Fight the psychological barriers to learning, and soon you will see, what benefits it provides – including more than a sharp mind

Never too late to learn. Photo: pixabay

Difficult is learning languages, bad is remembered and perceived the new information. It seems that with the years the brain harder to learn something new. But, as shown by recent studies in psychology and neuroscience, our brain and in 30, 50 or 90 years can continue to learn. And efforts to develop new disciplines with more than kompensiruet increase intellectual level.

How to learn anything at any age, know The Point and publishes practical advice.

The theory of the “aging mind”

Pessimistic view of the ability of the mind of an adult can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In his treatise De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Aristotle compared human memory to a wax tablet. Early in life our “wax” hot and pliable, but over time it cools down and becomes too hard and brittle to form new impressions. As a result, our memory suffers.

Later, after the Millennium, the scientists repeated this view. Neuroscientists have even began to use the word that describes the adaptability of the brain – neuroplasticity. She reminds that the most malleable wax, which was spoken of by Aristotle. And much of this plasticity is gradually being lost. In particular, childhood was considered a “critical period” for forming the base of experience and knowledge about the world. By the end of this period, the structure of the brain start to slow down, which hinders the development of many complex skills.

Convincing proof of this theory was based on the examples of people who have learned a second language. Little children who came with their families to a new country much easier reached the fluent level, for example, than their older brothers and sisters or parents.

However, after analyzing census data of immigrants, Ellen Bialystok from York University in Toronto explained to the children that they were just immersed in the right environment: they have had more opportunities to learn a foreign language with the support of the school and classmates. And, in addition, children less than adults, are afraid of mistakes in the learning process.

The destruction of the myth

Alexander Hemon, American writer of Bosnian descent, came from Sarajevo to the United States at the beginning of the Bosnian war in 1992. For work and life, he had to continue to write, but the main tool, the English language, he did not own. Then he plunged into the language environment. For three years Hemon published his first play in the American magazine, and eventually his path led to recognized three critically acclaimed novels, two collections of short stories, a book of autobiographical essays and scholarships to Mac-Arthur.

Newfound skills Hamona would be almost impossible if language learning was reserved exclusively for the “critical period” of childhood. But the sheer decisiveness of the writer and the situation in which he found himself, fueled his ability to learn in adulthood.

Admittedly, children are easier to acquire certain skills, especially those relating to perception, for example, to speak without an accent. But this factor is not determinative. You unsuccessfully attempt to speak like a native, and still become a successful novelist. Such amazing progress in learning is possible in many different areas, and adults often find that they are able to compensate for some disadvantages of a greater ability for analysis essay examples, introspection and discipline.

How to master new information
1. To train your memory, trusting her more

A simple lack of confidence may be the biggest barrier in education, especially for the older generation. With age, people increasingly experience fear of General cognitive decline – for example, fear of memory impairment.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has shown that adults (60 years and older) often underestimate the power of private memory, which prevents them to use their abilities. They prefer a more time-consuming way of solving the problem, instead to rely on memory.

The experiment participants were given a list of tasks for the calculation, which are periodically repeated. Younger participants, noticing this, started to remember and record your previous answers, while their older colleagues still every time performed the computations from scratch. They had their own memory, just prefer not to rely on it.