Increasing your cognitive potential

General discussion about learning languages
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rdearman
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Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby rdearman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:44 pm

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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby mcthulhu » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:56 pm

You might also look at the research done at the Center for the Applied Study of Language (CASL) on improving working memory for foreign languages, e.g. https://www.casl.umd.edu/wp-content/upl ... S-2009.pdf, https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2016/pap ... er0062.pdf, https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2013/pap ... er0214.pdf, etc., etc.
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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby Elenia » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:33 pm

I particularly liked the first article you posted, rdearman (I haven't got round to the one's posted by mcthulhu). I found myself thinking that actually, learning a language is a good way to implement those five principles!
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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby wwiding » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:59 am

Fascinating. I'll have to find time to read these articles on my days off this week.
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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:57 am

I think such factors as- nutrition, exercise, meditation (to increase one's ability to stay focused), adequate rest, and being as present as one can possibly be (distraction is akin to a leaky wandering brain I think - increase focus = increase learning efficiency!). These things ought to significantly impact upon our mental capacity to learn (assuming one isn't already applying oneself in all these areas). I'm not going to link to any studies or quote science/studies since sometimes common sense and anecdotal evidence speak volumes compared to the modern era's obsession with scientific studies. Do what you can to increase your energy levels and your intellectual and physical potential would increase, would it not? Then it's a matter of application and focus.
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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby Axon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:24 pm

In one of those articles the point about "keeping your brain on its toes" resonated with me. The dual n-back certainly keeps your brain at a point where it seems impossible to catch up, but I can put myself in that same mental state when trying to say something outside my comfort zone in one of my languages.

I've always been the type of person to try teaching themselves new things, and once I discovered languages I had a basically unlimited source of new things I could keep teaching myself. Always more to learn about phonetics, always new sounds to get good at making, always new vocabulary. I've dabbled in more than thirty languages but just this month I felt the sense of keeping my brain on its toes with the ber- prefix in Indonesian. It simply doesn't have a counterpart in any other language I know, and I can practically feel the new mental connections being made whenever I read or use a ber- word.

I recently wrote English subtitles for a series of German videos, some four to five hours of speech in total or about 50,000 words. I noticed that my "working memory'" expanded slightly over the course of the job. When I was doing the first few videos I constantly had to rewind and pause frequently in order to write down my translation, but when I was finishing I was able to hold around ten seconds of German speech in my head, pause the video, and produce a coherent translation from memory. Did my cognitive potential increase here - is my working memory in general better? Or was this just the result of practice?
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Re: Increasing your cognitive potential

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:24 pm

Axon wrote:I recently wrote English subtitles for a series of German videos, some four to five hours of speech in total or about 50,000 words. I noticed that my "working memory'" expanded slightly over the course of the job. When I was doing the first few videos I constantly had to rewind and pause frequently in order to write down my translation, but when I was finishing I was able to hold around ten seconds of German speech in my head, pause the video, and produce a coherent translation from memory. Did my cognitive potential increase here - is my working memory in general better? Or was this just the result of practice?


I've had similar experiences when transcribing dialogues and transcribing music. Both situations present somewhat predictable content (beginner-like TL;just one melody voice), but it's still a nice feeling when you can keep long strings in your head. Then people are impressed when I remember their name or year of birth. Hey, I can do that in my sleep.
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