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The Science of High Performance Brains

Whilst at the WOL exhibition last month we attended a talk on: 'The Science of High Performance Brains' David Sales, Director, Emergenetics. This seminar gave us an insight into the latest brain science, looking into the way we work.

The impact of Stress!

The session examined and explained what impact stress can actually have on the mind. It involved a task which required us to write down a series of numbers and then David asked us to write down a colour. Then again we had to write down a different series of numbers and had to write down a piece of furniture. David said the numbers and asked the questions very quickly which meant we had to try and keep up with him. Once the task had been completed, we then examined the answers people had written in response to writing freely a colour and a piece of furniture. The result of this was very fascinating, the majority of the room wrote the colour 'blue' or 'red' and 'chair' as their chosen piece of furniture.

We then found out that this was simply because our minds were stressed by the time constraints of writing down what we could hear very quickly and the pressure of thinking freely in amongst listening out for the next number. It was a great way to show that thinking creatively is not something that can come easily. It needs time and space to flourish.


We then went on to learn why we all love that satisfaction of ticking something off on a to-do list!

Our brains are basically wired in a way that is like a to-do list, it manages to keep hold of information until we act on it, our brains then release a small amount of dopamine that makes us feel satisfied and then goes on to remove it out of our minds. The most common example used is if you work in a bar - you will remember the customers order until they have received their drinks, then you will struggle to remember what they had!

This proves how amazing our brains are, however, we have come a long way from cavemen and women, remembering the task of hunting food as a top priority. Our minds nowadays, get a little more cluttered. Our to-do lists are extremely long and to rely purely on brain power we would struggle. So there is the birth of the list!

And embarrassingly enough, some of us even admitted to adding things that were already completed to them lists just to feel that satisfaction of putting a strike through it... and now we know why! It's that hit of dopamine on a Monday morning!

The seminar was really interesting and had huge beneficial information to learning developers. Knowing how our brains work is important to all of us, but knowing how to be most productive and most creative is definitely a key thing to understand when creating online training.

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