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The Learning Success Blog

Paying Attention: It's Harder Than You Think

Posted by Tilly Stevens on April 19, 2017 at 12:33 PM

Tilly Stevens

We might think this is a simple case of distraction. But attention is in fact a much more complex function than most people realise. Do you ever forget what you came into a room to get? Or, have you ever been listening to an audio book only to realise that you stopped paying attention several pages back?

The following article by speech language pathologist and neuroscience educator, Dr Martha Burns, explains attention and describes how we can improve it by specific types of training.  The article was first published in The Science of Learning Blog.

In fact, trying to figure out exactly what attention is, and why some children find it easier than others, especially in school, has been the focus of psychologists for years.  As adults, we realise that the ability to attend carefully to a task, ignore distractions and stick with it, is something that takes time for children to develop.

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Topics: Attention, Attention Deficit Disorder

When did you finish school? Does it matter for your brain?

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 30, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Peter Barnes

Did you finish school last year?  Last decade?  Last century?

Does it matter when? 

It might, if you want to keep your brain sharp and agile.

It’s unlikely you completed school last year. Most readers of this blog are older than that. You might have finished in the 2000’s. Or last century -  in the 1990’s, 1980’s, 1970’s or even earlier (like me!).

You learnt new things almost every day when you were in school.  Your brain was very active, building new neural pathways and strengthening existing ones.

If you finished school last decade or last century, it is likely you haven’t been learning new things nearly every day since then, and it’s the new things, the novel things, are best for keeping your brain sharp.

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Topics: Attention, Educational Neuroscience

Can Practice Improve Attention? A New Method to Train Attention Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 19, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Peter Barnes

Dr David Rabiner, Research Professor at Duke University, USA is a world recognised expert on attention and ADHD.

He has developed a new approach to attention training called Nervanix Insight.  It uses neurofeedback (also known as EEG Biofeedback) to monitor and train attention skills.

According to scientific research, neurofeedback is the nonmedical approach for developing attention skills that has the strongest evidence for its effectiveness.

Traditional neurofeedback approaches generally use game-like activities that don’t have much resemblance to academic tasks that students need to focus on.

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Topics: Attention, Learning Enhancement, Brain Science, Learning, Nervanix Attention Technology

New Wearable Technology So You Can Monitor Your Attention

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 1, 2016 at 3:16 PM

Peter Barnes

Wearable technology is here!

What is wearable technology? Think FitBit, the ubiquitous band so many people are wearing on their wrists to track their daily activity. That's probably the best known example of a wearable technology.

But there are many more examples in use right now. Samsung’s brainBAND for athletes, sweat sensors, stroke rehabilitation devices, the Muse meditation headband and the Nervanix Attention Headsets are just a few of them.

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Topics: Attention, Nervanix Attention Technology

10 Ways to Develop Your Child's Brain for Reading Success

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 1, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Peter Barnes

Many children struggle with reading, but there are ways parents can help prevent reading difficulties.

Reading researcher, Dr Jennifer Buckingham estimates that as many as 1 million children in Australia are at risk of reading failure.

We know from scientific research that the ability to read is one of the most complex skills we can learn.

According to reading research organisations in Australia and overseas, including The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia, the National Reading Panel (USA), and the USA National Institute for Literacy, there are some critical skills for learning to read.  

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Topics: Attention, Memory, Reading, Learning

Nervanix Attention Software Boosts High Value Learning: Dr Steve Miller

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM

Colin Klupiec

Image if you had a piece of wearable technology that could "listen to your brain".  And use what it hears to help you to track your concentration while you study.

This might sound a bit like science fiction. But it's actually available now with the Clarity software and headset from the Nervanix Corporation.

It might surprise you to know that the technology behind it, known as EEG, is actually about 100 years old.

Dr Steve Miller is the chief science officer for Nervanix. He’s one of the driving forces behind the development of Nervanix Clarity.

Dr Miller explains how it all works in an interview on the Learning Capacity podcast.

He points out the significant implications for education. And how this new technology can enhance learning for all students involved in high value learning.

Listen to the podcast episode:

 

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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience, Nervanix Attention Technology

Educational Neuroscience is Not Pop Science, says Cogmed’s Mimma Mason

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 10, 2016 at 8:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mimma Mason is the Cogmed Manager for Pearson Australia, and has previously explained working memory on the Learning Capacity podcast.

But she also spends much of her time helping people understand the emerging field of educational neuroscience. Is it another band wagon, or pop science?

We’ve asked this question before, and it seems like the consistent message is that educational neuroscience is now increasingly informing educational practice and research.

So if it’s for real, how do we implement it? And what does this mean for future teacher education and professional development?

Mimma helps us understand what to make of it all in a discussion on the Learning Capacity podcast. 

Listen to the podcast episode:



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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Memory, School, Cogmed, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Your Attention Spotlight: How You Can Improve it for Better Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 7, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Peter Barnes

"Can you please pay attention?"

How often have you, as a teacher or parent, said this?

I'm sure you've done it many times, because you know that your message will not get through to the listener unless they pay attention.

Neuroscientist and attention expert, Dr Steve Miller spoke to The Learning Capacity Podcast about attention and learning, how we need to turn our brain’s attention spotlight on, and how this essential learning skill can be developed.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Attention, Learning, Podcasts, Nervanix Attention Technology

A New Way to Measure & Predict an Individual's Attention?

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 4, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Peter Barnes

To learn, you have to “attend”.

Attending does not mean you just have to show up to the class or lesson. You also must pay attention - to the teacher, to the material you are reading, or the video you are watching.

Neuroscientists have recently been putting a lot of their attention on what happens in our brains when we pay attention.

Some new research from Yale University, USA has revealed that brain connectivity patterns can predict the strength of a person’s attention.

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Topics: Attention, Brain Science

Could Too Much Sugar be Limiting Your Child's Learning Capacity?

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 27, 2015 at 12:41 PM

Peter Barnes

Have you ever asked yourself, “why do I allow my child to eat up to 30 teaspoons more sugar every day than global health guidelines”? 

Would you allow them to eat this much sugar if you knew that reducing it may help them improve their learning capacity (how well they are able to learn)? 

Australians and New Zealanders - men, women and children - eat on average about 40 teaspoons of sugar a day. The health recommendations are for no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons per day. 

How much sugar does your child actually eat everyday? It's probably much more than you think.

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Topics: Attention, Learning Capacity, Podcasts

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