World Brain Day | "5 things you should know about your brain as a student" by Raquel Gil-Gouveia

Friday, July 21, 2023 - 16:55

"At a time when students face increasingly demanding academic challenges, understanding how our brains work could be the key to better results with less effort.

Here are five essential facts every student should know about their brain:

  1. Master the art of LEARNING!

    Experiences that connect with existing knowledge are encoded and remembered more easily than those that have no such connection. This phenomenon suggests that the accumulation of knowledge shapes the neural networks that are involved in forming lasting memories. When studying, it is crucial to make smart connections between new material and previous knowledge, thus creating a solid foundation for learning.
  2. Sleep like a champ!

    Believe it or not, students of all ages face an epidemic of sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality, resulting in daytime sleepiness. But here's the big epiphany: sleep quality and quantity are directly linked to your learning ability and can predict your performance in exams!
  3. ACTIVATE YOUR BODY to activate your brain!

    Regular physical exercise stimulates neurogenesis, protects the brain against and influences gene expression, promoting brain plasticity. Exercise is a simple and fun way to improve concentration, memory and learning ability. 
  4. Nourish your brain to shine in your studies!

    Studies show that higher fruit intake improves visual memory, fish and seafood consumption boosts learning performance and avoiding fast food is linked to better executive functioning and visual memory. Stay hydrated, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts, and avoid processed foods and excess sugars.

    The importance of concentration and focus in academic success is unquestionable. Techniques such as mindfulness training have shown amazing results in improving academic performance, working memory capacity and reducing distractions during tests and exams. In addition, practices such as Tai Chi Chuan, which involve both mental and physical movement, have been shown to have a greater effect on brain plasticity and functional connectivity than physical exercise. Unlock the secrets of supreme concentration and achieve the academic success you deserve!"

Raquel Gil-Gouveia
neurologist and professor at the Católica Medical School


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