[Keanu voice] Whoooaa…I Know Kung-Fu!:
At one time in our lives, we’ve all wanted or needed to learn something new.
Whether it was a requirement or just the pursuit of a great hobby, sometimes it can seem to go a bit too slow as our brains readjust.
And though geniuses like Carol Dweck and Elizabeth Gould would tell you that is the time you are actually re-making your brain & getting smarter,
We all need a little shortcut to get to the fun part sooner.
And so in this video, ASAP does their part to add something to mega-lists like the one by OEDB…
1) Not All Technology Is Helpful:
So, you could be forgiven for thinking that every new smartphone and incremental innovation equals accelerated brain powah!
But no. -Sometimes the old-school stuff is even better.
Like Taking Notes By Hand!
A meta-analysis by Pam Mueller & David Oppenheimer shows that people who take notes by typing them out on laptops during class actually process things more shallowly,
And end-up remembering less.
Not only that, but a computer can do more than 1 thing,
And though the idea of multitasking has been debunked, students still failed to just take notes on their computers.
+Remember how many professors told you to rewrite your notes right after class to make sure you got everything down?
They were exactly right.
The act of translating down the professor’s terminology into your own was one of the key factors that resulted in ultimate comprehension, recall, and test-performance.
2) The Queen Of Sleep Returns. With Even More Brain Power!:
Remember that post where we told you Sarah Mednick found out naps are basically magic?
Well guess, what?
-It works as a hack to help you learn things faster, too!
Researchers at The University of Lyon in France found that students who slept after a difficult vocabulary exercise, retained about 40% more of the words,
And did so with less effort, greater speed, and retained that knowledge longer than students doing the exercises without sleep right afterward.
They also firmed-up their knowledge of the words 2x as fast as the non-sleepers in the follow-up training-sessions, too.
As a matter-of-fact, sleeping or napping after practice is also a common habit among classical musicians.
So if it works for those endless pieces of music, why not a few vocabulary words, too?
3) Counter-Intuitive: Mild-Confusion & Variation Makes You Better:
Now this was a new one that not even the OEDB thought of.
Slight variation that is not too great improves skill. -Especially Motor skills.
Now there isn’t a musician in the world that would switch out their beloved favorite axe for a different one, but ASAP found a study that suggests they should.
In a test of just over 80 people by researchers at Johns Hopkins,
They found that for input-device tests on a computer, people learned much faster & were more accurate if the technique & force to complete the tasks were modified very slightly from one practice session to the other.
Large changes were absolutely counter-productive, but the people who were given the small changes to master did better in both speed & accuracy by 200%,
Due to a cognitive routine your brain runs called, Process-Reconsolidation.
There is something about the small changes that makes the parameters used to master the skill even sharper & faster than normal, like a sniper zeroing in on a target with the help of his spotter.
4) Baby We Were Born To Run!:
Ever notice, like Joyce Carol Oates, that cardio exercise seems to really clear out the cobwebs?
Well so did researchers at Stanford.
Amazingly-enough, their near-150 subjects didn’t even need to walk or run for 60 minutes.
All it took was just 15 minutes of moderate exertion on a stationary bike.
After that, they did significantly better in both accuracy and reaction-time on a memory exercise called the Dual N-Back Test.
This even worked for participants as old as 93!
It may be just down to increased-circulation, but there has always been some speculation that exercise does something more.
And that “more” could very-well be marijuana-like compounds called, “Endogenous Cannabinoids” that may even help clear out Alzheimers-like compounds from the brain!
5) Unlucky Number Seven?:
So we all seem to have a built-in limit.
The number of items the average person can hold in their short-term/working memory is somewhere between 7 and 10.
So brain-hackers have come up with another way for you to overcome this limit, and it’s like a beloved Microsoft Office concept.
No, it’s not that freaking paper-clip.
-It’s The Macro.
But in this case, it’s a Linguistic-Macro, called a Mnemonic.
And as you may have heard, it’s a nonsense-phrase made of words that start with the letter of things you’re trying to memorize.
-Like the order-of-operations in math or trigonometry, or any other list that might seem too long.
As long as you have that one Hook-Letter to trigger your memory, it will work.
Furthermore, the weirder and more fun the phrase, the higher retention-rates for the information go.
So get out there & get weird!
6) You’re Not Crazy, You’re Smart! So Go Ahead & Talk To Yourself:
One of the things both smart people & crazy people have in-common is they talk to themselves.
And as long as you’re not the second, it turns out it’s actually very good for your memory & cognitive abilities.
If you’ve do it all on your own, you might just be a very smart person already.
And the people who had to memorize these mnemonic “macros” performed just like those very smart people.
They were significantly better at recalling the test words in accuracy & retention if they spoke them out-loud than subjects who didn’t.
7) Always Good Advice. Wear Clean Underpants & Stay Hydrated:
But only the second will help you do better on tests.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone cautions us against having an OJ first thing in the morning because of all the havoc sugar wreaks on your body,
-And that you should have Water instead, because many people wake up dehydrated.
If you are one of those people, then researchers have found that hydration really will affect your thinking & reaction time.
Although it may eventually affect your brain & circulation directly, Thirst turns out to be a major-distraction.
And thirsty bodies steal the limited resource of Attention from your brain.
So to perform at your best, you not only need to manage Direct effects on the health of your body & brain,
But the indirect ones, too!
8) Want To Succeed On Tough/Long Projects? Celebrate Your Wins!:
More than one study has found that anticipated-reward is a great thing.
And that positive-conditioning works for learning, too.
It’s been shown that even small extra-credit points can get people to work harder in school.
And also that if you offer Monetary rewards, students will study hard enough that they retain more & perform better, also.
This effect increased as the amount of monetary compensation went up, too!
And right now, those researchers at UCSF believe that it even happens at the brain-cell level,
With the Go-Go neurotransmitter Dopamine actually helping to make memory-formation even better.
Especially because it’s released as you work, if you believe you’re getting a reward for it later.
While you might not be able to magically make more money appear, you still can do something nice for yourself that brings unique-joy instead.
And that might be enough.
Be sure to check out all the other different ways you can hack your brain & learn better at the Links Below:
Video by ASAPScience
Photo “University Pillar”, by Bill Davenport
• via: YT
• More Coverage: HT-OEDB’s 2nd Monster Learning-Hacks List | HT-Calorie-Restriction Slows Brain-Aging | HT-Science Said You Couldn’t Grow New Brain Cells. -Science Was Wrong! | HT-Turmeric And Green Tea Grow New Brain-Cells