Ever wondered what happens to our brain when we perceive new pieces of information? As a change in environment and experiences, the brain is always changing. Knowing how the information that the brain received shapes one’s brain and provides them with learning experiences. This helps us in the construction of new learning strategies.
Our brain receives numerous information from various sensory receptors such as hearing, vision, taste, touch, smell, also from muscles, joints, and internal organs.
Out of millions of sensory data available, only 1% of it reaches our brain. Rest 99% of information couldn’t reach the brain because of a lack of nutrients or oxygen.
New Learning Associations
At any given point of age, learning any new skill has a great impact on our brain. After new learnings, our brain is never going to be the same again.
Each and every new information that we learn will be in connection with previously known relevant information and then form a pattern.
Through this pattern matching our brain recalls information from thousands of bits of information received over the course of an entire life.
A part of our brain will enlarge when it utilizes the new skills or knowledge that we learned.
Our brain is similar to a muscle, if you put thoughts on one part of it, its surrounding area will strengthen.
While learning new skills, the more attentive we are the more effective the learnings will be.
I know we long heard of this phrase but yet still won’t take it into consideration. The more attention that we provide to the brain, the more relevant the association with previous information would be and hence great patterns.
By default, everything we learn gets stored in short term memory before being transferred to long term memory. This usually occurs during sleep.
As sleep plays a vital role in this transition process, lack of sleep may result in loss of memory.
All of us must make predictions to survive.
Every human being on a daily basis makes “N” number of predictions/guesses on a daily basis.
Continuous failing in predictions that one make changes their mindset and thus compromising on future goals and expectations.
Psychologist Carol Dweck (2007) has named it Fixed Mindset, in contrast to the Growth mindset which implies zeal for new learnings and perseverance.
Successful prediction is one of the brain’s best problem-solving strategies.
Dopamine, a pleasure drug is released every time we make a successful prediction to ensure that we’ll repeat these sets of actions again.
When Learnings Stopped
In a recent British research study that showed being bored (because of not learning new things) is quite dangerous to health.
People with signs of boredom are more prone to heart disease as compared to the people who don’t feel bore.
Over a period of time, if there no new learning, the brain can get slow down and be less responsive.
Hence, dedicate time for new learnings on daily basis and involve yourself learning a new art/skill continuously.
Even though we want to provide learnings, our brains should be able to accept those.
Let us suggest a few ways which help you improve your Brain’s ability to learn.
- Intermittent fasting – In few studies revealed to be beneficial for Brain’s plasticity
- Travelling – It introduces your brain to new experiences and new learning opportunities. Also, most of the people are happy while traveling and it produces dopamine to the brain.
- Having a pet dog: Owning a dog proved to be reducing depressive symptoms while encouraging socializing and physical activity.
- Socializing: Meeting people and making conversations with them keeps brain engaging thus releasing dopamine.
- Proper sleep: Sleeping is a must for memory retention of any new learnings and skills.
- Learning a new language or new vocabulary; can enhance memory skills.
- Using the weaker side of the body: If you’re right-handed by birth once in a while doing things with your left-hand forces your brain to be attentive and creative.
- Reading: Apart from teaching us new vocabulary reading also helps us improve our imagination abilities.
- Dancing: One of the best sources of increasing dopamine release which can aid in reducing brain degeneration. It also increases blood flow to the body which is essential for brain neurons.
- Learning a musical instrument: It has shown to connect various brain parts together thus forming new pathways and further brain growth.
Our brains are remarkable. We are so privileged that our brains allow us the ability to learn and adapt at any point in our lives.
Like a body needs a physical workout our brains also need workouts in the form of learnings.