Home > No. 38 How's Your Brain?

No. 38 How's Your Brain? (2008年09月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Treasure Hunt.

In recent years, there has been a definite increase in the attention
being paid to how the brain works and brain fitness. The starting point
was work done on brain placticity in the 60s and 70s that began to
suggest that the brain and the neurons that it consists of are not
necessarily fixed in number and destined to a slow and steady decline.
They can and do grow and develop as people use their brains. For
language teachers, particularly aging ones like myself who have started
mixing up the names of their children, this has implications that cannot
be ignored. The message on the sites below can help our learners
understand that serious effort can lead to serious results when it comes
to learning a language. It can be a very motivating message, I believe.

This month, I'd like to introduce you to some resources you can use to
get a better understanding of how brains work. I recently read a very
interesting book titled Brain Rules by John Medina. The book is great,
but the website and the YouTube video collection can help you access
most of the content. You might even want to share some of it with
learners since it is not too technical and very understandable.

The website is located at http://www.brainrules.net/

The YouTube videos meant to illustrate the ideas of the book can be
found at http://jp.youtube.com/brainrulesbook

And here is a slideshow presentation on some of the rules in the book.
The author is a (PowerPoint) presentation guru and the slideshow can
also give you some good ideas for how to make your presentation MUCH
more engaging by following the rules of how the brain works:

For those of you who are interested in total brain health and fitness,
there are two great resources available on the web, both connected to Dr
Elkhonon Goldberg, author of two books on the subject: The Executive
Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind, and The Wisdom Paradox: How
Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older.

The first one is Sharpbrains. It is really a resource clearinghouse with
lots of links to articles and studies. This is a good place to learn
about brain fitness. There is also a lot of information here on advice
for evaluating brain fitness programs. The site is located here:

The next one, Headstrong, calls itself a brain gym. Here you can
actually start training. For the time being it is free, but it really
looks like it is set to go commercial in the very near future. You can
create a cognitive profile, and select exercises in memory, attention,
speed language, or problem solving. Well worth checking out. You can
access it here: http://www.headstrongbrain.com/

That's it for this month. See you.