Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes (Photo: Dustin Diaz) How much more could you get done if you completed all of your required reading in 1/3 or 1/5 the time? Increasing reading speed is a process of controlling fine motor movement—period. This post is a condensed overview of principles I taught to undergraduates at Princeton University in 1998 at a seminar called the “PX Project”. The below was written several years ago, so it’s worded like Ivy-Leaguer pompous-ass prose, but the results are substantial. I have never seen the method fail. The PX Project The PX Project, a single 3-hour cognitive experiment, produced an average increase in reading speed of 386%. It was tested with speakers of five languages, and even dyslexics were conditioned to read technical material at more than 3,000 words-per-minute (wpm), or 10 pages per minute. If you understand several basic principles of the human visual system, you can eliminate inefficiencies and increase speed while improving retention. The Protocol First – Determining Baseline
How to treat your brain during revision time If you're a student, you rely on one brain function above all others: memory. These days, we understand more about the structure of memory than we ever have before, so we can find the best techniques for training your brain to hang on to as much information as possible. The process depends on the brain's neuroplasticity, its ability to reorganise itself throughout your life by breaking and forming new connections between its billions of cells. How does it work? Your hippocampus is forced to store many new patterns every day. So what's the best way to revise? Forget about initial letters Teachers often urge students to make up mnemonics – sentences based on the initial letters of items you're trying to remember. The mnemonic is providing you with a cue but, if you haven't memorised the names, the information you want to recall is not there. Repeat yourself Pathways between neurons can be strengthened over time. Use science to help you retrieve info Take regular breaks Avoid distractions
The 100 Best Lifehacks of 2011: The Year in Review Another year is coming to a close this weekend, and it’s been a banner one here at Lifehack. As you’ll see below, one of our most popular posts of 2011 was our 100 Best Lifehacks of 2010 article, which flows nicely into this post which will outline the 100 Best Lifehack of 2011. Unlike last year’s list, there’s a few changes we put into place before delivering this list to our readers. First off, the overall top 10 posts are determined by overall traffic during the past year, as well as engagement on social networks. The articles come from a wide variety of our website’s categories, whereas the remaining 90 articles are divided up into the primary categories that we write about at Lifehack: Communication, Lifestyle, Management, Money, Productivity and Technology. Those 90 posts were decided on based on visits to each article, social media interaction, comments and then were finally curated by the Lifehack editorial team. You’ve got a lot of reading to do here, os let’s get started… Money
Can I Learn to Read Faster and Get Through My Backlog of Books? Advice on how to read faster is all good and well, BUT: 1) Why does everything have to happen FASTER FASTER FASTER and why do you think you need to read MORE MORE MORE? It's not about quantity, but about quality. If you read good books, you're not done by the time you get to the last page. You have to think about it later and make sense of it. If you read books that don't require deep thinking like this, then there's no reason for you to want to read even more of these shallow works. 2) Speed reading in any but the most specialised and narrow contexts is completely useless. 3) From a literary perspective, audio books are not at all the same as printed / electronic books, because most writers write to be read, not to be heard, so they write sentences in ways that only appear special to you if you read them.
Overexcitability and the Gifted Overexcitability and the Gifted by Sharon Lind A small amount of definitive research and a great deal of naturalistic observation have led to the belief that intensity, sensitivity and overexcitability are primary characteristics of the highly gifted. These observations are supported by parents and teachers who notice distinct behavioral and constitutional differences between highly gifted children and their peers. OVEREXCITABILITIES Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli. PSYCHOMOTOR OVEREXCITABILITY Psychomotor OE is a heightened excitability of the neuromuscular system. Allow time for physical or verbal activity, before, during, and after normal daily and school activities-these individuals love to “do” and need to “do.” Show how to find the answers to questions. Imaginational people may confuse reality and fiction because their memories and new ideas become blended in their mind. Accept all feelings, regardless of intensity.
