The brain is a weird learning machine

At the beginning of the 21st century, I started as a journalist, first in the Los Angeles Times, and later in the New York Times, doing a series of memory and learning subjects.
Follow-up report on academic research.
 To be precise, this topic studies how the brain can learn most efficiently. However, this was not the main theme of my report at the time,
because I spend most of my energy on brain research topics that are more closely related to human behavior, such as psychiatry and brain biology.
But I still look back from time to time Pay attention to the research topic of brain learning efficiency.
After all, these studies are too incredible. Think about it, a bunch of orthodox scientists put so much energy into research Investigate those things that are obviously insignificant to learning and memory, such as background music, learning places, and playing video games after a while. 
Ridiculous, right?
These ones Can the practice really make people get good grades?
However, if this is the case, then why?
Whenever there is a new discovery, scientists will give an explanation, and each explanation is not too clear with the operation of the brain.
The more I tracked down, the more I felt that the conclusions reached by scientists were weird. For example, distraction can help learning, and taking a nap can also help learning.
It’s not a bad thing that the course will be abandoned halfway before the course is finished, because this kind of thing that is about to be completed will be in people’s memory instead of what has been completely completed.
Stay longer in China, and test it before you start learning new things, which will make you more effective in subsequent learning, etc.
Some of these research results really make it impossible for me to easily forget about them. Although these things seem incredible at first glance, they seem to be worth it Give it a try, after all, all I have to do is small and easy things, which really makes people find no excuse to refuse to try.
Therefore, in the past few years, every When I want to choose a new subject, whether it’s for a job or for fun, or whenever I plan to pick up an old business that has long been abandoned, such as Electric guitar, Spanish, I will first ask myself:
“Is there a better way?”
“Would you like to try something new?”
So I tried to do it.
After trying the learning skills mentioned in many studies, a familiar feeling slowly climbed into my heart, and I did not spend much effort looking for it To the source of this sense of familiarity: my college days, the messy and piecemeal learning style back then.
Although those practices do not accurately reflect contemporary cognition
The latest scientific theories.
After all, brain science research cannot be completely equated with real life. However, with my continuous attempts, these brain science research and application techniques Coincidence has penetrated more and more into my daily life, into my words, conversations, casual reveries, and even my dreams, and the sense of familiarity has also increasingly made me feel acquaintance”.
The connection between this perception of reality and previous personal experience made me unconsciously see brain science research for learning as a whole, instead of seeing it as a whole List irrelevant suggestions for reference.
These new discoveries actually show us a new way of life.
Once I figured this out, I can finish Look back at the university life from a completely different perspective.
Of course, I relaxed my study, but with this relaxation, I let my class work in an unprecedented way Interspersed in non-school life.
And, because of this, when my brain is fully charged with schoolwork, and when it is operating as a learning machine, it not only appears It shows its own strengths and weaknesses, but also shows its limitations and unlimited possibilities.

The mystery of learning

The brain is not the same as the muscles, at least it cannot be understood simply that way. The brain is a multi-complex, which is sensitive to emotion, time, circadian rhythm, place, environment All are sensitive.
It can pay attention to things that our consciousness does not pay attention to. Moreover, when we extract stored memories and data for learning,
the brain often adds Some details that we did not notice before. At night, when we sleep, the brain will work diligently, looking for the connections hidden in the daily chores of life.
And a deeper meaning. It values ​​more meaningful things and hates boring things. It also has a well-known feature:
the access to information does not follow Follow the order.
 For example, something you just learned some time ago, you forgot during the exam, but you still remember the whole storyline of the movie “The Godfather”, or The lineup of the 1986 Boston Red Sox baseball team.
If the brain is a learning machine, then it must be a weird machine, and the more weird it can be developed and utilized, the more efficient it will work. high.

|Is the traditional learning method right |

In the past few decades, scientific researchers have discovered and tested many techniques to deepen the learning effect. A considerable part of these techniques has not yet been used by current science.
Understand the world. These studies do not belong to the category of “how to make people smarter”, and do not require the assistance of computer software, hardware configuration or even drugs; nor do they belong to the “innovative teaching theory”.
The category of “reading” cannot be expected to improve the teaching quality of the entire classroom, and there has not yet been any teaching concept that can really steadily improve the quality of the classroom.
On the contrary, the skills obtained from these studies are small transformations, which can be easily implemented in our daily study, practice and work. The biggest difficulty that may be “implemented”

It depends on whether you can believe these new practices are really effective. This requires you to put your doubts aside first, after all, these research results and the traditional “best learning method” Laws are very different.

