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Week 1: What is Learning? || Learning how to learn || Quiz answers

 Week 1: What is Learning?

Brain Facts:

  • Cells of the nervous system are called neurons. Information from one neuron flows to another neuron across a synapse. The human brain has a million billion synapses.

  • Your brain creates synapses whenever you learn something new. Sleeping helps "update" your brain cells. Literally.

Why do we procrastinate (scientifically):


Learning a new thing or doing something you would rather not do can be stressful. This can cause anxiety at first. This activates the area associated with pain in the brain.

Your brain looks for a way to stop that negative feeling by switching your attention to something else more pleasant.


The trick is to just start. Researchers discovered that not long after people start actually working out what they didn’t like, that neuro-discomfort disappeared.

Remember that the better you get at something, the more enjoyable it can become.

Consider using the Pomodoro technique.

Learning hard and abstract things:

The more abstract something is, the more important it is to practice creating and strengthen neural connections to bring the abstract ideas to reality for you.

Ex: You should practice a lot with the math vocabulary to understand it and recall it easier. [∫∞ex dx, k!(n−k)!]

Summary of what I learned:

  1. There are two modes of thinking:

    1. Focused mode: Concentrating on things that are usually familiar.

    2. Diffused mode: A relaxed mode of thinking "your thoughts are free to wander".

  2. When you don’t desire to do/learning something, go through it and just start. The discomfort goes away and, in the long term, this will lead to satisfaction.

  3. When you learn something new, make sure to take time to rest, then come back to it and recall what you learned.

    3. This is very important. Don’t cram information in one day. This leads to inefficient learning. It’s like building a wall without letting it dry.

    4. Revisiting and practicing what you learn is important. Research shows that spaced repetition (repeating things after few days) is the best way to build and strengthen synaptic connections.

  4. Sleep is very important. It clears the metabolic toxins from the brain after a day of "brain use". It is best to sleep directly after learning new things.

  5. It was shown that exercising and/or being in a rich social environment helps your brain produce new neurons. Don’t lock yourself in your room. Stay active and spare time for exercise (including general physical activities) and friends daily.


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