Our Unschooling Adventure - which officially started in Lowell in the Fall of 2005 - now continues in Berlin.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Questions about Learning

Forbes magazine had a recent article "Sharp as a Tack". It has an embedded slide show called "Six Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp". It is targeted at senior citizens, but I don't see why the recommendation would not apply to all humans. Here are the 6 suggested activities:

  • Learning to play a musical instrument
  • Learning a new language
  • Dancing
  • Playing ping-pong
  • Doing jigsaw puzzles
  • Juggling

Several questions immediately arise:

  • Why these particular activities? What's so special about them?
  • Since each of them presumably "exercises" the related brain-center, each of them should lead to more growth (more & better synaptic interconnections?) within that region of the
    brain. Does that also lead to a better "overall fitness" of the brain (if there is such a thing)?
  • If it does increase the overall fitness of the brain, how do the activities rank in terms of improvement per unit time spent?

I am going to email the author of the article to see if she has answers or pointers to any of these. I will keep you posted.


Blogger Andrea said...

I must ask my grandfather about this. He was an EEG technician (measured brain waves) for many years and has always been interested in the brain (and radio, but that;s another story...)
Now he's 90 and sharp as a tack. He doesn't play ping-pong, juggle or dance much, but he's young at heart. :)

5:49 PM

Blogger Manoj Padki said...

Here's a line in the main article that might point to the answer: "The best activities are those that start simple and get increasingly challenging, engaging several senses at once." Makes sense to me, but I need more specific reasons about those 6 activities...

10:29 PM


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