Does struggling to remember things help you do math?

When you struggle to remember things, do you reach for google? Or do you strain your brain? Could the strain be helping you build math skills? math – both real world how much is accutane and textbook varieties – creates new neural pathways. And the more of these you create, the better you get at doing math as well as other problem solving/logical type things.

But doing math isn’t the only way to build and enhance your brain.

Does struggling to remember something help your brain?

I woke up this morning with this movie line in my head:

“We’re not exactly simpatico at the moment.”

I knew it was from recent animated film. And one I’d watched with K8 multiple times. But I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Monsters, Inc.? The Incredibles?

I struggled.

Toy Story?

Then I reached for my iPhone.

Should we really google to find answers so quickly?

I grabbed the iPhone. Then I thought about the “old days” when this type of struggle might last for hours – even days.

“What WAS that movie?” I would think.

I would imagine all the various characters in movies I could remember. I would filter through movies and characters at speeds far faster than any computer.

After ten minutes or so, I would give up pushing for an answer and let my brain “simmer” with the question.

Until at some obscure time and location my face would light up. I would randomly, and inappropriately, yell out the answer to this question no one else in the room was inquiring about.

Is the struggle good for the brain?

The reaction these days when someone say, “What WAS that movie?” is different than before. I’m compelled to grab the iPhone and look it up.

I’m a master googler. And I’m not afraid to use the skills.

But is it damaging me? Or rather: if I allowed the brain struggle, could I be enhancing my thinking skills?

I don’t have an answer.

Unlike most things I write, I don’t have an answer. I’m on the fence here.

Part of me can’t help but believe there’s at least marginal benefit in the struggle.

The other part of me thinks that the struggle might not be good at all. It could be taking up valuable resources that could otherwise be used (and enhanced) elsewhere.

But I believe that someone, somewhere has an answer.

So please – if you have the answer (or a link to research), leave it in the comments. And if you don’t, can you share it on Facebook and Twitter so we can come closer to the answer?

P.S. If you want to know where that quote is from, and want to avoid the struggle, click here.

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