and notice what happens. You can feel the muscle tension increase in you hand and up your forearm. The longer you hold it, the more tense it becomes. You become aware that it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it begins to hurt. This is an example of exaggerated muscle tension. If such tension exists around the neck you get a neck ache, and if it is in the forehead you get a headache. Continue to hold the tension and now, all at once, relax and let go.
  • PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION EXERCISE
  • While sitting quietly and comfortably: Bend your right hand back at the wrist and briefly hold the tension. Now relax.
  • Now do the same thing with the left hand. Hold the tension and now relax. This time tighten both hands into fists and hold the tension. Feel it spread up the arms towards the elbows. Now relax.
  • Now bend both arms at the elbows and raise your hands up towards your shoulders. Tighten up the muscles in the biceps. Hold it. Now relax.
  • These three exercises have used the major muscles in the arms and started them relaxing. If you don’t move them around, they will continue to relax becoming more and more relaxed, and you can forget about them
  • Next, turn our attention to your face. For your forehead raise your eyebrows up a far as you can and hold the tension. Now relax.
  • For your eyes close them and then squeeze the eyelids tightly together. Now relax and open you eyes.
  • For your jaw you just bite down and clamp your teeth together. Feel the tension along the jaw. Now relax. These three exercises have started the face relaxing.
  • For your neck just bend your head forward as if trying to touch your chin to your chest. Feel the tension along the back of the neck and now relax.
  • For your shoulders just raise them up as high as you can and notice the tension. Now let them drop all at once and relax.
  • For your chest you do two things at once. You take a deep breath and hold it while at the same time trying to touch your shoulder blades together by pulling your arms back. Hold it. Now relax.
  • Progressive Relaxation cont.
  • For your stomach you just pull in as if trying to touch your backbone with stomach. Now relax.
  • For your back you arch out and away from the chair and you can feel tension along the spine. Now relax.
  • With your feet flat on the floor, press down and feel the tension spread up the back of the legs. Now relax.
  • For the right thigh raise your leg up on front of you and fell the tension build. Now relax.
  • Now do the same thing with the left leg and relax.
  • Finally, for your feet bend your toes up as if pointing towards the ceiling and feel the tension around the feet and ankles. Once again, relax
  • Go to the next page for the imagery exercise.
  • The imagery exercise is to be done immediately following the muscle exercise.
  • IMAGERY EXERCISE
  • Remain sitting comfortably with your eyes closed Imagine you are sitting in the classroom where you are going to take a test.
  • Look to the front of the room; notice the chalkboard, the walls, the color, the instructor's desk or anything that is in the front of the room.
  • Then do the same for each side of the room.
  • Next, notice who is sitting around you.
  • Now observe the instructor enter the room and begin passing out the test papers.
  • When you get your paper, go over it by recalling everything you studied. Keep your eyes closed and keep the image of the room in your mind's eye while you go over the information.
  • That's it and it works.
  • Brain-Based Learning -New Concept of Brain
  • The brain has the ability
  • T* to rewire itself,
  • G* grow new parts from damaged cells,
  • A* and even make new cells.
  • This is called plasticity.
  • Kotulak, Ronald, Inside the Brain, 1997
  • Learning
  • Neuron Competition to Make Connections
  • The competition to gain more representation in the brain explains why babies born with cataracts that cloud their vision must have them removed by six months or never gain sight.
  • The brain must learn to see
  • making connections
  • stimulating them with inputs from the retina.
  • If pathways aren’t stimulated, they are eliminated as not useful.
  • Learning
  • Remodeling Our Brain
  • We always have the ability to remodel our brains.
  • To change the wiring in one skill, you must engage in some activity that is unfamiliar, novel to you but related to that skill.
  • Because simply repeating the same activity only maintains already established connections.
  • Try puzzles to strengthen connections involved with spatial skills.
  • Writing to boost the language area.
  • Debating to help your reasoning networks.
  • Learning
  • Challenge Our Brain
  • Activities that challenge your brain actually expand the number and strength of neural connections devoted to the skill.
  • When first established, these routines require the formation of new and different synapses and connections to neural assemblies.
  • Once mastered they are pushed down to the subcortical areas and become hard-wired.
