[Clayart] The Brain That Changes Itself
Dorothy Parshall via Clayart
clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Thu Feb 5 08:30:12 EST 2015
I read books about the brain when I can, in an effort to find answers/
possible helps with my own difficulties. Only able to manage a few
pages at a time, I have just gotten to a point in this important and
fascinating book by Norman Doidge where he talks about the changes
that take place in the brain as a person learns to play the piano. The
brain mapping changes as learning takes place. As the person
struggles, it takes more neurons to achieve results; as proficiency
improves, the number of neurons/space on the brain map decreases,
opening more room for new learning.
Liken this to learning to throw a pot. As I watch my current student
struggle and become more proficient, this has strong meaning to me.
The better the person gets, the more precise the brain mapping
becomes. "...as neurons are trained and become more efficient, they
can process faster. This means that the speed at which we think is
itself plastic. Speed of thought is essential to our survival."
That last brings to mind my grade school teacher who kept me in from
recess to stand at the blackboard and write numbers faster and faster
as she called them out to me. THEN, I could actually finish our
arithmetic tests. She may not have know she was changing my brain but
this terrific teacher knew what worked. Just as recent researchers
found as they trained monkeys to respond to sounds faster and faster.
And observed the resultant changes in the brain.
I have long been intrigued by the fact that, even after several years
away from a wheel, my brain is able to tell my hands exactly what to
do. The neurons remember this for me.
Fascinating book. Useful for teachers and anyone who wants to
understand the brain better.
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