Can You Train Your Brain with Online Learning?

Barry Lenson

Can You Train Your Brain with Online Learning?

Dr. Ryuta Kawashima has some bad news for you. In the introduction to his book Train Your Brain: 60 Days to a Better Brain he writes, “Brain function naturally begins to deteriorate after age twenty, just like our physical and muscular strength gradually weaken as we age.”

The problem, he writes, is that many common activities use only a tiny portion of our brains. Watching TV, for example, activates only a small part of our frontal lobes. Here are some other facts he has learned about the activities that “build” our brains and keep them healthy . . .

Solving a lot of simple calculations quickly is great for your mental fitness. It causes a lot of activity in both hemispheres of the brain.

Solving simple calculations slowly is not so great for your brain because it doesn’t trigger too much activity.

Solving very difficult calculations doesn’t do much to build brain power, because it has to be done slowly. Surprisingly, it only activates a small amount of activity in the right hemisphere of the brain.

Reading silently, reading aloud and writing are all pretty good for the brain. It kind of sounds like the famous Three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic – really do make up a pretty good curriculum for staying smart.

So, what kind of system has Kawashima developed to tone up your brain? It is a bit complicated - you better buy his book if you want to really get those hemispheres up to Olympic standards. But the basic idea is that you have to perform exercises every day, preferably in the morning when your brain is most limber.  He also recommends doing an evaluation of your Prefrontal Cerebral Cortex before you start training, and every five days after that, to see what kind of progress you are making.

We haven’t asked Kawashima to comment on the role that online college courses could play in keeping our brains fit. But since reading, solving problems and writing are all part of the typical online learning experience, how bad could it be? Maybe you should give it a try for FREE.

So there’s a winning formula for you. Build your career and build your brain at the same time with distance learning. My, what big frontal lobes you have.

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