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The Learning Success Blog

Monkeys Don't Eat Salad: Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conference

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Peter Barnes

A friend of mine lives in a community in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. High above a fast-flowing, snow-fed stream which feeds into the mighty Ganges river.
 
It’s a remote clearing in the jungle-clad mountains, teeming with monkeys.
 
The residents had a long trek down the mountainside to the village in the valley below to buy vegetables. The village vegetables were not always fresh. So they tried growing their own.
 
But the monkeys ate everything. 
 
Except for leafy green salad vegetables.
 
Monkeys don’t eat salad.

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Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience, Conferences

What's the one question EVERYONE answers "YES"?

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 9, 2017 at 1:19 PM

Peter Barnes

What’s the one question everyone answers with “yes”?

It’s “are you getting older?”

No one gets younger. It’s impossible. Everyone’s answer must be “yes”.

So this message is for everyone. But it’s especially important if you are over 50 or have friends and relatives in their 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.

Cut dementia risk

As you get older your risk of dementia increases.

You can start to forget things, especially recent events like where you put your keys, or what you had for breakfast.

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Topics: Brain Science, Adult Brain Fitness

Fast ForWord: How Much Evidence is Enough? Science & Real World

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Peter Barnes

A school principal recently said to me, “I’ve heard of Fast ForWord but there is no evidence that it works, is there?”

That wasn’t the first time I had heard that.

I’m always amazed when people say there is no evidence of Fast ForWord’s effectiveness. If they only looked, they would find hundreds of journal articles and school case studies with many examples of the success of over 2.5 million individuals who have done Fast ForWord over the last 20 years.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

Advice you didn't ask for: 5 Tips for a Better Life from Dr Merzenich

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 7, 2017 at 2:15 PM

Peter Barnes

How would you like some advice about living the best life you can, for the rest of your life?

The eminent neuroscientist, Dr Michael Merzenich,  gave a couple of hundred people some tips on how to do just that. They attended his talk at the I Can Change My Brain conference in Melbourne on 26 February, 2016.

I was in the audience with a group of my colleagues from LearnFast.  

We went along to the conference to hear Dr Merzenich speak about the latest in neuroscience research, and how it can be used to grow brain power and manage brain health. We were especially interested in how the brain research can be used to improve learning for children, teenagers and adults of all ages.

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Topics: Brain Science, Adult Brain Fitness

A Tale of Two Brain Training Companies: Science vs Hype

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 5, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Peter Barnes

This is a tale of two brain training companies, Lumosity and Scientific Learning Corporation. And how one, Lumosity, was prosecuted for making claims about brain training unbacked by science, and the other, Scientific Learning Corporation, used decades of solid research to develop and prove the effectiveness of Fast ForWord. 

Lumosity paid $2 million penalty for unfounded claims

Lumosity, one of the most visible providers of adult online brain training games around the world, was hit with a 2 million dollar penalty in 2016 by the US Federal Trade Commission, due to unfounded claims on the efficacy of it’s product. 

According to the USA Federal Trade Commission press release "Lumosity preyed on consumer’s fears about age related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease”.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

Uni of California Neuroscience: New Insights Into How Brains Develop

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Peter Barnes

Human Neurons Continue to Migrate After Birth.

Scientistis used to think that neurons in the human brain were pretty much set in place before birth.

In 2011, The University of California, San Francisco researchers found a few small groups of neurons still migrating after birth.

Now, new research has uncovered a mass migration that continues up to 3 months after birth.

These neurons are migrating to the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for advanced cognition.

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Topics: Brain Science, For Principals

Latin Dancing & Brain Training: Keys to Brain Fitness?

Posted by Tilly Stevens on October 4, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Tilly Stevens

These days, we’ve come to understand that we can train our brains.

Obviously, the physical benefits of exercise have been preached and promoted for years now. Funny thing is, it seems that exercise also helps our brains.

The combination of these two forms of training, mind and body, benefit our brains more than if one or the other is undertaken.

Turns out, physical exercise actually serves to improve memory, says a study conducted by the University of Texas Dallas. 

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Topics: Brain Science, Memory, Fast ForWord, Music

3 Famous Neuroscientists: How Brain Plasticity Helps Human Potential

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Peter Barnes

“The science of neuroplasticity is slowly but surely transforming how we think about ourselves and our brains, and how we can build a stronger brain that provides us with a better life,” said Dr Michael Merzenich.

He was speaking in a roundtable discussion with Professors Eve Marder and Carla Shatz following the trio’s receipt of the $1million 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

The three scientists discussed how their work disrupted a central dogma of neuroscience and how it offers the promise of plasticity-based treatments for people who are struggling to learn, have brain damage or who have brains at risk of mental illness or dementia.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, 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

4 Neuroscientists: How Fast ForWord Was Built & The Future

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Peter Barnes

Scientific Learning Corporation’s Founders Discussion

This blog is an edited transcript of a panel discussion with the four neuroscientists who developed Fast ForWord and founded the Scientific Learning Corporation.

It took place at the Scientific Learning 20th Anniversary Visionary Conference in San Diego, March 2016

The scientists are:

    • Dr Michael Merzenich
    • Dr Paula Tallal
    • Dr Bill Jenkins
    • Dr Steve Miller

The discussion covered the history of the science that underlies the Fast ForWord programs, starting with Dr Paula Tallal's research in 1973.

It was a wide-ranging discussion that looked both back to the past and also the future of educational neuroscience.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

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