Zwolle – Professor of neuropsychology Erik Scherder gave an inspiring lecture at Luzac Zwolle on November 8. The well-known scientist took visitors and livestreamers on a journey through the complex world of the adolescent brain.
Professor Scherder’s enthusiasm had the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. During his inspiring presentation, he provided insight into how children lay a foundation for the rest of their lives, with crucial roles for the frontal and parietal lobes in various cognitive functions. From planning, working memory and impulse control to motivation, taking initiative and self-reflection.
During puberty, these brain areas are in full development. Of course you want to make good use of it! For now, but also for later. After all, until the age of thirty, you build up a cognitive reserve that you will benefit from throughout your life and that will protect you against age-related diseases for longer.
Education, an enriching environment and exercise: the indispensable combination
Adolescents, their parents and schools can do various things to guide the development of that brain. Perhaps the simplest stimulus receives little attention in our current society: exercise. If you want to invest maximally in the possibilities of your brain, cognitive and physical challenges are inextricably linked. “Poverty of exercise is a pandemic,” the professor shouts. ”In fact, everyone should exercise for three minutes every half hour. This promotes brain development. Moreover, this makes children calmer and their concentration immediately increases.”
Cognitive challenge is also – at any age – an absolute must for brain fitness. It is important that you give your brain a good workout every day! When you read, your brain is a lot more active than during screen time. If you still like to get behind a screen, a complex game with different levels is not that bad at all. Scrolling for hours on superficial apps, on the other hand, does not challenge your brain and reduces your ability to concentrate.
An initiative by Luzac Zwolle
Jos de Vries, rector of Luzac Zwolle, organized the lecture. ”Luzac is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. That is a special milestone for the whole of Luzac. Because we have been going one step further in supporting students for forty years. The basis lies in our small classes, but even more important is the warm student guidance we offer. As a result, we achieve effects that parents sometimes consider impossible, but which we at Luzac now consider almost normal.”
“We not only teach subjects such as biology and geography, but we consider our life sciences curriculum to be at least as important. Students work on important competencies such as presenting and personal balance. Knowing how the adolescent brain works and learns is therefore of great importance to us.”