How to improve reading efficiency scientifically
如何科学地提高阅读效率
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2019-06-12 15:01
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When it comes to reading, many people have the feeling that they spend time reading a book, only to forget all about it. If this happens to you often, don't get upset, because it's normal, forgetting is a natural physiological phenomenon.

提起读书,很多人都会有这样的感受:好不容易花时间把一本书给读完了,结果很快就把书中的内容忘得一干二净。如果这种事情在你身上经常发生,不要沮丧,因为这很正常,遗忘本身就是一种自然的生理现象。 

Forgetting is, in a sense, a strategy by the brain to filter information: we are exposed to a lot of information every day, most of which is of little value and doesn't need to be stored, so the brain chooses to do so to filter out information it doesn't think is important. So is there any way to improve this state and improve memory when you read a book? Of course there is. In fact, the brain's memory function has its own rules, if we can understand and make good use of these rules, we can effectively improve the efficiency of reading.

从某种意义上来说,遗忘其实是大脑过滤信息的一种策略:我们每天都会接触大量信息,当中大部分都没有什么价值,没有必要存储下来,于是,大脑便选择用遗忘的方式,来过滤掉那些它认为不重要的信息。那么,有没有办法改善这种状态,提高读书时的记忆效率呢?当然是有的。事实上,大脑的记忆功能有着属于自己的规律,如果能够理解并好好地利用这些规律,我们就能有效地提高读书效率。 

 

In this article today, I'd like to share with you my knowledge about memory and my reading methods.

今天这篇文章,我就和大家分享一下有关记忆的知识,以及我的读书方法。 

Major categories of memory

记忆的主要分类  

Let's talk about the classification of memory first. The most commonly heard classification of memory used to be the division of memory into short-term and long-term memory. The reason for this classification is that previous researchers believed that all information is initially stored in short-term memory, and then stored in long-term memory for consolidation by the brain through retelling and integration. If this retelling process is interrupted before consolidation happens, the information will be lost quickly.

我们先来说一下记忆的分类。以前我们最常听到的记忆分类法,是把记忆分为短时记忆和长时记忆。之所以会这样分类,是因为过去的研究者认为,所有的信息最初都会进入短时记忆暂时存储,等到大脑通过复述和整合之后再将它存储到长时记忆中进行巩固,如果在巩固发生之前打断这个复述过程的话,信息很快就会丢失。 
 

However, in recent years, the researchers found that not all of the memories have to undergo such a process could be a long-term memory, some memory is really very short, if no repeat, will soon be forgotten, such as a series of meaningless Numbers, but some memories don't need to repeat can be stored for a long time, sometimes even a lifetime will not forget, some things happened when I was a child, for example, so now basically don't how to use the word short-term memory, but to switch to working memory.

然而,最近这些年,研究人员发现,并非所有的记忆都要经历这样一个过程才能成为长时记忆,有的记忆的确非常短暂,如果不经历复述,就会很快被遗忘,比如一连串毫无意义的数字,但是有些记忆不需要复述便能存储很久,有时甚至一辈子都不会忘记,比如小时候发生的一些事情,所以现在基本上不怎么用短时记忆这个词了,而是改用工作记忆。 

 

The more popular classification of memory is the following three categories:

目前更为流行的记忆分类法,是将记忆分为以下三类: 

Working Memory   Implicit Memory   Explicit Memory

工作记忆   隐性记忆  显性记忆 

Working memory, as its name suggests, is the memory you use to focus on work, learning or thinking at the moment. Working memories last for very short periods of time, perhaps as little as 30 seconds. They don't always disappear after they're used up.Some are immediately erased by the brain, while others are stored for long-term memory.

工作记忆顾名思义,就是你此时集中注意力工作、学习或者思考时所用到的记忆,它的作用在于保留此时认知过程中需要用到的信息。工作记忆留存的时间非常短,可能也就30秒左右,这些记忆用完之后不一定都会消失,有的会立马被大脑删除,有的信息则会被存储下来,转换为长时记忆。 

Of course, long-term memory can be long or short, ranging from days to months or years. We'll talk a little bit about the factors that affect the length of long-term memory. Long-term memory includes recessive memory and explicit memory.

当然,长时记忆也有长短之分,有的可能就几天时间,有的可能好几个月或者好几年。关于影响长时记忆的长短的因素,我们一会儿会说到。长时记忆包括隐性记忆和显性记忆。 
 

Recessive memory is mainly the memory of movements or steps, such as driving, swimming or dancing, which are muscular motor reflexes formed by practicing a certain movement over and over again. Such memories are called invisible memories because they are difficult to describe in words, and we don't even know how we do it when we use these skills, because they have been internalized by the brain as an instinct.

