Research News on Brain-Measured Learning to Save Time

The following article explains that studying-results can be significantly improved not only by the brain-based methods I am a strong proponent for, but also by actual retention qualifiers.

Using Brain Scans to Predict Future Test Performance

Will a brain scan reveal how well you’ve studied for a big test? Researchers at Sandia National Laboratory have demonstrated that the brain’s electrical activity, detectable via electroencephalogram (EEG), predicts how well studied material has been incorporated into memory, and, thus, how well subjects performed on memory tests.

The researchers asked 23 people to attempt to memorize a list of words while undergoing brain scanning. The average subject recalled 45% of the words on the list. The EEG data correctly predicted which five of the 23 subjects would beat the competition, remembering 72% of the words on average.

“If you had someone learning new material and you were recording the EEG, you might be able to tell them, ‘You’re going to forget this, you should study this again,’ or tell them, ‘OK, you got it and go on to the next thing,’ ” chief researcher Laura Matzen said in a statement.

Matzen presented her findings at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference in Chicago. This second phase of research will determine the effectiveness of various types of research and training methods.

Source: Sandia National Laboratories

One Response to “Research News on Brain-Measured Learning to Save Time”

  1. PK says:

    Brain Integration Correlates with Greater Creativity

    Creativity may depend on greater brain integration, according to a new study on production engineers by Maharishi University of Management faculty researcher Fred Travis and collaborator Yvonne Lagrosen published this month in Creativity Research Journal.

    Previous studies by Dr. Travis and colleagues have found greater brain integration in world-class athletes, top managers, and professional musicians.

    “It’s a simple fact that some people stand out, and we’re trying to tease out why,” Dr. Travis says. “We hypothesized that something must be different about the way their brains work, and that’s what we’re finding.”

    Specifically, Dr. Travis uses a measure he has developed that he calls brain integration. He uses EEG recording to assess frontal brain wave coherence, a measure of connectedness among the various areas of the brain, and alpha power, a measure of inner directedness of attention. He also assesses the brain’s preparation response, which measures how efficiently the brain responds to a stimulus.

    In all of his studies so far, top-level performers consistently show higher levels of brain integration.

    Dr. Travis’s current study was conducted on 21 product-development engineers in Sweden — a group expected to have high levels of creativity. He assessed their level of creativity using standardized Torrance measures and found them to be in the 70th to 90th percentile.

    He also looked at their levels of brain integration, speed of processing information, speed of executive decision-making, and Sense-of-Coherence. A canonical correlation of these data yielded strong correlation between higher flexibility and originality in verbal and figural creativity tests and higher levels of brain integration, faster brain processing, faster speed of decision making, and a sense of being in control of one’s situation.

    “While there’s a common notion that 10,000 hours of practice is necessary for high achievement, some people put in long hours and do not excel,” Dr. Travis said. “This work and other work with my collaborator Harald Harung suggest that brain integration may be the inner factor that leads to outer success.”

    Is it possible to increase one’s level of brain integration and thereby enhance one’s effectiveness?

    According to Dr. Travis, regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique has been found in random assignment studies to increase levels of brain integration (which leads to greater inner happiness and outer success).

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