How Does the Brain Function and How Do We Learn?

During the month of July the team here at Grow Your Mindset have been focusing our attention on that very complex and vital organ in the human body, the brain.

We have been taking time to look at parts of our brain and their functions, and how our brain learns new things.

And all of our discussions and debate about the Brain has confirmed one thing, this is the part of the human body that makes us all super special and super unique!

The human brain is the most significant difference between us and other species. We are (supposedly), more intelligent, civilised, and innovative than any other animal on the planet.

Furthermore, we have developed superior communication in the form of language and understanding, and the human consciousness has led to more sophisticated behaviours, objectivity, and reasoning.

Yet despite all the medical and neuroscientific research available, there is still, relatively little known about the brain!

Want to find out more about how the brain functions and how do we learn?

Read on here....

How Does the Brain Function?

The brain is made up of 3 main parts, the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem, all of which play a vital part in maintaining our homeostasis, or equilibrium.

In turn, the cerebrum is sub-divided into the four lobes:

· Frontal

· Parietal

· Occipital and

· Temporal

These four lobes are then divided again, and all have extremely specific functions. Without this blog becoming a full-on anatomy and physiology lesson, it’s worth knowing what these functions are because this gives more context to how the brain actually works!

The frontal lobe, which is the biggest area, controls things like our behaviours, personality, body movement, speech, judgement and intelligence, concentration, and self-awareness.

The parietal lobe controls our sense of touch, (i.e. how we understand pain, temperature etc), as well as how we interpret words, visual and audible signals, and part of our memory function.

The occipital is where we interpret colour, light and movement, (i.e. our eyesight).

And the temporal lobe is where we process sequencing and organising, as well as memory, hearing and understanding language.

To make everything function, the brain sends millions of electrical charges and chemicals back and forth, to every cell within the four lobe regions via neurons.

These neurons are the critical cells that are basically transmitting messages from your brain through your central nervous system to every part of your body, allowing you to move, to see, to touch, to feel and to hear.

And sometimes, when neurons die, this can lead to brain disease such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s causing problems with body movement or memory loss.

Furthermore, the brain controls the heart and the body’s cardiac functioning, and the messages that are transmitted between these two organs keep us doing all the subconscious activities that essentially keep us healthy and well.

So, as you can see, the one thing we can probably all agree on is the brain is definitely the hardest working organ in the human body!

How Does the Brain Learns New Things?

With all of this activity going on, it does make you wonder how on earth our brains can learn new things when there’s so much activity already taking place!

Well, here’s the thing.

The brain learns in the most unexpected ways. And most of our ‘learning thoughts’ occur at the connecting points of the neurons we mentioned earlier.

These points are called synapses, and actually provide tiny spaces between the neurons allowing the transmission of the ‘messages’ between your brain and different parts of the body to speed up, making them more efficient.

Therefore, the more you practice something, the more efficient the brain gets, and you become better at those particular skills you are focusing on.

And when you are learning something new, this is engaging more neurons in the brain to become active, so whilst the learning may seem slow at first, the more you practice the more the neurons speed up thus improving your skills and capabilities!

People Learn at Different Speeds

We’ve already discussed how complex our brains are, and we’ve really only scratched the surface of how they function.

So, it’s worth remembering that this of course results in people learning at different speeds, and that we all have different skills and abilities, which is what makes each one of us special and unique!

The most important thing to remember is that in each and every one of us, our brains are amazing, and enable us to achieve astonishing results, no matter what we put our minds to.

For some people, learning everyday tasks is an accomplishment to be celebrated, whilst for others as we’ve seen with the fantastic results in European football this summer, our brains help us to learn skills that take us to the top of our game.

The point is, we are all capable of learning, and this in itself is a joyous thing and one of the fundamentals of being human.

Contact Us

So, if you have enjoyed reading our latest blog about how the brain functions and how we learn, and you feel motivated to learn or if you simply want to keep the conversation going, you can contact us here or call us directly on 07803 909838 to speak to one of the team.

The brain really is a fascinating topic, and something that we at Grow Your Mindset would love to know what your thoughts are about it, too!

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