Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning: Second Life Discussions

26 06 2009

Did you know that clinical research has proven that our brain continue to grow and develop through our lives, providing we actively use it?  This week during our “in world” discussions in Second Life, we explored the fascinating area of brain research in relation to learning inside and outside of virtual worlds.

To prepare for our discussions, we read and watched a number of online resources including excerpts from a Hilton Head Conference and discussions with Dr Norman Doidge whose website promotes his new book.

Our brain will grow “mental muscles” and continually develop new synapses (connections) as long as we are physically active and hear smart, continue to learn new skills, and get involved with life and humanity.  Lifelong learning then becomes a “gym for the brain” so we can live for life and even stave-off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The time we spend learning physically wires our brain a certain way.  Therefore, it’s critical that we continually experiment with new ways of learning in order to create new “mental muscles”.  Old paradigms of rote learning and repetition will not work in 3D immersive learning experiences where “play”, experimentation and visualization challenge both left and right-brain thinking.

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