  • Neurons initially recruited for the learning process are freed to go to other assignments.
  • This is the fundamental nature of learning in the brain.
  • Why Form A Study Group?
  • Group study has long been a successful function in the college environment. Students coming together, sharing ideas, and preparing is a delightful part of the college environment. Group study is a helpful way to re-enforce the personal first time study and expand the range of learning.
  • Group study can build confidence in each student's ability and the group's ability to prepare for the most demanding tests.
  • Group study helps each individual to see the differing perspectives of their fellow students.
  • Group study creates an opportunity for each student to expand the material the teacher has given.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • How To Form A Study Group
  • Study group sessions can divert into a social discussion that leads the group away from the academic purpose. To improve the possibility of success students can follow some simple steps as they form their groups.
  • Establish a shared purpose. In the very first meeting a statement of purpose should be formed and goals of the group should be defined. These could be as simple as meeting every week as a specific time or as complex as designing a possible test to review with the teacher.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • How to Form a Study Group?
  • 2. Clarify roles and practices. A chairperson should be selected in the first meeting. The role of each student should be defined. For example, the group may want to determine how prepared each student should be before each meeting. The group may want to be serious enough to establish a rule that eliminates a student for lack of participation. The more specific the roles and expectations, the more successful the group will be.
  • 3. Plan a schedule of events. The chairperson and the group should take time to plan the material (chapters, lectures, books, articles, notes) to be covered in each future meeting.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • How to Form a Study Group?
  • 4. Conduct effective meetings. The chairperson should be expected to set a meeting agenda and keep it. There should be an outline to follow that will keep the group on track and effective. The chairperson will set the tone for the meetings by setting expectations for each member in the upcoming agenda. The chairperson could set the expectation by assignment or by volunteers.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do Before The Study Group Meets?
  • Finalize your lecture notes by completing the unfinished sections and placing them in the desired format. Be sure to highlight the items that seem most important and make a summary which includes the most salient points.
  • Complete your required reading. It is preferred that you take notes as you read. At a minimum, class reading should be completed and the important passages highlighted or marked in the margins.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do Before The Study Group Meets?
  • 3. Write three to five knowledge questions that you perceive the instructor may ask on exams. It is important to get a feel for the type of examination the teacher will use.
  • 4. Draft three to five comprehension or application questions from the notes and reading material. These questions should be created to help you understand more difficult concepts the teacher may use in the future tests. Comprehension questions are those that ask the student to rephrase a topic into the students words. Application questions are those which ask the student to solve a problem or demonstrate an ability. These questions are usually problems to solve through short reply or short essay.
  • What Do You Do Before The Study Group Meets?
  • 5. Compose several creative essay questions which the most demanding instructors would ask on exams. It is helpful to write these questions which cause you to analysis a concept, synthesize several concepts, or evaluate a concept by making a personal judgement. Write these more difficult questions even if you perceive that the teacher will not test on these levels. Doing so will help you get into deep learning habits, and it will also help you learn principles that your memory will retain longer.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do In Group Meetings?
  • Group study should be a systematic review of the material that each individual student has already covered in his or her first time study sessions.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do In Group Meetings?
  • Review lecture note summaries.
  • Each student should have condensed lecture notes into what they thought was most important. A review of this material will give members of the group a chance to share their different perspectives of what was important from the lectures.
  • Sharing is the important function here, it will build confidence and bring the group closer together as they see themselves share success on the exams.
  • Many times students will wait until just before tests to do these reviews. Generally, students who waits to do the reviews end up re-learning most of the material and when the test comes are less prepared.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do In Group Meetings?
  • 2. Review concepts that have been gleaned from reading material.
  • The highlighted concepts from the reading material can be compared.
  • This process will enable each student to see if they are identifying the same or different concepts in their reading.
  • This process can be enhance by writing out a summary of the important points in the text before the group meeting.
  • If the concepts are written they are easy to compare as a group and are more easily remembered at test time.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do In Group Meetings?
  • 3. Answer the questions you prepared in your first-time study.
  • Sharing the questions that each students felt the teacher would ask is extremely effective.
  • For example, if each student in a study group of seven people brought 15 questions collected during a week of lectures, there would be 105 probable questions to survey.
