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Cabarrus Magazine

The 8 Key Components to a Happy Brain

Jun 08, 2016 01:40PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t -- you’re right” – Henry Ford

How does your attitude affect performance? Recently published research by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Neuroscience Department shows that “our beliefs as to whether we will likely succeed or fail at a given task - and the consequences of winning or losing - directly affects brain activity.” This means that the more you believe you will do well, the more effort your brain dedicates to accomplishing that goal. The study also showed that if there is a potential prize for succeeding, this correlates to higher cognitive effort as well.

At Learning Rx, they train the cognitive skills like memory, attention, and reasoning- which make-up IQ and your ability to learn, think, and perform. They see this phenomenon every day when training students and the research just confirms what we already know.

Happy Brains Work Better

One of the main concerns heard from parents by Learning Rx tutors is that their child’s learning struggles have resulted in lack of confidence or low self-esteem. The way their training is structured gets around this by using games that build those underlying skills in a sequential method. They begin where the skill is weak and challenge the student at a level just above their abilities, but just below frustration. Once the child breaks through that and “pass that level” they get a new challenge. Tutors say this builds the belief that they can, in deed accomplish these goals and, little by little, their confidence increases. Typically, this translates to a willingness to try more challenging tasks in school and life!

According to LearningRx, there are eight key components that make Brain Training so effective.

-        Training not Teaching - Think of it more along the lines of music lessons. Train skills that enable you to learn what you’re taught instead of re-teaching information.

-        Target your Needs - Begin with an initial assessment that pinpoints which skills are causing the learning struggle and structure the training around building that skill

-        One-on-one Support - If possible, get a personal trainer for your brain. This ensures that you get individual attention and your training is individualized to address your specific needs.

-        Get Immediate Feedback - A personal trainer also ensures you don’t get lost in the shuffle or fade into the background.

-        Be Intense -Your trainer is there to push you to go faster, focus better, and not give up

-        Loaded Training - One way to challenge a weak skill is to require more effort so that the task is easier when that extra requirement is gone. If you can do two things at once, doing one at a time is much easier. Training often looks like a student doing two or more activities simultaneously.

-        Non-academic Training - Make sure additional training is not an extension of the school day. Play games and compete with your trainer and your own previous records. It’s hard work but it’s fun!


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Learning Rx - Concord NC

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