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The Learning Brain

Written by: The Great Courses
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most complicated and advanced computers on Earth can't be purchased in any store. This astonishing device, responsible for storing and retrieving vast quantities of information that can be accessed at a moment's notice, is the human brain. How does such a dynamic and powerful machine make memories, learn a language, and remember how to drive a car? What habits can we adopt in order to learn more effectively throughout our lives? And how do external factors like traumatic injuries and mood affect our gray matter? The answers to these questions are merely the tip of the iceberg in The Learning Brain.

These 24 half-hour lectures offer in-depth and surprising lessons about how the brain learns and how we can optimize that learning. Begin your journey by focusing on which parts of the brain are responsible for different kinds of memory, from personal experiences and memorized facts to short-term memory, and how these systems work on a psychological and biological level. Then, discover how to better absorb and retain all kinds of memories in all stages of life. This course is chock-full of valuable information, whether you're learning a new language at 60 or discovering calculus at 16. If you need better study habits, struggle with learning a new skill, or just worry about memories fading with age, The Learning Brain will provide illuminating insights.

Take this journey with Thad Polk, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, whose well-organized curriculum and relaxed teaching style ease you into intricate aspects of learning science, including the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms involved. Professor Polk's credentials in psychology and over 20 years' experience in education shine through every lecture of The Learning Brain as he firmly supports this rigorous exploration with scientific studies conducted over the last several decades of neuroscientific research.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio. 

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

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    5 out of 5 stars

Simple way to listen to lectures

These lectures were clean and easy to follow. With a audible subscription this is a great choice for continued learning.

6 people found this helpful

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Just what I needed, and nothing I didn't need.

This lecture series was delightful! The instructor is pleasant to learn from and very down to Earth with his explanations.

The material was concise and relevant to my needs.

Thanks for a wonderful lecture series.

6 people found this helpful

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One of the better Great Courses!

The title says it all.

It's exactly what you think it would be about. How the brain learns and some tips to help with it. The delivery was great. The Content was great. The pacing and structure are perfect. The accompanying PDF was also very helpful. If you're interested in how we learn, and how to make it easier, this is a course that you probably want to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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Understanding how we view the world

This course not only delivers an exceptional review of learning from a cognitive and neuroscience perspective, it helps us understand how our own perspectives have shaped our lives and our learning. Professor Polk has crafted an amazing course that utilizes all of the science discussed to ensure it is an engaging and stimulating learning experience. Thank you sincerely for this course.

1 person found this helpful

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Good advice for optimizing learning

provides good advice for studying and skill development based upon the studies referenced within the course.

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Makes me feel like I’m in the worst college movie

Listening to this awful and over theatric performance is just like eating dinner at your ex partners parents house

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-27

Incredibly interesting





Nothing better than fact based knowledge. Everyone should have access to this information. I'm going straight to this Professor's other book, "The Aging Brain".

18 people found this helpful

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  • Myles
  • 2019-07-24

Excellent

A really great guide to the physiological and psychological processes happening in the brain as we learn. The Prof. Polk makes the subject matter very accessible and easy to understand too. This is an excellent reference for anyone wanting to improve their learning techniques or professionals in the teaching field who want to understand how to create more effective learning interventions for students at every level. Highly recommended!

4 people found this helpful

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  • T. Christman
  • 2018-08-01

good lectures about learning and the brain

I really enjoyed the content and especially the teaching by the professor and certainly one aspect that I was unexpected I will listen to him again

13 people found this helpful

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  • Maan Younes
  • 2018-07-21

A really great course

I enjoyed listening to this course and I did learn a great deal from it. The lecturer is a wonderful teacher and is a pleasure to listen to. I recommend this course highly.

11 people found this helpful

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  • WSW
  • 2018-07-18

Best review on current research

Wonderful review of relevant research. As a teacher this was very useful. I can now discard the useless techniques knowing the research backs me up.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 2018-06-29

At least every teacher should listen to it

Excellent, many interesting ideas based on credible research. Fun to listen. I learned new insights into how brain works.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Tintin
  • 2019-03-02

Slow, useful, unconvincing

Slow going, I listened to about half at x2.5, but then this content was not new to me. I returned it. It is a reasonable introduction, probably, but I do have a problem when a single study of undergraduate students is presented as "scientific support" for sweeping generalizations, especially when the next one is picked apart and dismissed as bad science. Seemed a little questionable at times.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Katrina
  • 2019-10-02

Perfect for the Curious Ones

What a gem!

The content is packed with a lot of good information that anyone would enjoy listening to. I also liked how organized the topics were; learning the details and gradually connecting it with other topics.

Great audio and narration, too!

2 people found this helpful

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  • RSH
  • 2018-06-15

One of the best Courses I have ever listened too.

Dr Polk is a great teacher. I like the way he explains the theory and how correlation does not always identify the cause. Good science takes time and improves over time.

12 people found this helpful

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  • George B. Freebersyser
  • 2019-09-09

Fascinating, Engaging, Applicable

This is a very engaging presentation which highlights practical and interesting insights. I want to listen again to dig into how to even better use this material.

1 person found this helpful