Uncertainty and uncertainty cause stress. But according to a new study Volatility Facilitates Value Updating in the Prefrontal Cortex they also stimulate learning areas of the brain. In unstable situations (although they cause discomfort), it is necessary to use the full brain.

If you want to study as efficiently as possible, do what is difficult for you, 70% of the time.

Oren Hoffman (Auren Hoffman), entrepreneur, business angel

Of course, it is difficult almost all the time to be in this state but research confirms the words of Hoffman. If you are not a bit nervous about the results of your work then the brain stops learning new things.

Scientists came on this conclusion after an experiment with a group of monkeys. Animals performed various tasks and received juice as a reward. Sometimes the chances for refreshments were stable, for example 80%. Other tasks were more unpredictable: the frequency of obtaining juice varied.

While the monkeys were doing the tasks, the scientists measured their brain activity. They found a clear pattern. If animals could predict the frequency of receiving a reward then they almost turned off the brain areas associated with learning a new one. When they could not foresee the development of events, training centers (on the contrary) became more active.

This is logical. When you have found the best way to behave in a certain environment, it is pointless to look for new ones.

Stability is not conducive to learning new. It’s not a big deal if you are trying to master a kick in golf or cooking some kind of dish. But in many areas of life (including the professional) you need to constantly learn and become better. And for this you have to avoid the beaten track and go out of the comfort zone.

When we get into a new unpredictable environment then the brain’s ability to absorb information increases. If your life is not particularly diverse, consciously bring uncertainty into it and try something new. For example:

  1. Travel abroad. You will definitely learn something new, including about yourself and your abilities.
  2. Change something in the usual routine. Even if you just have lunch in a new institution or do something unusual in the evening, the brain will go into training mode. And this will help to learn new skills and look at old ideas from a new angle.
  3. Start a new project. Maybe he will fail in the end, but you will definitely learn something new.
  4. Look for strange, unfamiliar ideas. For example, read old books about the technologies of the future, see the art house, communicate with creative people, be interested in the device of alien industries.
  5. Talk to people you disagree with. This will not only teach something, but will also develop empathy.