We talk less about the importance of taking time off work than we do about eating well or being physically active. Our demanding lives and the performance culture we struggle to break away from mean that we too often ignore our signs of fatigue and persist as best as possible in our daily activities, whether we are workers or students. Difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation and mental wandering are part of our normality... However, numerous studies that have examined the consequences of depriving ourselves of rest and vacation time indicate that we put our mental and physical health at risk by ignoring these necessary periods of disconnection.
Neuroscience has given us privileged access to the brain for the past thirty years. With the help of sophisticated equipment, including brain imaging, they have allowed us to decode our brains better and understand specific issues, including some related to learning. Although this discipline alone cannot guide us in education, its influence has become essential. Here are ten fields of action in which its contribution should be followed!
Over the last few decades, neuroscience has begun to confirm or refute certain hypotheses we had about how the brain works, in addition to leading us down new paths of knowledge. Given the complexity of this fascinating organ, we are only at the beginning of this promising exploration. However, thanks to brain imaging, we know a little more about some of its particularities at different stages of life and their links with learning.
Our brain is never really at rest. When it is not busy with a specific task, it can daydream or ruminate, depending on our mood, but it never stops being active. This is what neuroscientists have uncovered by discovering the functioning of its so-called "default" network, which is activated in a way that is opposite to the executive network that manages our high-level cognitive processes.
Difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, mental wandering... Does that sound familiar? Whether these signs appear during a day or more evidently at certain times of the week, month or year, they tell us that we are in need of a break. However, our demanding lives and the performance culture that we struggle to detach ourselves from mean that we ignore them all too often and persist as best as we can in our daily tasks, whether we are a worker or a student.
In your opinion, is the human being first and foremost rational? This is a big question that can give rise to endless philosophical debates. But from the strict point of view of the sciences that study how our box of thoughts works, we have a good idea of the answer... even if we still have a lot to learn about this fascinating organ that is our brain.
Already bouncy and sneaky by nature, our attention span is being severely strained in these times of overstraining. Yet attention is essential to our cognitive effectiveness...
The short answer: unfortunately, not as good as we think we are… Over the past few years, some research has helped us to better discern between reality and myth regarding our ability to multitask.
As fragile as it is precious, our attention span is the basis not only of our learning but also of the accomplishment of all our daily tasks. In these times of overstretching, one of the first steps we can take to preserve and improve it is to get to know it better.
Our memory is undoubtedly one of our most fascinating faculties. It allows us to store information, to reason, to understand, and of course to learn! You may have already noticed that its performance is not always constant, that it can vary from one time of day to another, from one context to another.