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Given today's fast-paced life, moments for reflection are hard to come by. But introspection nurtures well-being and self-development, new research says. Psychological scientist Mary Helen Immordino from the University of Southern California and colleagues reviewed the existing research in neuroscience and psychological science, exploring what it means when our brains are "at rest".
Research indicates that when children are given the time and skills necessary for reflecting, they often become more motivated, less anxious, perform better on tests, and plan more effectively for the future, the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science reports. In recent years, researchers have explored the idea of rest by looking at the so-called "default mode" network of the brain, a network that is noticeably active when we are resting and focused inward.
Immordino and colleagues believe that research on the brain at rest can yield important insights into the importance of reflection and quiet time for learning, according to a Southern California statement. "We focus on the outside world in education and don't look much at inwardly focused reflective skills and attentions, but inward focus impacts the way we build memories, make meaning and transfer that learning into new contexts," says Immordino, a professor of education, psychology and neuroscience. She and her colleagues argue that mindful introspection can become an effective part of the classroom curriculum, providing students with the skills they need to engage in constructive internal processing and productive reflection.
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