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Tags // Neuroscience

‘Can I?’ is better than ‘I can’

Interesting study suggests that interrogative self-talk is actually more motivating than declarative gumption that business leaders profess.

“Why is interrogative self-talk more effective? Subsequent experiments by the scientists suggested that the power of the “Will I?” condition resides in its ability to elicit intrinsic motivation. (We are intrinsically motivated when we are doing an activity for ourselves, because we enjoy it. In contrast, extrinsic motivation occurs when we’re doing something for a paycheck or any “extrinsic” reward.) By interrogating ourselves, we set up a well-defined challenge that we can master. And it is this desire for personal fulfillment - being able to tell ourselves that we solved the anagrams - that actually motivates us to keep on trying.”

Mind Over Mass Media

Steven Pinker writes a classic piece and clears the smoke over the view that new media and Google is making us stupid.

“The effects of consuming electronic media are also likely to be far more limited than the panic implies. Media critics write as if the brain takes on the qualities of whatever it consumes, the informational equivalent of “you are what you eat.” As with primitive peoples who believe that eating fierce animals will make them fierce, they assume that watching quick cuts in rock videos turns your mental life into quick cuts or that reading bullet points and Twitter postings turns your thoughts into bullet points and Twitter postings.”

HBR: The Simplest Way to Reboot Your Brain

The Harvard Business Review has an article by Robert Stickgold where he writes about the benefits of sleep:

“A report in the June 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that a nap with REM (or “dream”) sleep improves people’s ability to integrate unassociated information for creative problem solving, and study after study has shown that sleep boosts memory. If you memorize a list of words and then take a nap, you’ll remember more words than you would without sleeping first. Even micronaps of six minutes—not including the time it takes to fall asleep, which is about five minutes if you’re really tired—make a difference.”

The New Science of Change

CIO has published an article that looks at the neuroscience angle of making change initiatives stick. The result -- 10 Change Management Rules.

Unlocking the Brain for Better Architecture & Design

It looks like there's nothing stopping neuroscience these days. We now have the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) which looks at how to design workplaces based on how it affects your synaptic connections.

"By understanding how an architectural setting impacts the cognitive ability of children, for example, architects could design enriched learning environments. By understanding how some people are able to find their way more easily than others, architects could create more easily used navigation systems in complex buildings."

Why Logic Often Takes A Backseat

This article from BusinessWeek highlights another neuroscience application: neuroeconomics:

"Neuroeconomics, while still regarded skeptically by mainstream economists, could be the next big thing in the field. It promises to put economics on a firmer footing by describing people as they really are, not as some oversimplified mathematical model would have them be. Eventually it could help economists design incentives that gently guide people toward making decisions that are in their long-term best interests in everything from labor negotiations to diets to 401(k) plans."

Neuroscience has been getting a lot of buzz lately. National Geographic, Nature, New Scientist, Business Week and others have had feature-length articles on neuroscience applications. On the learning front too, George Siemens has already pointed out that neuroscience may go on to shape and define the future of learning.

Here are two books that have helped me to learn about neuroscience: Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open, and Tom Stafford and Matt Webb's Mind Hacks.

Improving Learning Through Understanding of Brain Science Research

I started reading Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open. It's a wonderful book on the 'neuroscience of everyday life'. Johnson main objective in writing this book is to help us discover our inner-self by using neurofeedback gadgets like the one used to measure attention and focus. While reading these chapters I wondered about the value of neurofeedback in teaching and learning. And as the serendipity of the blogosphere would have it, George Siemens links to this paper which which talks about improving learning using brain science principles. Wonderful. Just perfect.

Learning Lab Denmark: Neuroscience Speaks for Practice-Oriented Learning

Learning Lab Denmark: Neuroscience Speaks for Practice-Oriented Learning
"The fact is that we are not even masters of our own conscious memory. What we remember and what we do not is subject to an emotional control, which follows a simple principle. If a given impression has emotional meaning we learn it. If it does not trigger emotional response it is not learned. In this case amygdala works as a kind of

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