Sunday, January 8, 2017

The more you learn, the easier it is to learn the next thing.

In one of my earlier posts I discussed that the first book that I really got into in the field of neurosciences was Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works." If I were an individual feeling like I would like to get started in the world of neurosciences now, in 2017, I would start right here by clicking on this picture:

It really doesn't matter if you have teenagers, or work with teenagers. This book frequently goes outside of teenagers in its discussions about the brain, just to return to teenage brain as the central theme. It is written with each chapter as a central theme, and as such allows you to look at the chapters in any order, and to select the ones that pertain to your interest. Chapters include:

  • Sleep
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Pot
  • Stress
  • Mental Illness
  • Sports and concussions
  • Gender Matters
and of course....
  • Learning
I'd like to share with you a couple points that I highlit in the learning chapter, just to get you thinking; perhaps thinking about reading this book. Here are a couple points that really piqued my interest:
  • "As when skiers race through a slalom course, the quickest route down becomes worn by use. Ruts develop. By the time the last competitors race through the gates, the route is so deeply entrenched in the snowthat they can't ski out of it, nor do they want to or need to. The deeply imprinted line, in fact, guides them down without their having to search for it." (Jensen & Nutt, p.77)
  • In reference to the lesser development of the prefrontal cortex, when compared to adults: "As it turns out, there are more areas of the brain that process positive information , whereas negative information is centered in the prefrontal cortex. In other words, teenagers have less ability to process negative information than adults do." (p.84)
  • "The good news about brain plasticity is that it may peak in childhood and adolescence but it never entirely stops--at least not until we do. The more you learn, the easier it is to learn the next thing." (p.85)

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