Use it or lose it! Revision and neural pathways.

Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to change its structure in response to learning new skills, and practice of old ones.  So how does this relate to students and exam revision? Simple - pathways between neurons can be strengthened over time and with repeated actions.  Students should start revising early, and remember that simple repetition – practising retrieving a memory over and over again – is the best form of consolidating the pattern and increasing the neural connections. Students should also try ...

The ‘Plastic’ Brain. How does our brain change in response to our cognition and environment?

Studying the brain’s neuroplasticity is the field of cognitive neuroscience, and bridges the gap between the biological level of analysis and the cognitive and sociocultural levels. See these links for fascinating studies into: children’s socio-economic status and brain structure changes (Jednoróg et al., 2012);  mirror neurons (Iacoboni, 2004); how the remaining part of the brain adapts after a childhood hemispherectomy (removal of half of the brain, Danelli et al, 2013);  and the effects of meditation and social and emotional learning ...

Levels of Analysis – what do they really mean?

Mmmm- doughnuts! An example of neuroplasticity. When confronted with a picture of junk food, people who pulled all-nighters had boosted activity in the amygdala (left), a brain structure associated with the desire to eat, and reduced activity in regions of the cortex (right), which have been tied to food evaluation. Credit: Matthew Walker et al. at http://www.sciencenews.org/view/access/id/352150/description/MMM_DOUGHNUTS Whether you are just getting ready to start your new IB Diploma Psychology course, are beginning your second year, or are midway to ...