Brain Fact or Fiction

Brain Fact or Fiction Welcome to today’s webinar. The webinar will start promptly at 11:00 a.m. Central time. Until then, you may hear periodic announ...
Author: Kevin Greene
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Brain Fact or Fiction Welcome to today’s webinar. The webinar will start promptly at 11:00 a.m. Central time. Until then, you may hear periodic announcements of our start time, but don’t worry if you hear silence for a while. We are here and look forward to sharing today’s topic with you. While you are waiting, you can download the slides and other materials we will be discussing today at the Handouts Tab (next to the Chat Tab).

Brain Fact or Fiction September 2017

Agenda 6 Areas of Common NeuroConfusion (Persistence of Neuromyths) Why misconceptions occur. What is really going on. Why it is important to dispel the myths.

1

How much of our brains do we use?

One Possible Explanation for the 10% Myth

One Reason It Persists

Another Possible Reason It Persists

PET Scan

Why Dispelling this Neuromyth Is Important Believing that we only use 10% of our brains means having a very fundamental lack of understanding of what our brains do and how they work. • Impact of injuries. • What would you do to help your students improve the % of their brains that they use and how would you know? • Misconceptions about brain size and relationship to intelligence and cognitive capacity.

2 People learn better if they are taught using a strategy that appeals to their specific learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic).

One Possible Reason for This Neuromyth

One Possible Reason for This Neuromyth

One of many, many examples!

Learning & Memory • Learning is the act of making and strengthening connections between thousand of neurons forming neural networks or maps. • Memory is the ability to reconstruct or reactivate the previously-made connections. • Neurons that fire together, wire together! • Our brains are shaped by our experience and our brains must construct our understanding of the world.

What neurons actually look like in your brain.

Cerebral cortex neurons in a newborn and a two-year-old.

This is a picture of learning.

COGNITIVE PROCESSING MODEL Perception

Attention

Organization Retrieval

Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell

R E C E P T O R S

Sensory Memory

Working Memory

Long-Term Memory

Information not transferred to next stage = forgotten!

Perception

Attention

Organization Retrieval

Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell

R E C E P T O R S

Sensory Memory

Working Memory

Long-Term Memory

Why Dispelling This Neuromyth Is Important • Teachers don’t transmit knowledge and understanding to students. • Each student’s brain must construct knowledge and understanding from the experiences they have. • The experiences that teachers create for their students physically change their brains (the teacher’s and the students’ brains). • The more modalities used to rehearse, the more paths you have for retrieval.

3 People are naturally either right-brained and more analytical or left-brained and more creative. Students learn differently depending on whether they are right-brained or leftbrained.

One Likely Explanation for this Myth Left Hemisphere

Right Hemisphere

Movement in right side of body Production of speech

Movement in left side of body Creativity – new ideas

Comprehension of language Reading and writing

Recognition of faces Recognition of patterns

Analytical thinking Logical reasoning

Musical ability Spatial ability

Math

Emotional detection and expression

Tan’s Brain – Broca’s Area

PET Scan

One Likely Reason It Persists

Why Dispelling This Myth is Important • The two sides of our brain work together. • Parents’ beliefs about their children limits them. • Teachers’ beliefs about students affects their performance. • Students’ beliefs about themselves can limit them. • Like learning styles, it implies a need to adjust teaching when both analytical skills and creativity can be and need to be developed and nurtured.

4

Our brains don’t change very much after age …

Possible Explanation for The Myths • Research that shows that IQ, self-control, vocabulary, etc. at 3 are predictive of later success. • 7 – the age of reason • 13 – adult bodies • 21 – arbitrary number = voting age • 25 – age at which you can rent a car

Neurogenesis (Growth of Neurons) • During the 9 months of fetal development, neurons grow at the rate of 250,000 per minute. • At birth the brain has approximately 80 billion neurons and weighs about 1 pound. By one year it has doubled and by age 5 or 6 it is 90% of its adult size and weight • What causes this tremendous growth in such a short time? (Hint: It’s not more neurons.)

Growth of Connections (Synaptogenesis)

Cerebral cortex neurons in a newborn and a twoyear-old.

