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Debbie Wiseman on Desert Island Discs: My knicker drawer is a disaster area

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 24 Oct 2014, 14:20

I can relate to this

Debbie WisemanAudio player: Debbie Wiseman : Desert Island Discs

"Take me through your working day," said Kirsty Young.

If I've got a deadline

I love very, very, early in the morning

The best time of day because there is nobody around, its quiet

I love between 6 and 9

There's something about having to focus

If I didn't have a deadline I'd sit at the piano and waffle; I'd procrastinate. 

Do you relate to this?

Owl or lark?!

 

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What impact does alcohol have on the brain?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 14 Sep 2014, 08:36

Fig.1 Does alcohol have a permanent effect on the brain?

The answer is 'yes', though of course it is dependant on many variables: binge drinking is bad, like a blow to the head. This comprehensive heavy-weight article I Googled, 'Alcohol's Damaging Effects on the Brain' satisfies my initial curiosity, then the above shocking image catches my eye.

Dare I ask if we know any child who clearly showed such facial traits?

Far too late to do anything about it though.

After this paper like post from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism I eventually start looking to chase up a few references (the very best way to satisfy you curiosity and layer detail onto the ideas you are gathering) when I read that 'memory formation and retrieval are highly influenced by factors such as attention and motivation'.

From E-Learning V

This quote from Kensinger E A et al in the Journal of Neuroscience 2003. Title: What neural correlates underlie successful encoding and retrieval? Not Found in the OU Library so I cut and paste into Google Scholar and there it is to download as a PDF.

It is not surprising that scientific research shows (not speculation) that distraction diminishes attention and therefore retention, nor surprising that a low level distraction has less impact than a high one.

Does a teenager (or any of us) supposedly doing homework while

a) interacting on Facebook

b) answering text messages

c) streaming a movie and/or

d) playing a video game

... complete a task half as well than when focused?

Exam conditions aren't just best for exams:

turn off the radio and phone, shut the door, put up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign, give yourself a set period of time in which to concentrate ... and reward yourself at the end of it (not with alcohol though).

Why we all need a 'room of our own'? (Even if you have to wait until someone else vacates it).

Better an hour studying when motivated and focused, then three hours while streaming a movie, or answering email?

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A terrifying realistion

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 5 Sep 2014, 06:37
From E-Learning V

Writing an assignment takes time and requires focus.

Not rocket science, but never before have I been quite so aware of the time it takes to achieve something. Prep over the writing has begun. I use an hour glass to hold my focus, but what do I achieve in an hour? 400 words.

At this rate it'll take another ten hours just to complete the first draft. My only hope is that the preparation will have paid off and that these 4000 words with some spit and polish will do the job.

We'll see.

Suddenly time feels finite and the deadline like 'The Wall' in Game of Thrones looms on the horizon. Just so long as the next series isn't released in the next few days. When is it due out by the way?!

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On the benefits and drawbacks of having an obsessive nature when it comes to learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 13 Jun 2014, 06:12

I love the pursuit. I get a thrill from tracking down the reference in the reference. If this means that reading a book requires me to read six books, then so be it. I come out the other end not only having read the book, but having constructed my own understanding of it by getting closer to the sources the author originally used; invariably I form a different opinion, sometimes one that makes we question how the author drew these conclusions as my own thinking are different. This is when you see how, like journalists, even authors of academic texts, of necessity, have to be selective. This is particularly the case with history where interpretation of the past is exactly that; a turning over, sifting and retelling of the events. 

The drawback of an obsessive nature is when you feel a compulsion to see every episode of Game of Thrones, and when you're not watching the series you're reading up on the cast and crew in IMDB. 

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