Take a sugar capsule which is labelled and marketed as a proven treatment and you may recover from an illness – that’s the traditional placebo effect. Take on the belief that a test’s answers are being displayed subliminally and your test score may improve – that’s the new drug-free placebo effect demonstrated by Ulrich Weger and Stephen Loughnan in a paper published this March. (more…)
Tips on how to improve your mind and boost your learning speed, using the latest technologies and cognitive techniques.
Sleep and dreaming are two topics we love to discuss on the Brainscape blog. We know that sleep is important for consolidating learning, and, in particular, dreaming’s role in learning in memory is huge. I also know that a great dream is sometimes the most fun I can have all day. So, why not learn how to control our dreams? This phenomenon is known as lucid dreaming, and we’d love to learn how to do it.
If you think working overtime, skipping your lunch hour and staying chained to your desk will make you more productive, you need to cut yourself some slack and take a break.
Working non-stop without taking a break can increase your chances of weight gain, heart disease and worse. Staring at a computer screen for more than 2 hours per day can cause Computer Vision Syndrome, a real affliction, which causes blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes and can lead to long-term nearsightedness. However, getting up and away from your desk for just 5 minutes can alleviate eye strain and reduce fatigue in addition to making you feel better. The mere act of standing at your desk instead of sitting at it can help you burn up to 2500 calories per week. Not bad for just standing around.
Work hard and break hard; doing so will make you a healthier, happier and more productive employee. (more…)
Guest Post by Julie Bismuth:
As a kid, I wanted superpowers. I wanted them to make life easier, convenient, exciting, and well… “cool”. I remember going to bed hoping I’d wake up with super powers the next day: extra strength, speed, flying, anything. I thought I’d do anything for a superpower. Obviously, that dream faded away once reality kicked in. Yet, ten years later during the high school years, I started dreaming of a new superpower: super memory. Ten years later, that dream hasn’t faded away for one bit. Now the good news is that’s a super power I can create. That’s actually something we can all create. While we’ve already given you an infographic on how memory works and tips on how to improve long-term memory, we share today an article from The Education Blog, teaching us how to train our brains into becoming the “super memory” we all crave for.
I was baby-sitting this week when the boy asked me “Can you tell a joke?”. After focusing for 3 straight minutes, I was able to remember two of the least funny jokes I’ve probably ever heard. That’s when I started wondering: why dont’t we remember the jokes we heard a month ago, a week ago, or that really funny one a co-worker told at lunch today? We remember complicated lyrics, movie scenes, funny SNL skits, stories, but jokes (and more specifically the good ones) always seem to disappear like information our brains will no longer grant us access to. We’ve already discussed how looking back can help improve one’s memory and suggested apps that could strengthen your cognitive abilities. Today we share a fascinating article by Natalie Angier from The New York Times, explaining how our brains will process jokes differently than any other types of information, tremendously impacting our cognitive abilities.
Guest Post by Samuel Seidenberg:
In this energetic TED Talk, Eddie Obeng explains that the rate of technological, social, and cultural change is beginning to outpace the rate at which we learn how to react to new things. In other words, we’ve got to Learn Faster.
Greater understanding of our brain’s functioning, abilities, and limitations allows us to constantly improve the productivity of our study sessions, working hours (and after hours), and teaching skills. We’ve already given you tips on how to keep your brain in shape or how to boost your brain’s abilities through exercise.
With a different approach, this article published by OnlinePHDPrograms.com shares the 10 most significant breakthroughs that recent research has unveiled on the science of leaning, giving you valuable insights on how to make the best use of your brain without wasting energy.
We’ve discussed why search engines like Google, should not be “replacing” your memory, as well as given you 6 lingering obstacles to using technology in schools. That’s because whether we’re digital natives or digital immigrants, we’ve all both witnessed and experienced how recent technology – specifically the Internet – has impacted individual lyfestyles,working standards, and social norms.
Progressively, we’ve successfully accepted technology as our personal time savior while integrating it into most of our daily activities. Yet, our brains could be having a harder time adjusting. In the following article originally published by smh.com.au, Susan Greenfield fills us in on why, unlike us, our brains may not be great fans of the new kid in town. (more…)
Have you ever tried remembering a movie, TV show you watched as a kid, or basically any story you don’t completely remember with your friends? Whether you’re reminiscing about that crazy night you all had New Year’s Eve two years ago, how you and your girlfriend/boyfriend met, or how much fun that dinner party was six months ago, you’re very likely to remember the same elements, while commonly leaving out the exact same facts as your friends. There’s actually a scientific reason for that: “Infectious Memory”.
While we’ve already discussed ways to improve long-term memory, infectious memory remains a mechanism well anchored in the way our brains function. Today we share this article written by Dr. Bill Klemm and published by thankyoubrain.blogspot.com, on the existence and influence of infectious memory on the human brain. Let us know what you think by commenting below!
Conscient of the direct impact of stress on learning efficiency, we’ve already given you tips on how to manage stress, and given you (guilt-free) reasons to take a vacation from your job. Today we’re filling you in on an engaging study we read about in the Business Standard showing how stress will directly affect which memory system your brain uses when learning.
Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!