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Recent News on Thinking and the Brain

Your monthly round-up of news from the world of thinking and learning:

  • Tracking memory at the speed of thought. Just how much information can you store in your brain? New research methods that monitor memories in near real time are helping scientists get a better sense of the brain’s capacity limits. “People can only think about a couple of things at a time,” says one of the researchers, “and they miss things that would seem to be extremely obvious and memorable if that limited set of resources is diverted elsewhere.”
  • Could the end of boredom be bad news for creativity? Digital devices have made it easy to avoid boredom, but at what cost? Bored people have the opportunity to connect with their idle thoughts, daydream and let their minds wander. And recent research published in the Creativity Research Journal suggests that bored people come up with more ideas, and more creative ones, than others do.
  • Slow down your brain’s aging by picking up another language. Being bilingual doesn’t just help you become a more well-rounded person. New research suggests that the brains of bilingual people age more slowly than others’ and that bilngual people have “better baseline cognintive functions” as they age.

Find more news in this month’s BrainBytes® Newsletter, including:

HBDI® Certification Workshops: July 22-24, New York, NY; August 12-14, Memphis, TN

Recent News on Thinking and the Brain

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 Some food for thought from the world of thinking this month:

  • You’ve seen it, and now you can’t unsee it. Recent research sheds new light on how optical illusions “rewire” your brain. “You’re not only seeing what is actually before you; you’re seeing what your brain is telling you is there.” As these images show, what you know influences what you see.
  • The critical role of “learning by thinking” in performance improvement. Learning by doing has traditionally been the focus of research on how to improve performance, productivity and progress over time. But researchers at Harvard Business School are making the case that reflection—“the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract and articulate the key lessons taught by experience”—is a critical component of learning.
  • Just one more way advertisers are tricking your brain. From “rethink possible” to “spread the happy,” turning adjectives into nouns is a popular trend in advertising—and with good reason. Similar to the effect metaphors have on your brain, this grammatical trick of “nouning adjectives” is a form of bisociation, which can create striking insights and images. “Bisociation tickles your brain, and that’s just what marketers want to do.”
  • Come on, get happy. Happiness may not be all in your mind, but the way we view the world and frame our lives is a product of our mindsets. Here are some ways you can retrain your brain for a happier existence.

Find more news in this month’s BrainBytes® Newsletter, including:

 

Recent News on Thinking and the Brain

 

 

 

 

 

Some food for thought from the world of thinking this month:

  • Use your brain to get happier. Your career may require your mind to be on the lookout for problems, but there are also a few simple steps you can take to train your brain to be happy. After all, the “irrationally positive brain” can help motivate us to keep moving forward.
  • Our memory system is built to change, depending on what information is important at the moment. A new study has found that our brains rewrite our memories, and while this means our memories are less accurate, scientists believe this adaptive function is part of the continual learning process.
  • There’s beauty in mathematics, according to your brain. Research reveals that certain mathematical equations and formulas trigger a similar brain response as artistic and musical masterpieces, suggesting a potential neurobiological basis to beauty.

And finally, this month’s issue of National Geographic focuses on the latest scientific research and discoveries that are beginning to paint a clearer picture of how the brain works.

Find more news in this month’s BrainBytes® Newsletter, including:

Recent News on Thinking and the Brain

Some food for thought from the world of thinking this month:

  • Here’s one kind of multitasking that’s not a problem for your brain. While certain multitasking activities have been shown to reduce performance and productivity, visual sampling is one type of multitasking our brains seem to be able to handle well.
  • Brain scientists in England to work with schools on how to learn. Citing the need to address the “evidence gap” in applying neuroscience in learning, the Wellcome Trust and Education Endowment Foundation is funding the initiative to research how schoolchildren’s brains process information.
  •  How you practice affects how you learn. A new study suggests that the more time you spend trying to understand how something works, the better your learning outcomes. According to the researchers, “The study suggests that learning can be improved—you can learn more efficiently or use the same practice time to learn to a higher level.”

Find more news in this month’s BrainBytes® Newsletter, including:

High-Performing Employees Are Leaving

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Are Your Managers Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

The latest survey from Right Management reveals that three out of four organizations lost high-performing employees they did not want to lose during the past year.

 Good people will find good opportunities, even in a slow job market. The question is, what’s making them leave?

While many factors can come into play, study after study shows that one of the main reasons people leave a job is their boss. If your managers aren’t able to communicate effectively and build connections with employees, they’re helping push those top performers out the door. 

 A few questions to consider:

  • What are you doing to avoid being part of the 75% of companies that have lost top talent in the past year?
  • How are you taking care of your top people?
  • Do your managers communicate effectively with each of their direct reports? Do they have the tools and skills to engage employees in a meaningful way?
  • How are you equipping people to be better leaders and managers?

A number of leading organizations are using the Whole Brain® system to give managers an easy-to-apply, practical framework for understanding what different employees pay attention to and how they prefer to think and approach their work. Whole Brain® Thinking skills not only help managers better communicate with their employees, but they also ensure the organization is fully capitalizing on the potential of high performers.

And when top talent is engaged and able to contribute, they’re more likely to stick around than take up the next offer from the competition.

Check out our case studies to see how organizations like Cirque du Soleil, IBM, Integ and Cookie Time are making it work for them.