September 23, 2019
As many college students begin their first experience of living away from home, they may have questions about the best way to study.
Burman explained the role the brain plays in studying.
“The entire brain is involved in learning,” Burman told the Bangor Daily News. “Every sensory system stores memories.”
Burman says the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex needs to be fully activated and focused to retain information. It is the section of the brain that stores short term or new information.
“This is why multitasking hurts so much,” Burman said. “We can only pay attention to one thing at a time. This structure also works like a filter, helping us keep track of what we need to know temporarily and what we need to know for the long term.”
Burman says possible ways to improve brain function include getting enough sleep.
“There’s now quite a bit of literature that shows sleep is super important for learning and memory,” Burman stated. “Not only does sleep help us feel alert and ready to learn, it also is a time that the brain uses to store our long-term memories and clear away the old temporary memories.”
According to Burman, other ways to retain information include exercise, writing things down instead of typing them and shutting down social media for a while.