We survey thousands of students and executives before they become speed readers, and under 10% own a formal learning system. They just paid attention and winged it, hoping the essence of what they read or hear flies into their brain. Do you have any specific memory and learning strategies?
When you own a methodology, a technique for learning, you can recall and use newly acquired knowledge for exams, presentations and brainstorming creative solutions. You always have the competitive-edge and run on the fast track for grades, promotions and raises.
Graduates who have a practical knowledge of meta-learning, instead of using a random approach of wishing for the best or an appeal to a higher power, score up to 39% higher on tests. It makes all the difference in the world in your stress level and self confidence. Remember, whatever we focus on expands.
Some professors define metalearning as being aware and taking control of ones own learning strategies. Hello - we all have a system for learning even if it is not organized. Metalearning is discovering how you presently learn and expanding your programming with improvements in comprehension and recall.
Next, take responsibility for managing your metalearning system, not leaving it to the instructor. Finally, you should become aware of your unused capacity for learning and remembering. If you half-try you can double your learning skills in 21 days of only 15 minutes of daily practice. Too much work? You have chosen to limit your future success.
Your Alpha Level
Our brain produces measurable electric brainwave rhythms. The research tools for Neurofeedback (NFB) are the Electroencephalogram (EEG) and the Magneticoencephlography (MEG). They are measure our electrical brain rhythms in Cycles Per Second, Hertz (Hz), also known as Transitions. We also call them Waveforms or Rhythms.
The name to remember as the creator of the EEG is Dr. Hans Berger, a German psychiatrist, 1873-1941.
Two memorable things about University of Jena professor Berger: one, he had to wait until 1929 for American Allan B. DuMont to improve the Cathode Ray Tube to make his EEG work practical; although he was an internationally famous scientist for proving the brain’s electrical activity, his own government, the Nazis, hounded him from the university and intimidated him to a hanging suicide in 1941.
There are four core brainwave settings:
a) Beta Hz registers our waking ordinary consciousness used in logic and organization. 12-18 Cycles Per Second (CPS)
b) Alpha is produced when our eyes are closed in alert relaxation; it is an activation of our Visual Cortex during Idling, and registers the electrical brainwaves in our Occipital Lobe. 8-12 CPS.
c) Theta cycles per second is active during learning and memory and is produced in our Dentate Gyrus, located in the Hippocampus, also known as Broca’s Area. 4-8 CPS.
d) Delta CPS are the brainwave rhythms occurring during sleep.
For a comprehensive review, Google Broca’s Area and Wernicke’s Area.
If you observe what structures of your brain are firing in terms of their amplitudes and frequencies, you are capable of consciously training your mind to improve your performance. It works because of feedback from your brain. Technically, it is Operant Conditioning for your internal states.
Coda: You have more control over your mind and body than you believe for health and healing. There are strategies to enhance your life that you have never been taught and may want to learn.
NFB is used internationally to reduce chronic stress, panic attacks and to improve learning and memory; it is a learning strategy that alters brainwaves through feedback of your present behaviors.
Three processes are involved: a burning desire for improvement; a change in your belief of what is possible, and last, an expectation of your personal success.
Does it really work?
After fifty years of research using Biofeedback, Alphafeedback and Neurofeedback, some physicians and neuroscientists believe NFB is equal to drugs, psychiatry and surgery. Others are waiting for the Nobel committee to grant NFB certification.
Using Alpha For Learning
Our experience is students will only swallow small bites at a time of anything new or a change from their daily experience. Speed Reading is a proven strategy to triple your reading speed and double your memory quickly and permanently. Still, over 40% of surveyed educators consider speed reading impossible even after 50 years of evidence and proof.
Statistics in 1959 revealed that 98% of the general public did not believe you could train children or adults to read and remember three books, articles and reports in the time their peers could hardly finish one. In 2006, a new survey shows 90% of American students and executives polled believe speed reading is a skill worth learning.
The Wall Street Journal in a major article on July 25, 2006, calls Speed Reading: The Sequel. It indicates that corporate executives require and use its strategies.
Why do adults have such difficulty with change and newness?
It is instinctual (survival value) to continue doing what has a proven track record; and change and newness is frightening and attacks our status quo and need for a comfort-zone. Misoneism is in Websters for fear, and hatred of change.
In order to learn something new we must experience a disconnect, a disruption of our comfort-zone. We try all our past strategies to solve a problem or make a decision; only if they fail will we consider a new, creative approach. Adults have a neophobia toward being an experimental guinea pig in things large or small.
Could it be that we mentally associate change with the ultimate change, death?
Speed reading has secret strategies for the 20% of our graduates (the Vital Few) who desire to go to the upper levels of their personal growth. These learnable techniques permit certain students and executives to access their hardwired gifts and talents leading to creative genius.
When the student is ready the teacher appears, as above so below; as within, so without. Think about it.
copyright 2006 H. Bernard Wechsler www.speedlearning.org firstname.lastname@example.org -
Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's; former partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House staffs of four U. S. Presidents.
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Magazine.