  • Yes, many will overlap, but those are the questions that will most likely appear.
  • The many other questions will broaden the perspective of the group by displaying differing points of view.
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • What Do You Do In Group Meetings?
  • 4. Review essay questions by outlining possible answers.
  • For example, take an essay question that the group feels certain will appear on the exam and have each student create an outline, perhaps several outlines.
  • This process will help develop writing skills by allowing each student in the group to see the various approaches that can be taken in essay answers
  • www.byu.edu/ccc/learning/groupstr.shtm
  • David Snowdon –
  • School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mankota Hill, Minn.
  • Scientist had shown that the physical destruction wrought by Alzheimer’s didn’t inevitably lead to mental deterioration.
  • Theory: some folks might have an extra reserve of mental capacity that kept them functioning despite loss of brain tissue.
  • Sisters with less education had smaller brains at death.
  • Learning
  • Challenge Our Brain – Nun Example
  • Study: Analyze the autobiographies for evidence of extra brain capacity.
  • Language usage- “idea density” indicator of education level, vocabulary and general knowledge.
  • GGrammatical complexity was an indicator of how well memory is functioning.
  • SSisters who showed signs of Alzheimer’s had consistently authored essays low in both idea density and grammatical complexity 60 years earlier.
  • Time, The Nun Study, May 14, 2001
  • Learning
  • Challenge Our Brain – Nun Example
  • Idea density is a powerful predictor of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Snowdon can predict with 85% to 90% accuracy from writings 60 years earlier.
  • Snowdon maintains that the axions and dendrites that usually shrink with age branch out and make new connections if there is enough intellectual stimulation, providing a bigger backup system if pathways fail.
  • Learning
  • Challenge Our Brain – Nun Example
  • Sister Bernadette, who had shown no outward signs of Alzheimer’s and whose youthful autobiography was rich with ideas and grammatical complexity, turned out at death to be riddled with the plaques and tangles of Alzheimer’s
  • Learning
  • Challenge Our Brain – Nun Example
  • Neurons that Fire together
  • Wire together.
  • Input to the brain shapes the way we experience the next input.
  • We are constantly priming our perceptions, matching the world to what we expect to sense and thus making it what we perceive it to be.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Learning
  • What Happens During New Experiences?
  • First, we must reject the idea that our brains are static storage depots of information.
  • Rather, the nerves are constantly making new connections that will serve us better in the things we do frequently.
  • The brain can be shaped by experiences.
  • The brain’s nerve cells self-reorganize when they have been trained enough by repeated contact with a particular stimuli.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Learning- Ability to Adjust Perception
  • What Happens During New Experiences?
  • The act of perception is a lot more than capturing an incoming stimulus.
  • It requires a form of expectation, of knowing what is about to confront us and preparing for it.
  • We automatically and unconsciously fit our sensations into categories that we have learned, often distorting them in the process.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Learning- Ability to Adjust Perception
  • What Happens During New Experiences?
  • The brain needs to predict, in order to fill in the gaps between fragments of images we see, is also the very reason we are prone to visual illusions.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Physical Exercise and the Brain
  • Increase the amount of blood that gets to the brain.
  • Augments the number and density of blood vessels in the areas that need them most: motor cortex and cerebellum.
  • Short sessions of vigorous aerobic exercise, usually in a program that lasts for several weeks, seem to be the most helpful for mild to clinical depression.
  • Men who burned 2,500 calories a day in aerobic activity were 28% less likely to develop clinical depression.
  • Exercise increases the neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine & serotonin) associated with mood, cognition, behavior and personality.
  • ADHD and the Brain
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can result from a malfunction of the attention system.
  • Most often, ADHD individuals are deficient in the motivational sensations of pleasure and pain, and as a result they struggle to sustain the drive required to complete important but tedious tasks that only reward after a long period of time.
  • Example, doing well in school to eventually take on college or a career.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • ADHD and the Brain
  • ADHD individuals seek the intensity of the present because their attention and reward systems are fueled by the pursuit of immediate pleasures.
  • The neurobiological imperative may be so strong that it easily overpowers the reasoned advice of the frontal lobes, such as considering the consequences.
