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November 23, 2019 |
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Five Tips for Optimizing Your Brain

Artificial Intelligence is here. We can outsmart the robots if we optimize our human brains.

By Jenny McKeel
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As technological change accelerates, organizations prepare for increased AI and machine learning in the workplace. We can expect faster innovation cycles and fluctuating business circumstances that demand mastery of new knowledge. However professionals who embrace a strategy for learning will keep pace with organizational advancement.

Associate Professor Marcia Ruben, PhD, PCC, a leading innovator in applied neuroscience and leadership, is among GGU faculty members who are bringing the neuroscience of learning into the classroom and training others in cutting-edge neuroscience learning techniques. Here are five tips for super-charging how you learn in the workplace, based on work done by Josh Davis, Maite Balda. David Rock, Paul McGinnis, and Lila Davachi published in volume five of the 2014 NeuroLeadership Journal.

Pay Attention

Neuroscientists have discovered that activation of a brain region called the hippocampus plays a significant role in information recall. In order for the hippocampus to sufficiently activate, we must give our undivided attention to the task at hand. However, studies have long demonstrated that we can only pay attention for 20 minutes at a time, before losing ability to retain information. Take a break after 20 minutes or shift your focus to a different task to allow your circuits to refresh. If you  have to focus for long periods, allow your mind to drift and when you return to the task, consider what’s new about your work to help your brain revive.

Don’t Multitask

Avoid multitasking—the enemy of learning—like the plague. Studies show that when people multitask they are not doing more than one task at a time, but rapidly switching between two actions and engaging only one brain region at a time. Participants attempting to multitask performed worse on tasks than those who focused on just one task. The poor performance of the multitaskers was due to the effort involved in constantly refocusing. Be thorough and consistent about limiting multitasking and you will achieve better results.

Generate Your Own Ideas

Create and share connections to new ideas and your memory will be bolstered. Studies show that learning improves when we engage brain regions involved with generating new knowledge and social interaction, including the medial prefontal cortex (MPFC), a region involved in thinking about identity and the self. You can facilitate learning by applying what you have learned, training others on new approaches, making decisions based on new information, presenting ideas to a group, and reflecting on how new ideas relate to yourself and your projects.

Create Positive Emotion

Some positive emotion enhances learning and too much negative emotion can sabotage it and reduce creativity and innovation. Studies show a strong correlation between the vividness of a memory and the emotionality of the learning process. If you’re trying to tamp down negative emotions while learning, try acknowledging your feelings to clear away distractions. Another effective tactic is called reappraisal. If you’re feeling frustrated with learning a task, focus on the positives such as what you have learned so far and the value this new knowledge will bring. Not only will this help you move forward with a positive outlook, it will improve your ability to remember new information.

Space Out Learning

Spacing out learning over an extended time is the single most important practice for enhancing memory—especially at work where long-term memory matters. It’s also counterintuitive. Multiple studies show that students perform better when they learn new material over several sessions. One of the most profound benefits of spacing is that it allows for sleep, which provides optimal conditions for learning. When training yourself or others on new knowledge, return to material multiple times and space out training sessions to maximize return on your investment.

Source:

Davis, J., Balda, M., Rock, D., McGinnis, P., & Davachi, L. (2014). The science of making learning stick: An update to the AGES model. NeuroLeadership Journal, 5(August 2014), 1-16.

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On the last day of Black History Month, we’re continuing to honor GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Greg Hodge, JD ’85, is a highly regarded community leader, social change activist, and organizational development consultant. His work focuses on the conditions and aspirations of boys and men of color and making racial equity actionable in organizations.

“I think Black History Month is really important, but I would want my new grandchild to not believe that February is the only month in the year when she’s supposed to learn about her history,” said Greg. “I want to impart that she’s supposed to know her history and the history of Indigenous Peoples, the Latinx community, the history of the Irish and Italians, the history of everybody as much as you can in the country to understand where the economic disparity and mistrust began.”

Read Greg’s story: ow.ly/zXKk50DM1In
... See MoreSee Less

On the last day of Black History Month, we’re continuing to honor GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Greg Hodge, JD ’85, is a highly regarded community leader, social change activist, and organizational development consultant. His work focuses on the conditions and aspirations of boys and men of color and making racial equity actionable in organizations.

“I think Black History Month is really important, but I would want my new grandchild to not believe that February is the only month in the year when she’s supposed to learn about her history,” said Greg. “I want to impart that she’s supposed to know her history and the history of Indigenous Peoples, the Latinx community, the history of the Irish and Italians, the history of everybody as much as you can in the country to understand where the economic disparity and mistrust began.”

Read Greg’s story: http://ow.ly/zXKk50DM1In

6 days ago

Golden Gate University

Thinking about going back to school to finish your undergrad degree or start a master's program? There are a lot of work-school-life balance things to consider when making that decision.

Every other Friday Assistant Dean, Liam Anderson, will go live to address your questions and topics such as:
++ fears about not being cut out for college and/or not being able to do well
++ being out of school for too long
++ fear that family, friends, employers won't support you
++ concerns about investing time and money in yourself
++ and more
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Comment on Facebook

Pla tell me about PhD opportunities at Golden Gate University

Ok and wht about teaching opportunities

Hi from Pakistan 🇵🇰

What about felicitation ceremony for spring 2021 graduates

I have a good profile with 8 years plus teaching experience with a Masters degree in Innovation Management from UK. Good research background . My intentions are to teach in U.S.A. Y not start at Golden Gate University. Need guidance to apply as faculty. Pls

What kind of scholarships are available?

We can hear you!

What time management tips do you have?

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We continue to celebrate Black History Month by honoring GGU’s own Black History in the Making. We're proud of Robert Shoffner's rich history with GGU as director of MBA programs, director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program, adjunct professor, and EMBA alum. He also served as director of the San Mateo Small Business Development Center and enjoyed a long career in financial services.

“I believe passionately in small business and I’m concerned with the outsized impact of the pandemic on minority businesses," Robert says. “Forty percent of Black businesses that were here last year are no longer here. I want to see those businesses survive and thrive because they are so important to their communities. If you’re going to have strong communities you have to have strong small businesses.”
... See MoreSee Less

We continue to celebrate Black History Month by honoring GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Were proud of Robert Shoffners rich history with GGU as director of MBA programs, director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program, adjunct professor, and EMBA alum. He also served as director of the San Mateo Small Business Development Center and enjoyed a long career in financial services.

“I believe passionately in small business and I’m concerned with the outsized impact of the pandemic on minority businesses, Robert says. “Forty percent of Black businesses that were here last year are no longer here. I want to see those businesses survive and thrive because they are so important to their communities. If you’re going to have strong communities you have to have strong small businesses.”
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