隐性记忆主要是那些动作或步骤的记忆,比如驾驶、游泳或跳舞等技能,它们是通过不断重复练习某种动作而形成的肌肉动作反射。这类记忆之所以被称为隐形记忆,是因为它们很难用语言去描述,而且在使用这些技能的时候,我们根本不需要去想要怎么做,我们甚至不知道自己是怎么做到的,因为它们已经被大脑内化成为了一种本能。 
 

Explicit memory, on the other hand, is verbal, and when we use it, we need to actively recall it. Explicit memory can be further classified as Semantic memory and Episodic memory.

显性记忆则恰恰相反,它是可以用语言表述出来的,而且我们在使用这类记忆的时候,需要主动去回想。显性记忆又可以进一步分为语义记忆和情景记忆。 

Semantic memory refers to the memory of all the facts, objects, concepts and words that we store in our heads. Episodic memory is an autobiographical memory system that contains events we can recall from our daily lives, such as memories of the past.

语义记忆指的是那些所有关于事实、物体、概念和词汇的记忆,我们头脑中存储的各种知识就是属于这类记忆。情景记忆则是一种自传体式的记忆系统,它包含了我们从日常生活中所能回忆的事件,比如关于过去的一些回忆。 
 

| factors affecting long-term memory

 长时记忆的影响因素   

After we talk about the classification of memory, let's take a look at the factors that affect long-term memory:

说完了记忆的分类之后,我们再来了解一下长时记忆的影响因素: 

1. Strength of curiosity

1. 好奇心的强弱 

Scientists have identified a link between curiosity and the brain's dopamine system, which is responsible for reward and pleasure, through various experimental studies. When we want to know something because of our intense curiosity, this knowledge or information becomes a "reward", which increases the amount of dopamine in the reward circuit of the brain, and we feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness. Curiosity can also prolong memory. The more curious we are about a piece of information, the longer it remains in our memory.



科学家已经通过不同的实验研究,确认了好奇心与大脑中负责奖赏和快乐的多巴胺系统之间的联系。当我们因为强烈的好奇心而想要了解某个知识或者信息时,这个知识或信息就成了一种「奖赏」,它们的获得会使大脑中奖赏回路中的多巴胺增多,我们便会因此有种满足和快乐感。而且,好奇心还能够延长记忆,对于某个信息,我们越是好奇,它在记忆中存留的时间就越长。 
 

2. Strength of correlation

2. 关联度的强弱 

Correlation refers to how new information relates to existing information in the brain. We all know that the essence of memory is connection, and the formation of memory, on the biological level, is the formation of connections between neurons. From this point of view, the brain is a vast and complex network in which all memory and thought is carried out through the interconnections of tens of billions of neurons in the brain.

所谓的「关联度」指的是新信息与大脑中的已有信息之间的关联性。我们都知道,记忆的本质就是连接,而记忆的形成,在生物层面的体现,就是神经元之间连接的形成。从这个角度来看,大脑可以说是一个巨大又复杂的网络,所有的记忆和思维活动都是通过大脑中几百亿个神经元之间的相互连接而实现的。 

 

This "connectedness" of memory tells us that we remember new information or knowledge better if we can connect it to what we already know.

记忆的这种「连接」特性告诉我们,面对新的信息或者知识,如果我们能够将它们与脑子里已经存储的知识产生连接的话,那么就会记得更牢。 

This actually explains why we read slowly and forget quickly when we are new to a new field of knowledge -- because we don't have the relevant knowledge in mind to connect with. As we accumulate more relevant knowledge, we will naturally read faster and faster, and remember better.


这实际上很好地解释了,为什么我们在刚刚开始接触某个新的知识领域的时候,总是读得很慢,忘得却很快——那是因为这时我们头脑中还没有相关的知识可以连接。等到相关知识积累多了,我们阅读的速度自然就会变得越来越快,记得也会越牢。 
 

3. Level of concentration

3. 注意力的集中程度 

The ability to pay attention while reading also has a big impact on memory. If we are learning something that is not of interest to us, but if we are able to pay attention and try to understand and remember it actively, it will be much better than if we are absent-minded.

阅读时注意力的集中程度对记忆力也有着很大影响。假如我们此时在学的东西并不是自己感兴趣的,但如果我们能够集中注意力,尝试去理解和主动记忆的话,那么这样的记忆效果一定会比心不在焉时的好很多。 

So, when learning, do not let yourself in a loose state, but to focus, actively to learn. Synchronized note-taking is a learning strategy that helps us focus.

所以,学习的时候,一定不要让自己处于一个松散的状态,而是要集中注意力,积极主动地去学习。同步做笔记就是一个能够帮助我们集中注意力的学习策略。 

4. Times of repeated extraction

4. 被重复提取的次数 

We've talked about the nature of memory as connections between neurons -- when a memory is made, neurons build up biochemical and electromagnetic channels between them, called "memory tracks," and the strength of the connections between them represents the strength of the memory.

