Interesting results from recent research done in Germany which seems to indicate that certain kinds of mental “states” assist us to remember data. For example, when asked to categorize words as pleasant or unpleasant, the test subjects had much better recall than when they were asked to categorize words as having two syllables or more than two. With words that were successfully recalled, researchers noticed “an increase in theta wave amplitude in the medial temporal lobe, beginning 250 ms before word presentation.”

BEFORE word presentation! So the brain was in a certain “state” before the word was presented. This reminds me a lot of Tony Robbins’ stuff. He talks about using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques when you are learning a new activity to put yourself into the right “state” for learning. I wonder how many educators consciously use techniques like this in schools?

clipped from

A team of researchers from Germany now show that the activity which immediately precedes an event is also important for memory formation. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they report the identification of a signature brain state which occurs just before the appearance of a visual stimulus and predicts the successful encoding of it. The findings point to ways in which the process of memory formation could be enhanced.

  blog it