субота, 2 лютого 2013 р.

EVO 2013. Neuroscience in Education. Week 3


The amazing color change trick shows how selective our attention is and the things we think we see can play tricks on us

According to James Zull, good thinking requires that we pay attention, but that is hard to do if someone (a teacher, a parent or a colleague) threatens us. We may have trouble paying attention to an abstract problem when our amygdala is sending danger signals to our logical brain. And the same is true of our pleasure centers.Logic and its pleasures can suddenly seem inconsequential when we feel attracted to somebody. The issue here is competition and the brain function is attention. Different sensory signals physically compete for attention in the brain, and those that are the strongest win out. It's a physical battle. We pay the most attention to the things that matter the most in our life. Can't we just discipline our brains to ignore distractions? We can achieve discipline when we feel that discipline is what we want the most. As teachers, we must attend to this battle for attention. We must find some way to encourage our learners to want to use their reason and guide their attention.

This is a very interesting video about the strategies how to maintain the attention in the class


"Memory is the glue that binds our mental life together and provides a sense of continuity in our lives. Memory is everything. Without it, we are nothing. We are who we are because of what we learn and what we remember.", says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brain's storage of memories.

The many kinds of studies of human and animal memory have led scientists to conclude that no single brain center stores memory. It most likely is stored in distributed collections of cortical processing systems that are also involved in the perception, processing, and analysis of the material being learned. In short, each part of the brain most likely contributes differently to permanent memory storage.

Repeat to remember: Short-term memory
The brain has many types of memory systems. One type follows four stages of processing: encoding, storing, retrieving, and forgetting.
Information coming into your brain is immediately split into fragments that are sent to different regions of the cortex for storage.
Most of the events that predict whether something learned also will be remembered occur in the first few seconds of learning. The more elaborately we encode a memory during its initial moments, the stronger it will be. You can improve your chances of remembering something if you reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain.

Remember to repeat: Long-term memory
Most memories disappear within minutes, but those that survive the fragile period strengthen with time. Long-term memories are formed in a two-way conversation between the hippocampus and the cortex, until the hippocampus breaks the connection and the memory is fixed in the cortex— which can take years. Our brains give us only an approximate view of reality, because they mix new knowledge with past memories and store them together as one. The way to make long-term memory more reliable is to incorporate new information gradually and repeat it in timed intervals.

Sleep is vital for the consolidation and integration of memories during the formation process. Sleep is biological creativity. The difference in how the brain handles learned information before and after sleep is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Learning involves 3 steps for memory formation – 1. encoding 2. consolidation and integration 3. recall. Sleep is vital for the 2nd stage. The last 2 hours of our sleep is most critical for consolidation and yet our sleep is often cut short. Sleep physically changes the geography of memories. After sleep the location in the brain of our learning has actually moved.

How Memory Works - with Dr. Antonio Damasio

Dr. Antonio Damasio is a renowned neuroscientist. His research focuses on the neurobiology of mind and behavior, with an emphasis on emotion, decision-making, memory, communication, and creativity. His research has helped describe the neurological origins of emotions and has shown how emotions affect cognition and decision-making.


Memory and Study Strategies Presentation

What was important for me and interesting this week is the emphasize on the significant but a bit tricky nature of our attention and memory. The teachers should be aware of it and try to involve the power of these two processes and lessen the tricky effects.

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