Let’s take a typical traditional concept as an example: when studying, find a “quiet place” and treat it as a special place for “concentrating on study”.
We all believe that it is easier to concentrate on learning in an environment without any noise interference. Moreover, such a “special place” will send a message to the brain, “It’s time to study hard.
But now, what scientists have discovered is that if we no longer cling to this conventional learning place, but frequently change different places, then learn The efficiency is higher. In other words, insisting on a fixed learning routine may reduce learning efficiency.
Let’s take another saying we’re used to believing as an example: if you want to master a certain skill, such as multi-digit division or fast-climbing the scale, then you have to spend the whole It’s better to practice the same content or action repeatedly for a whole block of time, right?
Then you are wrong again. The scientists’ new discovery is that instead of stuffing a large piece of brain West allows it to digest and absorb, it is better to give it a large plate of all kinds of interrelated “trivial”, on the contrary, it is easier to absorb efficiently. Regardless of the age of the students, and regardless of their studies Whether it’s the content of it, Italian phrases or chemical bonds, the result is the same.
This makes me think again of my university life, the sometimes tense and sometimes lazy learning state, those who carry the lights in the night battle and the head-covered sleepers.
In the afternoon, the kind of ridiculous energy who doesn’t bother to follow any study plan…I’m not going to tell you that such a rambling campus life will bring you good grades, but just I want to use this to show that breaking learning into parts and randomly interspersing it in daily life can often improve the memory efficiency of the brain. It seems to be delayed Time is distracting, but the actual result is not so.
Nowadays, more and more electronic products have brought complicated text messages, buzzer sounds, and Facebook messages, which can divide our hearts into more than ten at the same time.
Different directions make us no longer able to concentrate enough to consolidate what we have learned. What a terrible thing this is! What’s worse is that this degree of distraction is no longer If it continues to deteriorate, I’m afraid it will weaken our brain’s learning ability in the future… Don’t, these worries are actually non-marginal fantasies.
The distraction in learning caused by the obsession with electronic media is of course worrying, but the research findings of scientists on learning science have made it more popular.
His worries brought an unprecedented light. Distraction, there is no doubt that it will affect certain patterns of learning, especially when absorbing information or when you need sustained attention Time, such as reading a story, attending class. Also, if you just swipe the screen to chat and simply squeeze out the time originally used for learning, it will indeed affect your learning.
but Yes, new scientific discoveries tell us that when we are stuck on a certain math problem, when our thinking is tied up, and we need to relax our brains, we should properly let ourselves
It is very useful to be distracted.
In short, the learning method is not good or bad, but different strategies are suitable for different occasions, and different methods are suitable for different information acquisition Of course, a smart hunter will set up different traps for different prey.

| With new methods to integrate learning into life |

In this book, I will not pretend that the research on learning science has been completed, and that this territory is still emerging with a steady stream of new ideas, making the descriptions The picture drawn is becoming more and more complicated. For example, dyslexia can improve people’s ability to recognize patterns. Children who receive bilingual education have stronger learning ability.
When it comes to mathematics, the headache is actually a kind of brain dysfunction. Games are the best learning tool. Music can enhance a person’s scientific talents… However, most of these types I found that in this book it was just a background sound, or the rustle of leaves. The aim of this book is not the leaves, but the trunk of the tree, that is,  learning The basic theory of  learning science  and some research results that have been repeatedly verified are methods that can really improve our learning ability.
This book is composed of four parts, and its idea is equivalent to letting you climb from bottom to top along the trunk of a tree. In the first part, I first introduce to you that scientists are The research and discovery of structure and how the brain stores information. The basic knowledge in this area provides us with a key to enter the door of “cognitive science” for us Understand how humans learn new things. Then there is cognitive science, which is equivalent to a ladder, which leads us to climb from the biological basis, and it is especially important to help me
We understand how memory, forgetting and learning in the brain complement each other. These two chapters form the theoretical basis of all the following chapters.
The second part provides you with some specific methods to help enhance memory. No matter if you plan to recite the Arabic alphabet or the periodic table, or you want
Serving as the protagonist of the drama “Velvet Revolution” (Velvet Revolution) can be useful, these are tools that can keep memories for a long time.
The third part will be dedicated to providing you with some skills to deepen your understanding. These skills can not only help you solve mathematical or physics problems, but also help you complete Some time-consuming and complicated topics, such as writing essays, making presentations, designing architectural drawings and even composing music, etc. Understand how these techniques work, or How scientists think these techniques work will help us remember these methods. More importantly, it also helps us decide how to apply it to reality
In life, study and work.
Finally, in the fourth part, we will jointly explore two methods of using the subconscious to further enhance the effectiveness of the various techniques described in the previous chapters. I put this Part of the content is regarded as an explanation of “you can learn without using your brain”, and will make you more at ease about the content of this book, and even more assured to recommend it to others.
The treasure buried at the root of this huge rainbow is not necessarily “excellent”. “Excellent” is a very beautiful ideal pursuit. I wish those who have genes and move People with strength, luck, and knowledge can win this “Mark Six”. However, if you put your pursuit on this kind of goal with a very low hit rate, it will definitely hurt you If you are worshipped by the United States, it is more likely to make you deviate from the bullseye. No, please don’t do that. This book should aim at a smaller but more ambitious goal: how to These new concepts and new practices are applied to our daily life, so that they can automatically permeate from our body; how can we use these new concepts and new practices?
Fa, let learning become a natural part of life, rather than a tiring work.
Here, we will pay attention to the latest scientific discoveries and discover the tools we need to help us achieve this goal, and it’s easy and not tiring.

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