Synaptogenesis and Pruning • Between the second month in utero and the age of two, each neuron in the cortex forms an average of 1.8 synapses per second. At this point the brain begins to prune away large numbers of connections. • Which connections remain, and which are pruned, depends on whether or not they are used. • Experience literally changes the brain!

Why Dispelling This Myth is Important • Implications of developmental stage on parenting and education decisions. • Understanding that our experiences change our brains – literally. Our brains become what our brains do. • Sensitive periods, not critical periods. • Our brains can change throughout life, to a much greater degree than we have thought and than most of us realize. • “Don’t give up on them.”

5

Which of these statements about intelligence is true?

One Possible Explanation for Confusion

Another Explanation • G (one thing) • Gf (Fluid Intelligence) and Gc (Crystallized Intelligence) (two things) • Ability to reason and problem-solve in novel situations • Multiple Intelligences (Several things) • The imagination network and the executive network • The ability to assemble and integrate multiple mental processes to solve new challenges and to learn from them

Student 8 • Female, 41 • Completed 34 sessions, 151 levels • Challenged by directionality, timing and rhythm, visual representations • GAMA IQ Gain • 6 points • 45th to 61st percentile • Stayed in Average Range GAMA Subtest

Pre-Test Range

Post-Test Range

Matching

Average

Superior

Analogies

Average

Average

Sequences

Average

Average

Construction

Average

Average

Student 7 • Female, 19 • Completed 29 sessions, 112 levels • Challenged by directionality, timing and rhythm, visual working memory • GAMA IQ Gain • 21 points • 9th to 53rd percentile • Moved from bottom of Low Average to Average GAMA Subtest

Pre-Test Range

Post-Test Range

Matching

Low Average

High Average

Analogies

Low Average

Average

Sequences

Low Average

High Average

Average

Low Average

Construction

Student 2 • Male, 27 • Completed 23 sessions, 166 levels • No great challenge until reached upper levels • GAMA IQ • 12 points • 68th to 90th percentile • Moved from Average to High Average range GAMA Subtest

Pre-Test Range

Post-Test Range

Matching

Average

Average

Analogies

High Average

Superior

Sequences

Average

Superior

High Average

High Average

Construction

Why Dispelling This Myth is Important • The power of a Growth Mindset. • Not only can intelligence and talents be developed, our belief that they can be has an impact. • Genetics play a role but our experience is critically important. • How different would schools be if we put this belief into practice?

6

Our brains make a recording of everything we experience. When we forget something, it is merely our inability to retrieve the information.

One Possible Explanation for this Misconception

Just the facts, ma’am.

Perception

Attention

Organization Retrieval

Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell

R E C E P T O R S

Sensory Memory

Working Memory

Long-Term Memory

Learning & Memory • Learning is the act of making and strengthening connections between thousand of neurons forming neural networks or maps. • Memory is the ability to reconstruct or reactivate the previously-made connections. • Neurons that fire together, wire together! • Our brains are shaped by our experience and our brains must construct our understanding of the world.

Memory Experiment • • • • • • • •

bed rest awake tired dream wake snooze blanket

• • • • • • •

doze slumber snore nap peace yawn drowsy

Memories Aren’t Always What We Think • Memories are made and then constantly remade every time we actively recall them. • There is no such thing as a perfectly accurate memory. • We can believe we have memories about events we have only heard about. • We can strengthen memories by building on to them. • Studying and connecting related topics helps build stronger networks that are easier to reactivate.

Elaborative Rehearsal Strategies • Reciprocal or peer teaching • Metaphor and analogy • Models • Story-telling • Problem-based learning • Visuals and graphics • Simulations • Hands-on activities • Rhythm, rhyme and rap • Mind maps (Semantic maps)

Why Dispelling This Myth is Important • We construct knowledge and memories. We constantly remake them every time we actively recall them. • There are multiple factors that affect whether information is attended to (motivation, interest, novelty). • Information that is not rehearsed in working memory and actively elaborated is unlikely to be remembered. • Ending the “well, we went over that in class” mentality.

Questions?

Let’s stay connected

Betsy Hill [email protected] 773-250-6467 www.linkedin.com/in/betsyhill

www.MyBrainWare.com www.facebook.com/BrainWareLearning/