What we lose and gain in our brain as we grow older
As the brain grows, we are taught to think that all memory is declining, but that is not the case. According to Harvard Medical School, some areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, are shrinking in size. This can reduce the speed of communication between neurons. Some receptors in the brain that allow these neurons to communicate with one another may not work as well as they once did, which may affect the ability to remember new information. Also, retrieving information already stored in your mind can be a daunting task – just as you do not remember the name of a high school teacher twenty years ago.
But, not all bad news. Separation of dendrites (extensions of nerve cells) increases, and communication between distant parts of the brain is strengthened. These changes allow the aging brain to improve its ability to detect interactions between different sources of information, as well as to understand the global effects of certain problems. Some view this as a basis for wisdom. We stop burying in the smallest detail and start seeing the big picture.
If you want to keep your memory skills sharp, just doing a daily crossword puzzle or a sudoku puzzle can help. Research has found that those who make everyday comparisons have the ability to understand and remember those 8-10 years of their childhood.
Top tips and tricks to learn faster
Reading a lot of information on a pile of books or on a computer screen is not always an effective way to read. Our brains often need more interaction with work to store new content.
- Wherever you read, it helps to take notes. Avoid copying word for word, and take notes in your own words. This forces learning to be done, which allows the brain to always participate in a different way, and provides a point of attachment you can turn back.
- Take notes by hand instead of using a portable computer. Another study by Princeton and UCLA found that students who took notes by hand listened more and kept more information in the lessons. Those who typed notes were easily distracted and stored little information.
- Summarize the chapters after reading them in your own words. This will help to keep the information organized and in the best possible order.
- Make flashcards. Writing a few words or phrases in a series of cards and reading them will help you to read faster. Do not try to write paragraphs; adhere to key words and phrases to force the brain to remember more information on its own.
- When preparing a great presentation with new features, organize your data in a compelling way. Use the accompanying charts and graphs to combine a lot of data into something easy to understand. This collection of information allows you (and others) to store information better.
- Make sure all your data is properly viewed to make sense to you as a reader, and ultimately as a presenter. Be sure to start with this checklist for data recognition. Then discuss what makes the presentation effective
- Describe what you learned from the other person. According to a study conducted at the University of Washington State in St. Louis. If you explain the concept in your own words, you will remember it for a long time.
- Practice giving sermons, repeating a new language, or pronouncing aloud. Before any major event, begin to practice what you want to say. You do not need an audience (although that does not hurt) – just making a move helps keep you safe and confident.
- Although it may sound embarrassing, find a quiet place where others will not be disturbed and read the information you want to keep out loud. Hearing the information and not just staring at the page will help you to read faster.
- It may feel overwhelming if you need to learn as much as you can right now, and the general feeling is to pack as much information as possible. However, try to read more than 50 minutes at a time. After 50 minutes, you get tired and stop keeping a lot of details. Quick breaks are a key to learning faster.
- Understand when you are very careful and ready to learn. Some people learn better and are more productive in the morning, while others are more successful at night. Listen to your body and learn where you will most enjoy reading.
- Exercise and get enough sleep. When the body feels lazy, mental activity will not succeed. Pulling “overnight items” while eating caffeine and sugar is not beneficial. Plan ahead to read the episodes and do not try to cover everything in one large session.
The more you can connect new ideas with ideas that you already understand, the more quickly you will learn new information. According to the book “Make It Stick”, many normal study habits are counterproductive. They may do professional tricks, but knowledge quickly disappears from our minds.
Memory plays an important role in our ability to perform complex mental tasks, such as applying information to problems we have never encountered and drawing facts that are already known. By finding ways to combine new information with existing ones, you will find additional layers of meaning in a new subject. This will help you to understand it better, and you will be able to remember it more accurately.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, uses this technique. He said he considers knowledge to be “a semantic tree.” When learning new things, his advice is to “make sure you understand the principles, that is, the stem and the main branches, before you go into the leaves / details or nothing to cling to.” When you connect with the new one, you give yourself a mental “hook” on which to hang new information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How can I think fast?
- Making quick decisions about things that are not important.
- Practice faster at the things that you are good at.
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Stay cool and meditate
2. How can I learn faster without forgetting?
- Make a list of it and say it out loud.
- At a time, one thing at a time
- Making use of visual aids.
3. How can I make my brain learn faster?
- Declare words out loud what you want to remember
- Taking notes by hand
- Break up your study sessions into smaller chunks.
- Self testing
- Change your approach to practise.
- Exercising regularly