People sometimes confuse memory and learning with each other, as they are closely connected. But they are two very distinct occurrences; learning is defined as the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill, while memory is the act of retaining and recalling impressions, facts, etc.
Memory is necessary for everything we learn, as it allows us to retrieve information from knowledge we’ve acquired. Learning relies on memory, as it creates the basis for acquiring more knowledge.
Today information is much more readily available than in the past. The internet has given us the ability to access information about nearly any subject of interest. Technological advances require us to constantly learn new things, and to acquire and perform new skills. How can we focus, learn and retain this information, and retrieve it from memory?
There’s a great deal of research on how nutrition, keeping stress levels low, getting enough sleep, physical exercise and exercising our brains affects learning and memory. For example, research presented at the Radiology Society of North America indicated that caffeine has a measurable effect on short-term memory. A study reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology claims caffeine may help children concentrate and improve their memory and motor skills.
A recent study with mice at Ohio State University (reported July 18 in ScienceDaily—http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071735.htm), claims long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems.
The human brain has a remarkable ability to adapt and change. With the proper stimulation, our brains can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.
The brain’s ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness its natural power to develop new neural connections that can increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your capacity to learn new information, and improve your memory.
An article in Scientific American Mind (excerpted from Emily Anthes’ book Instant Egghead Guide: The Mind) offers some wonderful suggestions on ways to boost brainpower. Among those already mentioned, (exercise, diet/nutrition, and caffeine), she recommends three others that have shown benefit: playing video games, music (either listening or learning), and meditation.
The usefulness of Hemi-Sync® in the learning environment has been demonstrated through various studies (some research papers can be read here.) There are a number of Hemi-Sync® products to assist with focus and concentration, as well as retaining and recalling information. Aside from the benefit of using more of your brain potential, the use of binaural beats creates new neural pathways, which in turn helps to enhance memory and attention.
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