  • Recent knowledge points to neurochemical evidence to show that ADHD is a motivational deficit, reward deficiency syndrome, which results from a deficiency of pleasure neurotransmitters (dopamine, serration and endorphins) in the reward systems of the brain.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • ADHD: Dopamine and the Brain
  • Dopamine may represent the link between the reward, novelty detection, and executive functions, and also between the overall attention system and learning.
  • Dopamine strengthens the prolonged chemical firing of messages between neurons allows for unfettered communications between neurons.
  • Dopamine may be the link between rewarding sensations of pleasure and long-term memory.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • ADHD: Dopamine and the Brain
  • Dopamine, the “learning transmitter” may also be the link between the motivational reward and motor systems:
  • Problems with working memory ( a form of short-term Memory) correlate highly with dopamine deficiencies.
  • It is working memory that enables us to maintain continuity in our attention from one moment in our lives to another.
  • Substances such as nicotine, cocaine, chocolate, marijuana, carbohydrates, and alcohol increase the level of dopamine.
  • High-risk behaviors or constantly confronting novel and challenging situations forces sustained release of dopamine.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Working Memory
  • The initial transition from rest to either a working memory or a reading task was accompanied by significant increases in extracellular dopamine concentration of similar magnitude. During a sustained word paired-associates learning protocol, increase in dopamine release in the amygdala related to learning performance.
  • www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v4/n2/full/nn0201_201.html
  • Physical Exercise and the Brain
  • Exercises that involve complex movements cause more connections to grow between neurons.
  • Exercise that focuses on balance and coordination strengthen neural networks in the cerebellum.
  • They also affect the basal ganglia and corpus callosum, sharpening memory and increasing capacity to master new information.
  • Part of the reason for the generalized slowing down effect as we age is that the body becomes less efficient at delivering nutrients to the brain. Exercise gets more nutrients to the brain.
  • Older men who stay in shape do better on mental tests.
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain – John Ratey M.D.
  • Movement and the Brain
  • Motor function is crucial to all the other brain functions, including memory, emotion, language, and learning.
  • The many connections between motor and cognitive functions suggests that any sort of physical activity can improve our motor function and therefore our cognition.
  • The reason is that the primary motor cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum, which coordinate physical movement, also coordinate the movement of thought.
  • Fundamental motions like walking and running trigger the most deeply ingrained neural firing patterns in these brain regions.
  • To improve our brains, we need to move our bodies.
  • Mental Exercise and the Brain
  • •Mental exercise causes physical changes in the brain, strengthening connections between brain cells called synapses and actually building new connections.
  • •Education and interesting work protect people against Alzheimer’s. The more connections, the more resistant.
  • •Below 8th grade, twice the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • •Lower education and unstimulating work, 3 times the risk.
  • •The aging brain retains much the same capacity as a child’s brain to rewire itself. Not as good at repair.
  • Mental Exercise and the Brain
  • Mental exercise strengthens and even renews neural connections, keeping the brain flexible and resilient.
  • Evidence indicates that there is no great loss of neurons in old age.
  • PET scans show that the frontal lobes of a twenty-five year old and a seventy-five year old glow equally bright after the same memory test.
  • Decline in old age is caused primarily by lack of mental exercise.
  • New Mental Tasks and the Brain
  • New mental tasks increase neural connections and help the brain become more adaptive to future events.
  • You have the best chance of growing connections between your axons and dendrites by tackling activities that are unfamiliar to you.
  • One of the brain’s most basic principles:
  • USE IT OR LOSE IT – never too late to start
  • By constantly challenging you brain to learn new things, you may develop more neural connections that help you delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, recover from stroke, and live a longer life.
  • Meditation and the Brain
  • The body has a physical reaction to this altered state of consciousness.
  • Sympathetic nervous system activity decreases
  • Metabolism slows down
  • Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rates fall
  • Electrical skin conductance decreases
  • Blood flow decreases
  • Relieve chronic pain and migraines
  • Soothe depression and anxiety
  • Brain’s own electrical activity: large numbers of neurons fire in a pleasing synchrony.
  • Meditation and the Brain
  • – Relaxation Response
  • Reduced stress and anxiety.
