Through neuroscience, we’ve discovered that the brain is always changing. This state of constant transformation is called neural plasticity. But even our hard-working, ever-changing brain needs a vacation now and then. Research has discovered that people who go on a vacation to another location benefit from increased productivity and creativity upon their return. But vacation doesn’t have to mean that you stop learning and growing. In fact, when you are otherwise unplugged from your usual routine, your brain will have time to revisit all the new information you’ve been pumping into your head for the past year. Cycling over new and older neural connections, your brain may find entirely new connections that did not exist before. I suggest that you take a little time on your next vacation to learn about neuroscience, not because you “have to,” but because you “want to.” The difference between reading for work and reading for pure pleasure is significant. A recent study shows that we often remember more of what we read for pleasure than what we are “assigned” to read for work or school.

Books:

Neuroscience For Dummies, Frank Amthor

Computational Cognitive Neuroscience, Michael Frank, Yuko Manakata, Thomas Hazy, Randall O’Reilly

Introduction to the Math of Neural Networks, Jeff Heaton

Brains: How They Seem to Work (FT Press Science), Dale Purves

Websites and blogs:

ASTD Human Capital Blog: I am honored to be part of this vibrant community of scholar-practitioners.

Sharp Brains: Tracking Health and Wellness Applications of Brain Science

Brains: The Smithsonian page, “What does it mean to be human?”

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience: Penn State’s multidisciplinary community dedicated to understanding the neural bases of human thought.

Genes to Cognition Online: Focuses on cognitive disorders, the cognitive process, and research.

Hacking Knowledge: Ways to learn faster, better, cheaper.

Psychology Today: Peer-reviewed articles on human behavior.

Ted.com: Ideas worth spreading.

Eyewire: Help us map the brain and have fun, too.

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