What is Brain Fitness?
Brain fitness refers to cognitive skills such as attention, memory and critical thinking abilities essential for learning.
Why is it important?
Cognitive skills are critical because not only do they correlate with academic results but also future career success. Furthermore, a recent study conducted by Harvard researchers found that while schools impart academic knowledge, they do not seem to impact cognitive development, highlighting the benefit of specific cognitive training.
Furthermore, scientists working on mapping human intelligence have recently discovered that both human general intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) involves a network of interconnections linked to key cognitive areas. This means that when we build brain fitness, we are strengthening the brain networks that make us more intelligent! At BrainFit Studio, these key cognitive skills are precisely the focus points in our training programmes.
When should we train our brain?
Anyone, from infants to seniors, can benefit from brain fitness training. However, younger brains often make more gains given the same training effort so we strongly recommend that brain training commences as early as possible.
How does brain fitness training work?
For pre-schoolers (<6years) at BrainFit® Studio, training focuses on enhanced development of all cognitive skills based on the natural developmental sequence. For school-going children, skills are intensively accelerated over a 4-month period to ensure rapid and enduring results.
SET PERSONAL OBJECT
We first understand the student’s needs. Together with the student’s parents/carers, we set objectives and desired outcomes together.
Measure with CogMAP™
Next, the student’s cognitive capabilities are objectively measured with our unique CogMAP™ brain fitness profiling tool. This helps us to understand the student’s unique brain fitness profile file and allows us to track improvements after our brain fitness training programmes.
Adapt activities to abilities
We then adapt our programmes to suit the profile of each student. Adaptation is essential because if the cognitive tasks selected are too easy, the brain will not be adequately challenged to build new, stronger and better connections; if the activities are too difficult, the student will lose motivation, interest and confidence in continuing. Feedback is continuously generated so we can monitor progress and adjust the cognitive exercises accordingly throughout the duration of the student’s brain fitness training programme.
Re-wire through focused practice
Neuro-scientific research tells us frequency and intensity has significant effect on brain fitness training outcomes. During a typical 50min training session at BrainFit® Studio, a student may be engaged in up to 500-1000 repetitions of the cognitive tasks they are working on. Adequate frequency and intensity of training is vital for maximum results.
Transform brain for maximum performance
When the above steps are followed closely, we expect the brain to be transformed into a sharper and faster neural network for learning and performance. We expect our students to be able to learn better – focus longer, think faster and remember more. We conduct re-evaluations on all our students to measure their gains.
Our training protocols conform to neuroscientific principles for maximum impact and efficacy. They adapt themselves to improvements in brain ability, ensuring that brain fitness training is conducted at the most optimal level.
5 Brain Pillars
Our 5 Brain Pillars deal with “how we learn” and determine our ability to acquire, retain and make use of the knowledge we gather. Knowledge is “what we learn” and represents academic content, study techniques and strategies etc. Recent brain scan research has shown that these 5 Brain Pillars are closely associated with the brain networks responsible for human intelligence (IQ). Hence, strengthening these 5 Brain Pillars means sharpening our intelligence!
Our 5 Brain Pillars are:
- Auditory Input System
- Visual Input System
- Sensory-Motor Output System
- Attention Control System 5) Emotional Control System
These 5 Brain Pillars are important because whether you are learning to play golf, play the piano or solve a Math problem, they form the foundation of our “engine for learning”.
For example, to be successful in the activities above, accurate listening (Auditory Input System) to the coach’s instructions, the tune of music from the piano or the explanation from the teacher about the new Math concept is vital.
Our Visual Input System further supports our listening as we watch the coach’s golf swing closely, look at the music scores line by line or study the Math diagrams the teacher has drawn on the blackboard.
Our Emotional Control System keeps our anxiety at bay and our motivation high as we learn these tasks for the first time, so that our Attention Control System can work efficiently to keep us focused on the task at hand.
Finally, we need our motor skills (Sensory-Motor Output System) to execute the new golf swing, manipulate our fingers swiftly on the keyboard to play the tune or control the pencil to copy the Math diagram accurately onto our workbook.
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these 5 Brain Pillars means understanding the health of our “learning engine”.