Now we know more about how to get re­ally good at some­thing. This is es­pe­cially use­ful for peo­ple who are en­gaged in help­ing oth­ers to de­velop skills and knowl­edge — and for par­ents.

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

PRAC­TISE:

Many ex­pres­sions are not that mean­ing­ful, but “Prac­tice makes per­fect” has proven time and time again to be true. Now, how­ever, re­searchers have learned that the more ac­cu­rate ver­sion of this old say­ing should be, “Spe­cific prac­tice makes per­fect.”

A re­cent ar­ti­cle link­ing neu­ro­science and skill build­ing gives hope to peo­ple who don’t think they’re good enough at any­thing.

Some chil­dren have greater mo­tor chal­lenges than oth­ers. They don’t climb trees or hang up­side down on the mon­key bars; they don’t think they can learn to ride a bike, and maybe they give up eas­ily.

Other kids have trou­ble learn­ing let­ters and num­bers, and don’t quite un­der­stand how to use them, ei­ther.

The so­lu­tion to these chal­lenges sounds ob­vi­ous when you first hear it. But there’s more to it than might be ap­par­ent at first glance. that part of the brain you use to per­form this task. You get good at the spe­cific ac­tiv­ity that you are ex­er­cis­ing.

Re­searchers have tested this the­ory for a num­ber of years and have found that many prin­ci­ples of Edel­man’s the­ory seem to be in line with the learn­ing of both cog­ni­tive and mo­tor skills. Skill build­ing is a bidi­rec­tional process in which one’s be­hav­iour and ner­vous sys­tem in­flu­ence each other.

“Changes in the ner­vous sys­tem al­ter func­tion and be­hav­iour, and vice-versa. Changes in func­tion and be­hav­iour bring about changes in the ner­vous sys­tem,” says Pro­fes­sor Sig­munds­son.

That means that do­ing a task repet­i­tively will re­or­ga­nize your brain so you get bet­ter at do­ing that par­tic­u­lar task.

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