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Brain Exercise

February 27th, 2015 by Derrick

You, or someone you know, are having learning problems. When the so-called scientific solutions fail to deliver, the clever thing to do is to try other ideas. Find articles detailing solutions to problems similar to yours. As long as the solution cannot do harm, try it yourself.

Don’t wait on the academic community to give it their seal of approval. Leave them to fight and argue over “lack of independent research” and “published in a peer-reviewed journal”. You can try replicating the claimed results yourself.

The world has accepted the fact of neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. The disagreements are on how to bridge neuroscience and education. The ideas of Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is one such bridge. She wrote a book “The woman who changed her brain” which is about her long fight to overcome her learning disability and her efforts to replicate this with other learning disabled people.

The central idea is to identify the area of weakness in the brain and do brain exercises to eliminate this area of weakness. Gradually over time, the brain builds up new pathways that overcome the weakness. The key word here is “over time”. Success is not overnight but over weeks and months.

If you are old enough you will remember doing mental arithmetic each and every school morning. Some children were better and faster than others but everyone eventually developed the brain pathways for Arithmetic. The school actually exercised numerous areas of the brain. Sadly, repetition is no longer part of school.

The brain changes throughout life – Brain Plasticity is not just for the very young. Everyone can benefit and you don’t need to be severely learning disabled like Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.
However, ensure that the right pathways are developed. If the task is complex get a coach to teach you the right way. Please see the article on Deliberate Practice

Of course, the ideas of brain plasticity don’t apply just to school subjects but to any learning. I have always wanted to draw but could not draw well. I hope to try daily exercises to improve my drawing. Will write about my experience.

Please tell us about what you want to learn. Also, how has brain plasticity has already worked for you.

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