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The Learning Brain

Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.69

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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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-2018

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".

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Maan Younes
  • 21-07-2018

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Tintin
  • 02-03-2019

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • T. Christman
  • 01-08-2018

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

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • WSW
  • 18-07-2018

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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 29-06-2018

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Randy Hargett
  • 15-06-2018

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Allan Starkey
  • 31-05-2018

The Latest on Brain Resear

This course will really expand your metaphorical abilities, your ability to think about your thinking.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-2019

Life changing

Absolutley loved the material.
The narrator is one of the best I've encountered.
I specialky enjoyed how the introduction and the last chapter binds it all together, making the material easy to understand systematically. My absolute favorite!

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  • Rafael
  • 15-04-2019

Definitely not what I had expected.

Had no idea I’d be learning about the human brain and all of its quirks. Nor did I know I’d be interested at all. Yet the lessons and lectures were so inviting and informative, I couldn’t put it down. Well worth it.

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  • Mr. J. A. Ball
  • 07-08-2018

A fascinating course

Sorts the myths from the truth about learning, memory and how they really work. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to better understand optimal learning strategies for long term results.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John Mayhew
  • 28-09-2018

Excellent

I highly recommend this as a preliminary course for students starting their psychology degree. I know I've done one, and taught one too. Excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather Grace Bond
  • 18-01-2019

Excellent lecturer

Thad Polk is an outstanding teacher, delivering even complex material in a way that is accessible to all. His passion for learning is evident and infectious and the material he presents is simply fascinating. My learning will be so much more efficient now that I know where my time is best spent.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-2018

I'm Only 5 Hours In But Already Life Changing!

I bought this book on a whim, mainly to use up a 'free book' offer, as I thought it might give me some useful tips for learning Old English. It has. In spades! It has already made major changes to the way I study. But its benefits are far far more than just mere mnemonic parlour tricks (although it was fascinating to learn that there is some hard science behind the Loci Method etc). It has given me an understanding of how we learn -both implicit and explicit. Not only that , it helps me understand why I do what I do and amend my Social behaviour, (I can seriously recommend it to anyone looking to start a new relationship btw). But wait ; there is even MORE! ATM I am coming off Rx opiate painkillers which I have had to take daily for 30 years and this book explains so much, and helps me cope with the withdrawal. Thank you so much for this Professor Polk.

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  • Adisha
  • 06-10-2018

Outstanding audio lecture

I really enjoyed listening to this very well structured and helpful course. It is packed full of great tips and strategies to help strengthen and reinforce the learning process.

I recommend this wonderful lecture series for teachers and students and anyone with a burning desire to learn new things.

(More detailed review to follow)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-2018

Feedback on the lecture

Hi. Great lecture. Brief, engaging and to the point. Though the lecture was great the fees involved with having this app aren't affordable. Thee fees of this membership are too high for everyone to afford it. Reading great books and lectures shouldn't be a privilege to those who can afford paying but all people regardless of background etc.

This was a nice try. I am giving up this membership.

0 of 12 people found this review helpful