  • Improved Mental Abilities: Increased intelligence, increased creativity, improved learning ability, improved memory, improved reaction time, higher levels of moral reasoning, improved academic achievement, greater orderliness of brain functioning, increased self-actualization.
  • Improved Health:
  • There are many activities that can produce the Relaxation Response.
  • http://tm.org/charts/chart_08.html

Brain-Based Learning Application

  • Stress
  • Environmental factors are the key ingredients of optimal learning.
  • For example, studies point to the effects of stress on learning. “When we feel stressed, our adrenal glands release a peptide called cortisol. Our body responds with cortisol whether it faces physical, environmental, academic, or emotional danger. This triggers a string of physical reactions including depression of the immune system, tensing of the large muscles, blood-clotting, and increasing blood pressure.
  • www.kcet.org/education/brainatwork/proceedings_review.htm
  • Imagery Should be as Vivid as Possible
  • A strong and potent image will be more effective and 'real' than a weak one when it is presented to the appropriate nerve pathways in your brain. Images can be made more real by:
  • Using all your senses in an image. Touch, sound, smell, taste and body position (kinaesthesia) should be combined with visual imagination to create highly 'real' images.
  • Observing detail of sensations such as the feeling of the grip of a bat, the texture of clothes, the smell of sweat, the feeling and flow of a karate punch, the sound of a large crowd, or the size and shape of a stadium in which you will compete. These can be observed in detail in reality, and then incorporated into imagery later to make it more vivid.
  • Imagining yourself within your body feeling and sensing all going on around you rather than looking on at yourself from a remote position. If you imagine yourself within yourself, then the image is more connected, realistic and involved than a remote view.
  • Mental Action Imagery
  • Test-Wiseness
  • Which of the following are the bases of RNA nucleotides?
  • Adenine
  • Guanine
  • Cytosine
  • Uracil
  • All the above
  • Select an occasional ALL the Above
  • Which of the following are the bases of RNA nucleotides?
  • Adenine
  • Guanine
  • Cytosine
  • Uracil
  • All the above
  • The actual process by which the cell splits into two new cells is called:
  • Telophase
  • Anaphase
  • Mitosis
  • Metaphase
  • Select the More General Answer
  • The actual process by which the cell splits into two new cells is called:
  • Telophase
  • Anaphase
  • Mitosis
  • Metaphase
  • Nutrients can pass through a cell membrane by
  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion and endocytosis
  • Endoplasmic movement
  • Endocytosis
  • Select the More Inclusive Answer
  • Nutrients can pass through a cell membrane by
  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion and endocytosis
  • Endoplasmic movement
  • Endocytosis
  • True or False
  • 1. All oxidative reactions occur inside the mitochondria.
  • Absolutes are seldom the correct answer
  • True or False
  • 1. All oxidative reactions occur inside the mitochondria.
  • Some Absolutes
  • All birds fly south for the winter.
  • The sole reason he works is to earn money.
  • Birds never fly south for the winter.
  • Children always love their parents.
  • In the human body the fluid found outside the cells is called?
  • Environmental fluid
  • Extracellular fluid
  • Circulatory fluid
  • Intracellular fluid
  • Select one of Opposites
  • One of two opposites are usually the correct answer.
  • In the human body the fluid found outside the cells is called?
  • Environmental fluid
  • Extracellular fluid
  • Circulatory fluid
  • Intracellular fluid
  • How many pairs of chromosomes do humans have?
  • 27
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • Get rid of Lowest number and
  • Highest number
  • How many pairs of chromosomes do humans have?
  • 27
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • The membrane surrounding the cells is called?
  • Golgi apparatus
  • Nuclear membrane
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Cell membrane
  • Don’t select answers with Same Meaning
  • Two answers with the same meaning can’t both be right.
  • The membrane surrounding the cells is called?
  • Golgi apparatus
  • Nuclear membrane
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Cell membrane
  • Cornell Note Taking
  • www.dartmouth.edu/admin/acskills/no_frames/lsg/cornell.html
  • Cornell Note Taking
  • This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R's of note-taking:
  • Record: During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.
  • Reduce: As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory.
  • Recite: Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said.
  • Reflect: Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.
  • Review: Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.


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