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Print this activity out at home or in the library. Be sure to complete each section before the due date.

1. Select which methods can help when trying to learn something new.
Use focused and diffused modes at the same time
Bash your brain against the wall
Get stressed

2. In the __________ mode, the brain makes random connections in a relaxed fashion.
3. Select the following true statements regarding procrastination.
When you don't want to work on something, a sense of neural discomfort arises. However,
researchers have found that not long after you might start working on something that you find
unpleasant, that neural discomfort disappears. So an important aspect of tackling procrastination is
to just get yourself through that initial period of discomfort. The Pomodoro technique helps you do
When you feel neural discomfort about something you don't want to do, switching your attention
to something more pleasant can help you feel better--temporarily.
Procrastination is a rare problem.
Procrastination seems to involve an attempt to switch your mental attention away from
something that you find slightly painful.
4. One of the first videos described the difference between the focused mode and the diffuse
mode. According to this video, the focused mode is affiliated with (check all that apply to the
concept of focused mode only):
The type of intense concentration you need to work through a problem, step-by-step.
Ideas, concepts, and problem-solving techniques that are at least somewhat familiar to you-your previous knowledge lays a sort of underlying neural pathway that you tend to follow.
A way of pretending to understand used by Shakespearean actors, as one of the videos
discussed in detail.
A way of drawing upside down in order to focus on the details, as one of the videos discussed in

5. Select the following true statements about sleep, according to this week's videos.
Too little sleep over too long a time is associated with all sorts of nasty conditions, including
headaches, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and just plain dying earlier.
Sleep has been shown to make a remarkable difference in your ability to figure out difficult
problems and to understand what you are trying to learn.
Sleep is designed to allow for snoring, which clears your sinuses but makes you sound like an
asthmatic banshee.
Dreaming about something doesn't improve your ability to understand it.
6. Which of the following sentences do you think is the best advice for someone who is
struggling to learn abstract concepts, such as mathematical ideas?
You should use the diffuse mode of thinking, as the diffuse mode is the one that processes
abstract ideas.
You should practice regularly, as practice strengthens the neural connections you make during
the learning process. The concepts you are studying might seem abstract, but strong neural
connections are real and concrete.
If you are not naturally good at mathematics, you should consider studying something more in
line with your natural abilities. People should only do what they are naturally good at.
You should study very intensively for one day a week, as this is the best way to create strong
neural connections. After a very intense session of study you will have already learned that concept,
and you won't need to study it again
7. Check the activities below that would be more apt to arouse the diffuse (rather than
focused) mode:
Getting some form of exercise while not concentrating on anything in particular.
Working a familiar type of multiplication problem.
Tag along in the passenger seat of a car, looking absently out the window while someone else is

8. Select the true statements about the human brain.

Sleep makes it easier to learn new things and solve problems.
Adult brains can't form new synapses.
Learning changes the structure of the brain.
Once brain connectivity is set, it can't change.
9. Select the statements that explain why math and science might sometimes be more
Math is not so directly related to emotions that we can feel.
Concepts in math and science are closely related to our emotions.
Math and science often involve more abstract, rather than concrete, ideas.
Math and science generally involve concrete, not abstract, ideas.

10. The __________ mode involves a direct approach to solving problems using rational,
sequential, analytical approaches. It is associated with the concentrating abilities of the
brains prefrontal cortex, located right behind your forehead.

In accordance with the Class Honor Code, I _____________ certify that the answers here are my own work.