our brain functions in the 21st century

Learning.HOW is about the way we learn. But why? Learning is an essential human capability. It’s a survival mechanism. People have been learning for ages and ages.

Has the way in which we learn changed over time? If we consider the means that we use to learn, then yes, things have changed. From books, to interactive smartboards to computers and tablets. But has the way in which we store, process and retain information also changed?

Interesting question. Does our brain function differently today than it did 500 years ago? The answer to this questions can be found in a recent study by Stanford researchers. In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with several streams of electronic information. Radio, television, PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet. We find it difficult to focus as we fear to miss out on any information. We keep up several e-mail and instant messages at the same time while watching television or while working or studying.

Social scientists have long assumed that it is not possible to process more than one stream of information at a time. The brain is simply not capable to do this. Some researchers have guessed that people who seem to multitask must have superb control over what they pay attention to.

The Stanford research found in 2009 that our memory pays a price for multitasking. When our brain is in a situation where information is coming from multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of the memory, then the brain is not able any more to filter out what is not relevant to the current goal.

Does our brain function differently today than it did 500 years ago?

When we switch attention from one stream of information to the other, the brain first has to adapt to the new information stream. It takes time to do this and while the brain is adapting, it is not properly functioning. It is at this period of time that the brain cannot filter any more what information is relevant or irrelevant.

This failure to sort out irrelevant information means that the brain slows down. Sorting out what information is relevant and what not used to be key to the human brain: it is one of the survival mechanisms.

So the conclusion could be drawn that the brain of multitaskers is not working as well as it could. The overexposure of information is causing our brain to slow down and process information less well.

What can we do to stop this? Stop e-mailing while you are watching television or stop playing a game while you are having a serious conversation with your mom could be the first step. But still you may find it difficult to concentrate while studying.

How can you ensure that you correctly memorize tomorrow what you learnt today? Then Learning.HOW may provide you with some useful information. So keep on reading to learn how to learn in the 21st century.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html .

Article provided by Drillster

Our brain evolves. So should the ways in which we learn. Let’s combine scientific research and technology and use innovative ways to learn easier and retain longer. Drillster is an online learning tool that can help you. Visit www.drillster.com or contact us at info@drillster.com .