Learning & MemoryPodcast

Prof. Anna & Dr. Lev Goldentouch on Memory, Speed Reading, and Becoming a SuperLearner

“The most global and important questions in our lives are the ‘why’ questions.”
— Prof. Anna Goldentouch

For most of my adult life, I’ve had a very keen interest in optimizing in improving my physical health, mental capacities, and my productive life (hence this blog and podcast). In 2009, I met someone with incredible superhuman ability to learn and it dramatically accelerated rate – one of the first true “Superhumans” I had ever come into contact with. As the story goes, I went on to train with that individual and his wife, from whom he learned these skills, and soon became able to absorb and retain information on a whole new level.

However, it was until about a year or so later (when I approached my two private tutors with a proposition to create an online course teaching their methodology) that things really got interesting. Fast-forward over a year, and our course, Become a SuperLearner, has over 22,000 students over the world! From there (and with significant support and encouragement from students) , I developed my passion for helping people achieve superhuman feats, and this blog and podcast are just the next logical step in that journey.

For the inaugural episode of the podcast, I thought it only fitting to interview the husband-and-wife team that started it all, Professor Anna and Dr. Lev Goldentouch. Their combined backgrounds in both psychology and information theory are the basis of the methodology for training what I would later brand “SuperLearners,” and together the three of us have taught tens of thousands of people to read, learn, and memorize information at a rate of about 3X.

If you’re just tuning in, and have never seen or heard of our course, this podcast certainly pique your interest, and will get you thinking about different ways to enhance your  learning and memory. If you have attended the course going, you’ll find this episode to be a fascinating deep dive into some of the topics that we covered, as well as a clarification on some of the things you may have struggled with.

Furthermore, if you want to learn more about Anna and Lev, or read some of their work, you can check out their blog, KeyToStudy.

I hope you enjoy it!

“Once we stop getting new stimulus, our brain will deteriorate very fast. But even if we suffer some temporary deterioration, by exposing ourselves to new stimulus, we can develop the neural networks back.”
— Dr. Lev Goldentouch
“I think that the future [of academia] is to give students the big picture – the templates, the patterns. Because you can fill the details with your own learning.”
— Prof. Anna Goldentouch

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Professor Anna & Dr. Lev developed their methodology
  • Why their methodology has been so successful where many other speed reading programs have failed
  • How “markers”  work, and how they fit into the bigger picture of accelerated learning
  • How Dr. Lev loads up different modalities or categories to prepare for reading an article or text
  • An explanation of why and how different learners with different skill sets and backgrounds create different markers
  • How basic principles, such as markers, must be taken by students and modified and adapted to their own characteristics
  • How short micro-breaks play a role for accelerated learners
  • How Lev organizes and stores his vast knowledge from nearly a decade of accelerated learning (with a pretty wild demonstration)
  • An alternative to the ancient Memory Palace technique developed by Lev, the “Memory Landscape”
  • Whether or not there is a benefit to reaching the upper echelon of speed readers – 1,000wpm and beyond
  • The upper limits of speed reading – 5,000wpm – and whether or not people who are not “naturally gifted” can reach that level
  • Some tips from Dr. Lev on how to apply the methodology to a popular and technical subject like computer programming
  • The importance of making the information fun and engaging – and useable – for learning
  • The incidence of falling into “bad habits” such as slow reading, and why it happens
  • Does the SuperLearner methodology work for children?
  • What exercises do Anna and Lev do with their own children?
  • What would a SuperLearner class for senior citizens look like?
  • The effects of active learning on dementia and Alzheimers
  • “Hacks” to stimulate the brain and promote neuroplasticity
  • The differences between SuperLearning audio vs. text
  • What Anna and Lev are currently learning – and how
  • Anna’s recent successes in bringing students from a “C” to an “A” average
  • The future of academia as Dr. Lev and Professor Anna see it
  • The pro’s and con’s of digital vs. analog learning
  • How Anna and Lev each approach highly technical & difficult materials
  • What devices Anna, Lev, and Jonathan prefer for reading on
  • Does the better peripheral vision of the female eye help in speed reading?

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

“The first step of reading, when you acquire the reading process, needs to be vocalized. But, by the step where you know and remember all the symbols of your language, you should be able to read words as whole.”
— Prof. Anna Goldentouch
“Eventually, we’ll be merged with computers one way or another. It’s just a question of how and when.”
— Dr. Lev Goldentouch
Jonathan

Jonathan

Jonathan Levi is a serial entrepreneur, published author, and lifehacker born and raised in Silicon Valley. Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on online learning platform Udemy, and has snowballed this success into the launch of his rapidly growing information products company, SuperHuman Enterprises, which produces such products as the award-winning Becoming SuperHuman Podcast; the bestselling "Become a SuperLearner" print, digital, and audiobooks; and numerous other online courses through it’s own online training portal, SuperLearner Academy. Jonathan’s media products have been enjoyed by over 130,000 people in 200 countries. He is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.