WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BRAIN WHEN YOU READ?
AREAS OF THE BRAIN SPECIALIZE –
BUT NO AREA IS DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO READING
A TYPICAL CELL IN THE BRAIN
TWO NEURONS ARE COMMUNICATING
AXON OPENS WHEN STIMULATED
COMMUNICATION AMONG MANY NEURONS
WHY DOES READING MATTER? HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=QDWFFFBCPZW HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=DT4_CZM-UUM
HOW CAN YOU STAY SHARP AT ANY AGE? ,
GET MOVING – EXERCISE • Physically active people tend to maintain better cognition and memory than inactive people • Reduces dementia risk by 30 to 40 percent • Helps the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in memory function • Can trigger the growth of new nerve cells and promote nerve growth
PUMP SOME IRON • Older women who participated in a yearlong weight training program did 13 percent better on tests of cognition than a group of women who did balance and toning exercises. • This may be due to an increase in the levels of growth factors in the brain which nourish and protect nerve cells.
LEARN NEW SKILLS • Learning NEW things – not the things you routinely do - spurs the growth of new brain cells. • You increase the number of brain cells and the number of connections between those cells. • UCLA researchers using MRI scans found that middle-aged and older adults with little internet experience could trigger brain centers that control decision-making and complex reasoning after a week of surfing the net.
MEDITATE • Chronic stress floods the brain with cortisol which leads to impaired memory. • Harvard researchers found that people trained in MBSR – mindfulness-based stress reduction – a form of meditation involving focusing one’s attention on sensations, feelings, and state of mind – were able to reduce stress hormones. • The density of gray matter in the hippocampus increased significantly in the MBSR group compared with a control group.
EAT A MEDITERRANEAN DIET • Alzheimer’s risk reduced by 34 to 48 percent for those who ate fish, vegetable, fruit, nuts, and beans. • Omega 3 fatty acids from fish may be as important for the brain as they are for the heart.
SPICE – FOOD FOR THE BRAIN •
Herbs and spices like black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, basil, parsley, ginger, and vanilla are high in antioxidants which may build brain power. People in India have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s. Scientists believe this is due to curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. It bonds to plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and lowers inflammation levels. A study also found that people who ate curried foods had higher scores on standard cognition tests.
SET GOALS • A study at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found that people who approached life with clear intentions and goals were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s
CONNECT WITH FRIENDS • A University of Michigan study found that subjects did better on tests of short-term memory after 10 minutes of conversation with friends.
GET HEALTHY – BE HEALTHY •
Researchers found that older adults at risk of vitamin B12 deficiencies had smaller brains and scored lowest on tests measuring thinking, reasoning, and memory. Diabetes doubles the risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Good control of diabetes can delay the onset of dementia by several years. Be aware that the brain is affected by medications, illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. These affect your cognition, emotions, motor skills, and memory.
TREAT YOUR BRAIN WITH RESPECT
TREAT YOUR BRAIN WITH RESPECT
HOW YOU READ DOES MATTER SNOOZE, LOSE, OR TALK TO YOURSELF
INQUIRY STRATEGIES –
- ASK KEY QUESTIONS - GET THOSE DENDRITES GROWING
• What do I know? (prior knowledge) • Are there explanations or examples? (in the book? prior knowledge?) • Where is this going? (prediction, anticipation)
EXPAND THOSE QUESTIONS • Why am I reading this selection? (purpose, setting goals) • What do I already know about what I am reading? (connecting to prior knowledge) • Where is this heading? What is coming next? (matching new input to stored patterns – prior knowledge; critical thinking) • How can I use this information? (matching, predicting, applying) • What can I do to strengthen this new learning? (actively, personally and specifically experience the new learning)
QUESTION, QUESTION, QUESTION – USE IT OR LOSE IT “It is essential to move reading processes beyond skills, which are automatic and require no thinking, to strategies that do require thought, interpretation, and choice. And strategies must move beyond processes which become routine and become devoid of reader interaction requiring thought, interpretation or choice by developing a process of inquiry that taps prior knowledge.” Kesterson
COGNITIVE STRATEGIES –
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR READING
Survey – also called previewing Read and ask, “What do I already know?” about the title, introductory paragraph, objectives, main concepts, headings, subheadings, pictures, charts, illustrations, bold print, words in italics or bold print, chapter questions, summary, etc. Do this before reading the text from beginning to end. Internal Dialogue Talk to yourself – have a conversation with the text around the questions, “What do I already know?” and “What is coming next?”
MORE COGNITIVE STRATEGIES Question/Read Prime the pump to be ready for learning. Ask questions when you are surveying (before reading); Ask questions while you are reading (during reading change headings or subheadings into questions; change the first sentences of paragraphs into questions); Answer those questions after reading the selection. Prior Knowledge Make connections – GROW DENDRITES - by asking, “What do I know about what I am reading?”
ANOTHER COGNITIVE STRATEGY Definition w Example Textbooks are all about teaching you new concepts. Concepts are often printed in italics or bold print. The definition for the new concept is often in the same sentence. An explanation and/or an example may precede or follow the definition. The example which follows is from a sociology textbook. “A symbol is anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture. A word, a whistle, a wall of graffiti, a flashing red light, a raised fist - all serve as symbols. The human capacity to create and manipulate symbols is almost limitless -- think of the variety of meanings associated with the simple act of winking an eye, which can convey such messages as interest, understanding, or insult. Humans can use anything to have a particular meaning; for example, a whistle can have many messages -- I find you interesting, getting someone’s attention, as music.”
AND MORE COGNITIVE STRATEGIES My Life How does this apply to my own life? Make those connections to prior knowledge – grow dendrites. Recite Say what you have learned out loud. Answer your questions out loud. When you say it out loud, you create neural pathways to other parts of the brain. Predict Change the heading, bold print word, or first sentence in a paragraph into a question? Then ask, “What do I know about what I am reading?” Next read and recite the selection. Then ask, “Where is this going? What is coming next?”
FOR THESE NEXT STRATEGIES, TAKE CMS 185 – SOON TO BE RDG 185 • • • • • • • • •
Compare and Contrast Organize Transform Connect Picture/Chart with Text Draw/Label and Redraw/Label Visualize Express/Summarize Map Apply