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10 Fascinating Discoveries About The Brain’s Role In The Learning Process

by frank krishtopouls
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Last modified on July 1st, 2021 at 5:43 am


If you love a great mystery, then you don’t always need to reach out to a novel or a movie. You just have to look within for that mystery. If you haven’t already guessed it, we’re talking about the wonder that’s the human brain.

The brain manages most of our bodily activities and processes information received from both outside and inside the body. It’s at the helm of our emotions and cognitive abilities, including thought, long- and short-term memory, and decision-making.

Even after everything we know about our brains, this three-pound organ is capable of surprising you with the things it can accomplish, especially when it comes to learning. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of facts backed by solid research.

Fact #1: Human brain produces new cells throughout our lives

For years it was believed that the human brain stops creating new cells after adolescence, but research has proved that healthy older men and women produce just as many new brain cells as younger people.

The researchers discovered that we produce new neurons in the parts of the brain related to memory, learning, and emotion throughout our adulthood.

Such research has exciting implications for progress in the treatments for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s. So, these findings should serve as yet another reminder that we’re never too old to learn something new.

Fact #2: You learn better when you forget

You probably feel flustered when you can’t recall some detail you’ve only just learned. But forgetting can actually improve long-term retention, information retrieval, and overall performance.

This is because when we forget something and are compelled to go back and retrieve the details, they are more strongly imprinted on our minds. It’s believed that taking a short 15-minute break just after learning something new can also help in remembering it more efficiently later on, as the short break gives your brain the scope to process and store the new information.

Fact #3: Stress affects memory

Even though it’s hardly surprising that we don’t do our best work when we’re under a lot of stress, But studies show that stress can affect memory and may even quicken the cognitive decline later in life.

This is why learners need to invest sufficient time in stress management strategies like positive self-talk, mindfulness training, and effective organisation techniques.

Fact #4: Uncertainty enables you to learn better

It always feels nice to be sure of something, but uncertainty helps you learn more about  Cdr australia, according to studies. It’s believed when a situation is predictable, and the outcome is apparent, our brain doesn’t have to do much. It’s when our circumstances are uncertain that our brain is pushed to work harder.

This is why having new experiences and opinions is a brilliant way to stimulate brain activity and keep our learning going because novelty encourages the brain to absorb more information.

Fact #5: Exercising resets your brain and enhances willpower

Exercising is not only helpful for your body but your brain as well. If you start working out, your brain considers this as a moment of stress. As your heart rate increases, the brain perceives it as a “fight or flight” response.

To save yourself and your brain from stress, your body releases a protein known as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF comes with a protective element to your memory neurons and serves as a reset switch. That’s why you feel so at ease and fulfilled after exercising. Also, endorphins, another chemical that fights stress, are released in your brain. 

Fact #6: You can trick your brain to think time runs slowly by doing new things

Essentially, our brains take a plethora of information from our senses and organise it in a manner that makes sense to us before we ever perceive it. So what we perceive as our sense of time is actually just a load of information presented to us in a specific way.

When we receive a bunch of new information, it takes our brains some time to process it all. The longer this processing requires, the longer that period of time feels. On the contrary, if your brain doesn’t have to process new information, time seems to move faster.

Fact #7: You can trick your brain into performing better

Multitasking is always a bad idea because it’s not possible to focus on two things at a time. So when we ‘multitask,’ all we’re really doing is going back and forth between tasks and getting less done in the process than we would if we were to emphasise one thing at a time. However, studies have shown that if you convince yourself that you’re multitasking, then you can perform better.

So dividing a larger task into different categories and perceiving it as multitasking can help you complete the task more effectively, even though you aren’t multitasking.

Fact #8: Virtual reality can improve retention

Although the implementation of virtual reality education has been slow, new research indicates that it could soon turn out to be a valuable tool for teaching and training.

For the study, the University of Maryland researchers carried out a thorough analysis to check whether an immersive, virtual environment could help people learn more effectively than the more traditional one. The research will open up opportunities to further studies into VR-based teaching and training for students at all levels of education.

Fact #9: Your brain helps with creative work when you’re tired

The way human beings work, in particular, actually has a lot to do with the cycles of their body clocks. If you’re into a creative line of work, you’ll actually be more efficient when you’re tired, and your brain isn’t functioning as clearly.

If you’re tired, it becomes difficult for your brain to filter out distractions and to concentrate on a specific task. It also gets difficult to remember connections between ideas or concepts. Both of these are ideal conditions when it comes to creative work since this kind of work needs us to make new connections, be open to new ideas and think in new ways. So a tired, fuzzy brain is much more of use when working on creative projects.

Fact #10: Sitting up straight helps manage learning anxiety

It’s already known that sitting up straight helps maintain your body posture, but new research highlights that it can also do wonders for your academic performance. The San Francisco University study found that students performed well on math tests when they were sitting up straight as compared to when they were slumped over at their desks. Students dealing with math anxiety also reported finding it more convenient to perform when sitting up straight.

The researchers elaborate that adopting a more confident body position can amp up your focus, particularly when stress is involved.

Winding it up,

The human brain holds immense potential to help us learn better. The awareness of its potential will only help you utilise it more efficiently. Feel free to share any other surprising discovery about human brains in the comments below.

Author bio: Lauren Harris is a visiting faculty for a reputable institution in Australia. Harris has earned her PhD in Psychology from Murdoch University. She loves reading and blogging in her leisure time. She’s also an academic advisor for and offers support on using essay typer tools.

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