How To Tighten Your Grip On Your Memory Pneumonic devices. Singing. The old write-on-the-back-of-your-hand trick. If you suffer from forgetfulness, there may be a solution that doesn't require performing mental back flips to improve your memory muscles. It might be as easy as flexing your fist muscles, according to a new study published by the journal PLOSone. Researchers tested the short-term memory of 51 participants by giving them a list of words, then asking them to memorize and write down as many words as possible from the list. In a statement, Propper explained that muscle activity on the right and left side of the body helps to stimulate different hemispheres of the brain--triggering neuronal activity in brain sections relating to memory encoding and recall. Propper acknowledged that the study only incorporated data from right-handed participants--the results for left-handed and ambidextrous people will be published elsewhere--but expressed excitement at the link between muscle stimulation and memory recall.
Science, Creativity and the Real World Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Science, Creativity and the Real World: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Homeschool Community By Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson, MFT A great deal of concern surrounds the lack of quality in science education in the United States. A simple Google search of “science education in America” brings up link after link on the horrific failure of standards and the many additional problems inherent in the current system of education. Moreover, the need for appropriate education for gifted students is also under attack—as it has been for many years. A 2012 study by the Fordham Institute identifies four main factors for the failure of science standards to produce a flock of achievers: an undermining of evolutionary theory, vague goals, not enough guidance for teachers on how to integrate the history of science and the concept of scientific inquiry into their lessons, and not enough math instruction. ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ~William Butler Yeats Science and Homeschooling Conclusion
How being called smart can actually make you stupid | Neurobonkers A few months ago I posted a piece which has become my most popular blog post by quite a landslide. The post covered various techniques for learning and looked at the empirical evidence for and against their efficacy based on recent research. This post is my follow up, in which I look at the case for one tip for learning that it seems really could have a big impact. A growing body of evidence from the last two decades suggests that our attitude towards our own potential for intelligence has a considerable impact on our lives, furthermore we are incredibly vulnerable to having this attitude or "mindset" moulded for better or worse, by how people praise us in a way that is both shocking and problematic. Counterintuitively, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that praising people for their intelligence rather than their effort can actually make people perform drastically worse over time, avoid future challenges and form negative attitudes to learning and towards themselves. References:
How to Read Faster: Bill Cosby's Three Proven Strategies by Maria Popova “Nobody gets something for nothing in the reading game.” “All attempts at gaining literary polish must begin with judicious reading,” H. P. Lovecraft famously advised aspiring writers. Bill Cosby may be best-known as the beloved personality behind his eponymous TV show, but he earned his doctorate in education and has been involved in several projects teaching the essential techniques of effective reading, including a PBS series on reading skills. 1. Skimming can give you a very good idea of this story in about half the words, and in less than half the time it’d take to read every word.So far, you’ve seen that previewing and skimming can give you a general idea about content — fast. Learning to read clusters is not something your eyes do naturally. How to Use the Power of the Printed Word is a treasure trove of illuminating essays — highly recommended. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Share on Tumblr
What schools need: Vigor instead of rigor - The Answer Sheet This was written by Joanne Yatvin, a veteran public school educator, author and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is now teaching part-time at Portland State University. A version of this was originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. By Joanne Yatvin Though my years in the classroom are long past, at heart I am still a cranky old English teacher who bristles at some of the neologisms that have crept into public language. Even so, I remain politely quiet when others commit such grammatical transgressions. Part of my reaction is emotional, having so often heard “rigor” paired with “mortis.” Now, more than ever, “rigor” is being used to promote the idea that American students need advanced course work, complex texts, stricter grading, and longer school days and years in order to be ready for college or the workplace. Since I believe it is time for a better word and a better concept to drive American education, I recommend “vigor.”
Sleep learning is possible: Associations formed when asleep remained intact when awake Is sleep learning possible? A new Weizmann Institute study appearing August 26 in Nature Neuroscience has found that if certain odors are presented after tones during sleep, people will start sniffing when they hear the tones alone -- even when no odor is present -- both during sleep and, later, when awake. In other words, people can learn new information while they sleep, and this can unconsciously modify their waking behavior. Sleep-learning experiments are notoriously difficult to conduct. Prof. In the experiments, the subjects slept in a special lab while their sleep state was continuously monitored. The next day, the now awake subjects again heard the tones alone -- with no accompanying odor. The team then asked whether this type of learning is tied to a particular phase of sleep. Although Sobel's lab studies the sense of smell, Arzi intends to continue investigating brain processing in altered states of consciousness such as sleep and coma.