Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2017

Think Beyond the Frontiers of the Mind

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September 8, 2015

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The Modern Neuro-Cognitive Psychology says brain is like a muscle that needs adequate nutrition, rest and exercise in order to maintain optimum brain capacity such as memory, concentration and processing speed. Without proper exercise the brain begins to stagnate. Schools can design a scientific curriculum to train the young minds to help them improve their memory, concentration, reasoning ability and for midbrain activation.

Objective of brain training

  1. Increasing the ability of acquiring, encoding, storing, and retrieving information
  2. Increase the power of selectively concentrating on things
  3. Developing the ability to think constructively
  4. Increase the ability of visual thinking and three dimensional thinking
  5. Develop the ability of creative thinking and problem solving
  6. Develop the habit of physical exercise to stimulate brain functions

The brain processes information through a complex network of nerve cells called neurons. When a new input comes to the brain, the neurons physically group to accomplish learning or thinking tasks. Brain research shows that the neurons are induced into this process when the task is new or unfamiliar, or when the intensity of the learning demand is increased. Once the task is mastered, the borrowed neurons are released to go back to other duties; however, the gains in efficiency and processing speed required for that task are retained and make learning-related tasks easier. If the brain has not engaged with critical activities appropriate to the age, the brain becomes inactive and thus it reflects in cognitive performance. As in our bodies the ‘Use it or Lose it’ dictum is applied to the neural pathways and connections in our brain.

The frontiers to explore

The frontiers of memory, attention, concentration, verbal reasoning, spatial intelligence, problem-solving skills and logical reasoning can be improved through this training.

Anders Ericsson, a psychology professor at Florida State University, and his colleagues studied expert performances in soccer, surgery, piano playing, software design, writing, chess and other pursuits. Their findings proved that expert performers are nearly always made, not born. It is only when a task is repeated many times to perfection, that people excel. However, the concept of deliberate practice emphasised by Ericsson, involves more than just repeating a task; it includes setting goals, obtaining necessary feedback, correcting past mistakes, and focussing on the process as well as the outcome.

Tools of brain training

Teaching tools like cross word puzzles, think out of box activities, puzzle problems, Sudoku, Jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, mechanical puzzles, chess, Rubik’s cube, paper pencil games like dots and crosses, stories, worksheets etc can be used in class rooms or labs and can be played individually or against each other or one can play against a computer.

However, this brain training will help the young minds in explaining the unknown pathways of the logical mind. Specifically, the training will scientifically satisfy the cognitive needs of the learners.

K P Khamarudheen has done M.S.W (Masters in Social Work) from Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady. Now working as Department Head in the Department of Mind Game at BenchMark International School, Tirur, Kerala. He is also serving as Quality consultant for various educational institutions in Kerala. And now doing research & studies in Activity Based Teaching and gamified classrooms. He has published a series of work books titled TRAIN THE BRAIN -a workbook that accelerates your mind’ for young children in the year 2015.

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