The Powerful Effects Hands On Learning Can Have On Your Brain

It is no surprise that most learn best with hands-on work. Sitting back and watching will not provide the same kind of training as actually doing something yourself. But why is it that hands-on learning is so powerful and can have such a large impact on our brain?

Tactile activities, or hands-on activities are encouraged for anyone looking to learn something new regardless of the age. It might be because of two separate memory systems that this method is so beneficial. The first reason behind this is semantic memory while the other is episodic memory, which each being in different locations of the brain.

Semantic memory consists of all of the things we set out to learn and remember like mathematics, history and even something as simple as what number comes after 4 and what letter comes after c. There is a reason we have all been taught the correct answer to these questions, but it is because of our semantic memory that we are capable of remembering and retrieving the answers.

When it comes to remembering where you were last night or what you did for your birthday last year, most would be able retrieve this as well. This is all information that is stored in our episodic memory, hence the episodes of our lives. Think of it as our autobiography and the events that have made up who we are and what we have done. This information is stored unintentionally.

It is the combination of these two systems and their teamwork that help us with so much in life. Although they are two completely separate pieces of the brain, the two working together accomplish so much. However, it is possible for one to work better than the other, or even for one to completely lose touch of reality. This is the case for many Alzheimer’s victims who lose their episodic memory but not their semantic.

Knowing and understanding the impact of each of these memory systems can help one truly recognize the benefits of hands-on activities. Whether it is in the classroom or right in your own living room, hands-on activities are ever so important to further the education, learning abilities, and overall intelligence of your brain regardless of what the material is that is being learned.

So the next time you set out to learn something new, make sure you have the guitar in hand, the cooking materials in front of you, or the book on the desk beside you to take in everything there is to learn.
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