我们之前说到记忆的本质就是神经元之间的连接——当记忆产生时,神经元与神经元之间会建立起生化电磁通道,这些神经细胞通道叫做 「 记忆轨迹 」,它们之间连接的强弱则代表了记忆的强弱。 

Again when we come into contact with this information, or this information was extracted through recall from memory, the relevant neurons are activated, the connection between them will therefore be strengthened, but if the long-term memory is not wake up, then as time goes on, these links will become more and more weak, or even disappear.

当我们再次接触到这些信息,或者通过回忆从记忆中提取这些信息时,相关神经元就会被激活,它们之间的连接则会因此得到加强,但是如果这些记忆长期被不唤醒,那么随着时间的推移,这些连接就会变得越来越弱,甚至是消失。 
 

While curiosity, connectedness, and attention can make connections between neurons stronger, allowing the brain to create more lasting memories, they only serve to reinforce the initial connections. To eventually avoid forgetting, we must also strengthen the connections between neurons by reviewing them regularly until the memories become solid.

虽然说好奇心、关联度、注意力能够使得神经元之间的连接变得更强,让大脑产生更持久的记忆,但它们的作用仅仅是加强初始连接。想要最终避免遗忘,我们还必须通过定期复习的方式,不断强化神经元之间的连接,直至记忆变得牢固。 

5.Sleep quality

5. 睡眠质量 

The last factor worth mentioning is the quality of sleep. Although scientists do not yet fully understand the relationship between sleep and memory and learning, there is ample evidence that quality sleep improves learning and memory.

最后值得一提的影响因素就是睡眠质量。尽管目前科学家还没有完全了解睡眠和记忆以及学习之间的关系,但是已经有足够证据证明高质量的睡眠有助于学习和记忆力的提高。 

First of all, people who are chronically sleep-deprived are less attentive, which affects learning, and second of all, when we're asleep, the brain is actually active, and it processes the information that's acquired during the day, and it integrates it, and it rewires it and integrates it.

首先,长期缺觉的人注意力会下降,这将影响学习效果,其次,我们在睡觉的时候,大脑其实还处于活跃状态,它会处理白天所获得的这些信息,将它们进行整合,比如大脑会重复调动各种信息,让它们发生连接,进行整合。 
 

Mind map reading notes

思维导图读书笔记    

Now that we know the basic rules of memory, how can we put them into practice? In my opinion, the best way is to use mind maps to make reading notes.

到现在为止,我们已经对记忆的基本规律有所了解了,可是怎样才能把这些认识运用在实践当中呢?在我看来,最好的办法就是用思维导图做读书笔记。 
 

We've already mentioned the benefits of note-taking. It helps us focus, but why use a mind map to take notes? One of the most important reasons is that there is a structural conflict between the way books organize information and the way the brain organizes information -- books present information in a linear way, while the brain stores information in a divergent tree structure.

做笔记的好处刚才我们已经提到了,它能够帮助我们集中注意力,但为什么一定要用思维导图去做笔记呢?一个最为重要的原因在于,书的信息组织方式和和大脑里的信息组织方式存在着结构上的冲突——书是以线性的方式来呈现信息,而大脑则是以发散性的树状结构对信息进行存储。 

Every book we read, and every chapter of the book, has an internal logical structure, but this logical structure is not well presented in a linear way.

我们读的每一本书以及书中的各个章节,都有其内在逻辑结构,但是这种逻辑结构,没有办法通过线性的组织方式很好地呈现出来。 

When we read chapter by chapter in a linear structure, the brain feels that we're just putting in a bunch of information that doesn't have much relevance to each other, especially if we're not familiar with the field of reading and the process is stretched too long. The brain then stores this information at will, rather than connecting it in a logical way. Without connections, memory is not strong.

当我们按照线性结构,一章一节地阅读时,大脑会觉得,我们只不过是输入了一堆彼此之间没有太多关联性的信息,尤其是当我们对这个阅读领域还不太熟悉,而这个阅读过程又被拉得过长的时候。于是,大脑就会对这些信息进行随意存储,而不会以某种逻辑关系将它们连接在一起,没有连接,记忆自然不会很牢。 
 

With this understanding, we realize that the process of taking notes with mind mapping is essentially a process of actively seeking out the relationships between information and making it logical and structured. The biggest role of mind mapping notes is to urge us to clarify the relationship between all the ideas and information in the book through active thinking during reading, and then reorganize the information in a divergent tree structure according to the author's thinking logic structure.

