How to Increase Brain Retention and Processing

October 2, 2013 by DrDonna

Your brain is an amazing organ. It’s composed of different lobes, such as the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and frontal lobe, as well as the brain stem and cerebellum.

Each of these areas of the brain has a specific function. And each one is associated with learning:

  • The temporal lobe processes the words you hear and plays a role in reading.
  • The parietal lobe is responsible for forming letters into words and words into thoughts.
  • The occipital lobe works hard while you are reading and can decipher images you see.
  • The frontal lobe plays an important part in reading, too.

All parts of the brain are necessary for you to learn – and they’re necessary for your children as they learn in school. If one of the areas isn’t working well, you can expect that any of the steps in learning would be challenging.

Your brain takes the new information you hear and directs it to a location at which your brain can work with it. This is called working memory, and it’s a part of short-term memory.

If that incoming new information is accompanied by meaning and understanding, it will be stored in long-term memory. However, sleep facilitates the transition of information in the working memory to the long-term memory.

Researchers are switching to new models in education due to poor retention rates of old forms of teaching. For example, in the verbal processing category, University of Florida scientists report that the average retention rate 24 hours after listening to a lecture is only 5%, and it’s only 10% after reading.

However, if the teaching method is audiovisual, the retention rate of that information is 20%. Using demonstration, the rate jumps to 30%, and discussion groups go up to 50%. Practicing by doing something you learned increases the retention rate to 75%.

The highest retention rate occurs from teaching others and using the new information immediately – that’s 90%.

We won’t be able to change all education today. But you can engage your child by doing tasks related to what he’s learning. And by doing this, you can expect to increase brain retention of the new information.

What are some effective teaching methods you’ve found?

Source: University of Florida, http://projectflexner.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/how-we-learn/ and http://projectflexner.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/interactive-teaching/

 

 

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