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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default How the Brain Learns

    How the Brain Learns by David A. Sousa is an interesting series of books I have been studying. This is some of the thinking he presents. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Sousa
    What teachers learned in the past... Their training on how the brain learns has focused essentially on the behaviorist model which tries to explain what is happening inside the brain by observing outside behavior. (page1)

    Under certain conditions, emotions can enhance memory by causing the release of hormones that stimulate the amygdala to signal brain regions to strengthen memory. Strong emotions can shut down conscious processing during the event while enhancing our memory of it. Emotion is a powerful and misunderstood force in learning and memory. Another way of stating the situation illustrated in Figure 2:2 is that before students will turn their attention to cognitive learning (the curriculum), they must feel physically safe and emotionally secure. (page 42-43)

    Over the years, most teacher-training classes have told prospective teachers to focus on reason and avoid emotions in their lessons. Now, we need to enlighten educators about how emotions consistently affect attention and learning.

    Figure 2:2 Data that affect survival and data that generate emotions are processed ahead of data for new cognitive learning. (page 43)

    We also have to explore what and how we teach students about their emotions. Goleman suggests we teach about controlling impulses, delaying gratifications, expressing feelings, managing relationships, and reducing stress. Students should recognize that they can manage their emotions for greater productivity and can develop emotional skills for greater success in life. (page 44)
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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  2. #2
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    Default Emotion and learning

    That is interesting,I will have to let that sink in. Emotion has been underated by western civilisation for some time (including me, especially since reading Kant) ironic since it now seems the most uncivilised people, psychopaths, are the ones largely lacking in emotions.

    Another author you may find interesting (or may already know of) is Stanley Greenspan M.D. He argues emotion is essential to to learning language. This is based on studying children and care givers engaged in "emotional signaling".
    He claims to be able to treat around half of children with autism from his findings.

    He even argues it is essential in a basic way to grasping logic and proper personal development. In the book I've got "the First Idea, How Symbols, Language, and intelligence evolved from our Primate Ancesters to Modern Humans" he has a fairly interesting look at emotional maturity in different cultures.

    Unfortunately I don't think he is a very gifted communicator, I've read bits of the book and been more tantalised than anything but it may at least be on the subject you are interested in.

    (I am a layman on the subject, I follow this sort of thing so I may be able to use it (for the betterment of humanity of course, being an infj) in my art/painting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    It is remarkable how uncommon, common sense, can be.

    Unfortunately, teachers are not as receptive to emotional cues as they would be in an ideal world.

    I cringe at the thought of what some of my former teachers would have been like if they were trying to be sensitive to my emotional needs.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  4. #4
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I saw on the news that there is a drug that has been developed which largely negates the effect of emotion on learning. They tested it on rats by putting the rat in a large, circular tub of water with a hidden platform submerged just below the surface in the middle of the tub. The rat would swim around and around the edge of the tub until eventually it swam across the tub and discovered the platform on which it could stand. Without the drug, the rat would find the platform extremely quickly after it had found it once before. Rats which had the drug administered to them would take very nearly as long to rediscover the platform as they had the first time.

    The idea, as I understand it, is to use the drug to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder, which (I think) is believed to derive from extreme instances of the phenomenon outlined in the OP. I think it was also suggested that it could be used on people immediately after they have been in a high-stress incident (eg rape, car accident etc) to ameliorate the psychological impact of said incident.

    I would find links, but I can't be bothered.

  5. #5
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    I saw on the news that there is a drug that has been developed which largely negates the effect of emotion on learning. They tested it on rats by putting the rat in a large, circular tub of water with a hidden platform submerged just below the surface in the middle of the tub. The rat would swim around and around the edge of the tub until eventually it swam across the tub and discovered the platform on which it could stand. Without the drug, the rat would find the platform extremely quickly after it had found it once before. Rats which had the drug administered to them would take very nearly as long to rediscover the platform as they had the first time.

    The idea, as I understand it, is to use the drug to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder, which (I think) is believed to derive from extreme instances of the phenomenon outlined in the OP. I think it was also suggested that it could be used on people immediately after they have been in a high-stress incident (eg rape, car accident etc) to ameliorate the psychological impact of said incident.
    I was thinking of the same 60 Minutes news story, when I read the OP, Jeff.

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    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    I was thinking of the same 60 Minutes news story, when I read the OP, Jeff.
    I just called 60 Minutes "the news".

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    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    I just called 60 Minutes "the news".
    Don't take it so hard. One of the definitions of "news" is "information about recent events or happenings".

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