Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Brain Training

What is Brain Training?

Brain training means different things to different people. It simply refers to a range of fun games and puzzles that use your mental faculties. In the same way that when you practice your favourite sport and use your muscles in the process this is often referred to as 'training', so the use of your "mental muscle" (the brain) is all that is meant by brain training.  A little bit of brain training can go a long way towards better thinking and leading to improved ability to learn, retain and recall new information. There are many brain training routines you can work with.

Therefore; Brain Training is a loosely used term for pretty much anything that uses or 'exercises' the brain. Virtually everything we do in our daily lives could in one way or another be interpreted as brain training.

True Brain Training is using a set of especially created or defined exercises that, in addition to being fun, should have benefits for the brain if performed on a regular basis. The element of brain training that is key in terms of seeing improved performance is that repetition. By performing a range of exercises across a set of different categories testing different mental faculties and different areas of the brain, the benefits of brain training may be enjoyed.
As they say practice makes perfect, thus the more you exercise your brain the easier it gets to handle and resolve tasks imposed on your brain.  

For example if you were asked to solve the question 12x12 it may not be that easy at first, unless you happen to be good with mathematics. But if I were to provide you with a set Maths Exercises to practice your times tables starting with:


Then over a short period of time you would have mastered the pattern and your ability to solve problems associated with 12 times table would be much easier than before you practiced it.  In a similar way by training your brain you are helping it get better toned to deal with such issues as the times tables and more.

Does Brain Training Work?

It is not established science. Many scientists have carried out studies on a range of brain training programmes and have concluded that certain Brain Training programs do lead to an increased capacity to process certain exercises at an increased speed when results are compared between start and end of an exercise regime.

Here’s one to get you started.

Create Examples to Train Your Brain

This is a common problem experienced by many people when reading something and having the feeling that "I almost understood it?”.  This situation can arise because the author or the material you read did not set a good example in other words the context of the information was not something that you could easily relate to. Suppose for a moment that I tell you, "The reticular cortex is a part of the brain that discriminates among sensory inputs and stimuli to make you aware of those attributes which are important." You might nod your head, especially if you've read about this before. 

But your understanding may be a bit unclear. It would be much clearer if I added, "For example, if you are looking for a business to buy, and you give some attention to that goal, you are essentially 'programming' the reticular cortex activating system to bring anything relevant to your attention. Your eyes still look at the same scenery, and the same sounds enter your ears, but the non-essential is screened out, while the reticular cortex makes you notice the 'for sale' signs on stores or helps you 'tune into' conversations about business."

Now you understand better. A few more examples would probably help as well. If you want to really understand things, then, you need to have examples, and the simpler the better. If the speaker or author doesn't provide them, create your own. In fact, don't move on until you do.
Do this with your own ideas as well, whether you are explaining them to another person or just thinking to yourself. Make them as simple as you can, but not too simple. Think of several examples, as though you are preparing to explain the thought to a variety of different people. It could be argued that if you cannot give good examples, you don't fully understand an idea. Create examples until doing so becomes a habit, and you'll find that this kind of brain training leads to a better grasp of everything you learn.

Some Other Brain Training Material:

Brain Teasers - Is a form of puzzle that requires thought to solve. It can also often require thinking in unconventional ways with given constraints in mind; sometimes it also involves lateral thinking.

Nintendo brain training gamesElectronic games that have been designed to help increase the players ability to deal with certain Brain Training Exercises at speed. Through continues engagement with these games it is believed that a user can quite quickly attain competency in dealing with similar pursuits with ease.

Related Links:

Friday, 5 November 2010

All individuals learn and absorb new material in different ways.  They  are most effective when they are taught in their personal learning style.

There are three major types of learners:

Visual learners are people who generally think in terms of pictures. They often prefer to see things written down in a handout, text or on the overhead. They find maps, graphs, charts, and other visual learning tools to be extremely effective. They remember things best by seeing something written.

Auditory learners are those people who learn best by listening. They typically like to learn through lectures, discussions, and reading aloud. They remember best through hearing or saying items aloud.

Tactile or Kinesthetic learners, are those who learn best through touching, feeling, and experiencing that which they are trying to learn. They remember best by writing or physically manipulating the information.

Learning Style Assessments
As with everything in life there are many tests available to help you discover your best learning style. Generally speaking, if you are somebody who is more likely to think in pictures, prefer to meet with someone in person, and are more likely to want visual diagrams when completing a task you have tendencies towards visual learning. Likewise, if you are more likely to think in terms of sounds, prefer to speak on the phone with someone, and want verbal instructions then you have a propensity towards auditory learning.
Finally, if you are more likely to think in terms of moving images like mini-movies in your mind and tend to jump right into a task without reading directions or you tend towards tactile or kinesthetic learning.

Problems with Learning Styles

If a person does not find and adopt his or her best learning style then their ability to learn and most importantly learn quickly can be compromised leading to frustration and in extreme cases total disengagement from the activity of learning.

Further Reading & Brain Training Material

More About Learning Styles

Elsewhere on the Web

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