明白了这个道理,我们就意识到,用思维导图做笔记的过程,本质上就是一个主动寻找信息之间的关系,把它们逻辑化和结构化的过程。思维导图笔记最大的作用就在于,能够督促我们在读的过程中通过主动思考,理清书中所有观点和信息之间的关系,然后将这些信息,按照作者的思维逻辑结构,以发散性的树状结构重新组织一遍。 
 

In fact, I've been using mind maps for reading notes for many years now, which is an important tool for me to organize information effectively. Every time I read a book, I spend a few days going through it quickly to get a general idea of what it's about. If I think the content of the book is of great value, I will use the method of synchronous mind mapping reading notes to read the book again and clarify the logical structure of the whole book.

事实上,从很多年前起,我就一直保持着用思维导图做读书笔记的习惯,这可以说是我有效组织信息的重要工具。每次读一本书,我都会先花几天时间快速把书看一遍,了解一下大概内容(一般来说,我选读的书都和我当前在思考的问题有关)。如果我觉得书中内容价值很高,那么我就会用同步做思维导图读书笔记的方式,把书再精读一遍,理清整本书的逻辑结构。 
 

To do so, not only can let me has a more profound understanding on the book content and more strong memory, but also conducive to the review of knowledge and information search, because had the mind map, I can quickly review the core content of the book at any time, can also be in need to book some specific content, such as a theory, a view, or an experiment and so on, easily find.

这样做,不仅能够让我对书中内容有着更为深刻的理解和更为牢固的记忆,而且还有利于知识的回顾和信息的查找,因为有了思维导图之后,我就能随时快速地回顾整本书的核心内容,也能在需要书中某些具体内容时,比如某个理论、某个观点、或者某个实验等等,很方便地查找到。 
 

Because of this reading habit, I have accumulated a lot of mind map reading notes over the years, and these notes have become my most powerful database and best writing helper -- I often go back to these mind map notes when I'm writing.

正是因为这种阅读习惯,我在过去这些年积累不少思维导图读书笔记,如今,这些笔记已经成为了我最强大的资料库和最佳写作帮手——我在写作的过程中,就会经常回到这些思维导图笔记中去查阅资料。 

 an exploratory reading

探究式主题阅读  
 

In addition to taking notes with mind maps, there is another method of reading that I highly recommend, and that I have been using myself, and that is exploratory thematic reading.

除了用思维导图做笔记之外,还有一个阅读方式是我非常推崇,也是我自己一直在用的方法,那就是探究式主题阅读。 

What is exploratory reading? Simply put, it is to take a specific question or topic as the center, and then carry on the related reading around it, the purpose is to deeply understand this topic, solve the confusion in mind.

什么是探究式主题阅读呢?简单来说,就是以某个具体问题或话题为中心,然后围绕它进行相关阅读,目的是深入理解这个话题,解答心中的困惑。 

For example, if you are on the problem "how to control their own emotions" is very interested in, then you can think about the question first and decomposition, think of what it contains more specific problems, such as the problem is subdivided into what "emotion", "what methods of control emotions", and "what is the principle behind these methods", etc., and then to search related books or courses, to read and to learn.

举个例子,假如你对「如何掌控自己的情绪」这个问题很感兴趣,那么你可以先对这个问题进行思考和分解,想想它包含了哪些更具体的问题,比如可以把这个问题再细分为「情绪到底是什么」,「掌控情绪的方法有哪些」,以及「这些方法背后的原理是什么」等等,然后再去索搜相关的书籍或者课程,进行阅读和学习。 

There are two important benefits to research-based reading. On the one hand, it can stimulate our curiosity, when we have a specific practical problem in mind to answer, we will be more interested and motivated to read.

研究式主题阅读有两个非常重要的好处。一方面,它可以激发我们的好奇心,当我们心中有着某个具体的实际问题想要解答时,我们读起书来就会更有兴趣和动力。

On the other hand, it helps us to build up a network of knowledge in a certain field. Any areas have their own vast knowledge network, a book that covers the content of the is usually limited, we must read several books, choose a few more angles, can the core knowledge in this field and the deep inner logic, we may establish in your mind a preliminary knowledge of network. With this knowledge network, our understanding and thinking about relevant issues will be more in-depth.

另一方面,它有助于我们建立起某个领域的知识网络。任何一个领域都有着属于自己的庞大知识网络,一本书能够覆盖的内容通常是有限的,我们必须多阅读几本,多选择几个角度,才能对这个领域的核心知识及其深层次的内在逻辑有所了解,才有可能在头脑中建立一个初步的知识网络。有了这个知识网络之后,我们对于相关问题的理解和思考也会更为深入。 

 

Of course, when we have finished the exploratory reading, if we can output it in the form of an article and share it with others, it will not only encourage us to internalize the knowledge through thinking, but also make reading something valuable to others, from which we can get a sense of value and achievement.

当然,在完成了探究式主题阅读之后,如果还能以文章的方式进行输出,并分享给其他人,这不仅能够促使我们通过思考把知识进一步内化,还能把阅读变成一件对他人也有价值的事情,让我们从中获得价值感和成就感。 

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