How To Learn Learning

What is chunk
  • A way to unite bits of information through meaning.
  • When you are focused on learning prefrontal cortex makes useful neural connections
    • This doesn’t work as effectively under stress.
  • Focused practice and repetition helps with creating chunks.
  • Chunks help brain run more efficiently

How to chunk?
  • You learn bit by bit forming mini chunks.
  • Step 1: Focused attention.
  • Step 2: Under the idea.
  • Step 3: Solving the problem yourself or doing it yourself creates neural patterns.
  • Step 4: Understand the context - when are the new ideas you are learning applicable
    • Practice helps with bottom up chunking.
    • Top down learning - reading summaries, or reading highlights of a chapter - helps with understanding context.

Illusions of competence
  • Try recalling material after you read it - you learn better and at deeper level
  • Re-reading more useful when spaced in time.
  • Highlighting texts
    • Don’t over do it.
    • Look for important ideas before you start marking.
    • One sentence per paragraph.
  • Test yourself, recall is a form of a test.
  • Mistakes helps correct your thinking.
  • Recall outside of study time.

What motivates you?
  • You cant learn something that you are not into, at least partly due to neuromodulators.
  • Acetylcholine
    • Important for focused learning.
    • Help long term memory
  • Dopamine
    • Is released when we get an unexpected rewards.
    • Dopamine signals are widely broadcasted and hence help learning.
    • Also controls expectation of future reward.
    • Addictive drugs release dopamine.
    • Lack of dopamine leads to parkinsons disease and even catonomia.
  • Serotonin
    • Affects social activity.
    • Linked to risk taking.
  • Emotions affect learning and memory.
  • Amygdala - major center for cognition and memory integration.

Value of a library of chunks?
  • To enhance knowledge it is important to build up chunks of knowledge and form creative connections between them.
  • Preformed chunks help with learning new ideas
  • As you keep learning, you start forming bigger chunks.
    • And you learng a bit easily as you go along.
    • Diffuse brain can them help finding solutions to new problems.
  • A chunk library useful in classification and patterns in problem solving.
  • Problem solving - Sequential thinking or holistic thinking.
    • Sequential = focused mode thinking.
    • Holistic - diffused mode. Required in solving hard problems as they require new ideas.
  • Don’t get stuck while learn. If something seems hard, skip it for now. Once you learn other things it will become easier to learn that concept.

Over learning, choking, einstellung, and interleaving.
  • Continuously practicing in the same session, is not as effective.
  • Study session should consist of focus on learning harder content - deliberate practice.
  • Einstellung(mindset) - existing neural patterns prevents new patterns from forming. Obstructing new ideas.
  • Unlearn older ideas to learn new ideas.
  • Dont jump straight to solving problems, first learn the context and give your brain time to work past the mindset.
  • Interleaving is going back and forth between types of problem to help form connections between chunks.
  • Interleaving helps you think creatively and independently.