Do you believe in neuromyths? A recent study from the University of Denver found that around 70% of us do, In other words many of us believe false facts about brain functions and learning. The big one, believed by over 90% of us is "Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style".
So what really stimulates learning? Neuroscience tells us that learning involves changing the brain but the brain needs the right conditions to be able to change in response to stimuli (neuroplasticity) and produce new neurons (neurogenesis).
The most effective learning involves multiple regions of the brain being used for the learning task. This includes the parts of the brain associated with functions like memory, the senses, and cognitive functions like creating, evaluating, analyzing and applying which involve the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making.
Our more complex thought processes support learning because they produce lots of neural connections and more neurological cross-talk which stimulates areas of the brain promoting memory.
Moderate stress is helpful too, while too much is detrimental. So starting a new class and meeting new people may well result in just enough stress to get your brain ticking over!
Of course sleep, good nutrition, and exercise also encourage learning by promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, not to mention keeping our stress and happiness hormones (cortisol and dopamine) at appropriate levels.
Our advice: Book yourself in for some good old fashioned face to face learning, it'll get those neural connections going!