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The amazing fertility of the older mind

The Adaptiveness Of The Brain

  • The adaptiveness of the brain, which scientists have now better understood is called Neuroplasticity.
  • Studies show that brains of adults and elders can learn a new language just as a child could, provided they get the opportunity and are not inhibited towards making mistakes.

A child's brain is indeed completely raw, known as 'Tabula Rasa' and they can find it easier to master certain skills of perception, but at the same time, adults have the advantage of analysis, self-reflection and greater discipline.

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The amazing fertility of the older mind

The amazing fertility of the older mind

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170828-the-amazing-fertility-of-the-older-mind

bbc.com

3

Key Ideas

Never Too Late To Learn

The general perception is that an old brain past its prime cannot learn new things, as it cannot grasp information like a young adult.

New studies show that complex skills like reading or writing can be learned at any age, unlike previously believed.

The Adaptiveness Of The Brain

  • The adaptiveness of the brain, which scientists have now better understood is called Neuroplasticity.
  • Studies show that brains of adults and elders can learn a new language just as a child could, provided they get the opportunity and are not inhibited towards making mistakes.

A child's brain is indeed completely raw, known as 'Tabula Rasa' and they can find it easier to master certain skills of perception, but at the same time, adults have the advantage of analysis, self-reflection and greater discipline.

Psychological Barriers

The barrier to learning in adults may consist of preconceived notions, negativity or lack of confidence.
Older adults also underestimate the power of their own memories, reinforcing the belief that they cannot learn or remember, and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Education has no age limit, and older adults need to break these psychological barriers to learning, leading to profound benefits and a sharper mind.

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Sleep Habits

Being a morning (or evening) person is inborn, genetic, and very hard to change.

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Exercises For Posture Correction
Exercises For Posture Correction
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Muscle Memory
Muscle Memory

Our most repeated physical actions can, with continual practice, be performed automatically without any real-time awareness.

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  • Procedural Memory is the memory of skills, in which the brain records the sensory input from the various body parts and muscles during a particular activity, and is able to replicate the muscle application and movement.
The Primary Motor Cortex

It is the area of the brain responsible for learning new skills.

Using brain mapping tools, scientists have discovered that the more we use a certain body part, the more information about it is stored in the Primary Motor Cortex region of the brain, which alters its size and the number of connections with the other regions of the brain.

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The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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Brain drain

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Learning a new language

Speaking more than two languages has a protective effect on memory in seniors who practice foreign languages over their lifetime or at the time of the study.

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Learn A New Skill

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Make It A Challenge

Most learning techniques with lots of theory and colorful infographics do not assist in making the information stick in our minds.

There is a need for ‘desirable difficulties’ which exercise our minds and translate into long-term retention of knowledge.

A Pre-Test Quiz

.. or a Q&A session primes the brain to absorb the information afterward, and failing to answer it initially is part of the game.

The brain needs to know that it doesn’t know.

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Forgetting the First Language

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Trauma associated with a Language

One of the reasons for forgetting a language is the trauma associated with speaking a particular language: The mind recalls the bad experiences while the language is heard or spoken.

The Switch Mechanism

Once a person is able to speak two or more languages, the mind has to create a mechanism to switch between those seamlessly.

Switching a language is not like forgetting, but if there is too much back and forth, the competition starts between the two languages.

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Never stop learning

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Crosswords

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Stereotype threat

It happens when a person is in a situation where they are anxious that they may conform to a negative stereotype aimed at his or her social group.

Positive stereotypes, or success on previous memory tasks, can help combat this negativity. 

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First words to learn

In English, just 300 words make up 65% of all written material. We use those words a lot, and that’s the case in every other language as well.

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Learn cognates

Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.

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  •  Words like Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.
  • Many languages also have words that share a common (Greek/Latin or other) root.
  • Even languages as different as Japanese can have heaps of very familiar vocabulary. 
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