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BBI 2007 Session 15

Paul Grobstein's picture

BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR INSTITUTE 2007

Generalized Control Mechanisms:

Mood, Emotion, Creativity, Self

 

Review and extension

Sensory experience is constructed, observations are themselves stories, best guesses based on ambiguous input which may have conflicting elements, require continual testing and revision

"As we get deeper into our study of the brain i am more convinced that we live in "The Matrix." As I remember "The Matrix" was a system that created what people needed to see and believe. We call these stories. The disturbing side to this is that once you were removed fom the "story/matrix" the world/reality was really crappy and bland." ... Deidre

"Think goodness our brain does fill in the holes and does not leave us in a state of ambiquity!" ... Judith

"I will teach my students that their brain has the ability to see the same thing in multiple ways." ... Tammi

"our students' brains may very well also be filling in the gaps based on a few observations they may make in class. We need- not only to do this ourselves- but also encourage our students to do the same- practice "getting it less wrong" by going back and editing and looking where our students' brains are spinning stories live, and encourage in our students the ability to self-check to make sure that we do indeed "get it less wrong" ... Graham

"I need to check more often and more carefully to see what it 'looks like' in their head. I know what I would like it to look like, at least most of the time. No matter how carefully I show, or arrange for students to do, concepts or skills their brains are only catching the edges and filling in the substance based on their own architecture" ... Bruce

"If we challenge the reality of our students with discrepant events will their search for their best reality cause new or more neurons to fire and thus a new or less wrong scenario to emerge?" ... Joyce

Blind sight - further evidence that the I-function/story teller is associated with neocortex (one can take in/use input without being aware of it)

The "crack" in the bipartite brain as a source of creativity, ability to conceive what hasn't been experienced

 

Generalized control mechanisms

 

Key points:
  • General states - pharmacology, semi-autonomy from environment/I-function
  • Mood as additional observations/perspectives, a good thing (see "medical vs neurobiological model" of mental health; relevance to education?)
  • Dreams as additional observations/perspectives
  • Creativity as bipartite: unconscious and thoughtful
  • Story telling as way of making sense of cacaophonous unconscious
  • Feeling/emotion/intuition as important part of thinking
  • Science as dependent on thinking/feeling/creating
  • Impact of thinking/story telling on the unconscious
  • Self as story
Your thoughts/reactions/extensions in forum area?

Comments

Diane OFee-Powers's picture

Emotions

There have been times when I have told my students to put away their problems & concentrate on the classwork. I think that this statement is still ok, but now I will also try to teach them how to use their emotions. I am interested in the spot activity or any other lesson/activity that could help the students deal with their emotions.
Robert McCormick's picture

Seeing is NOT believing!

Now I can argue that "Seeing is Not Believing." Why do I challenge this long held adage? Yesterday's presentation stated that the brain is always filling in missing information with our imaginations based on experiences because the "Input is always incomplete," "Input is always interpreted based on prior information," and "Input is always ambiguous." Again this proves that babies are true scientists because there must construct enormous amount of information before they start actually realizing the functionality of objects.

And today we learned that mood generation can be affected by I-function or develop independent of the I-function. What with our brains filling in missing sight information with our imagination and and moods being generated independently of the I-function. it is no wonder human brains need diverse feedback loops functioning constantly on all levels to keep our nervous system in a homeostasis state. I knew our nervous systems were extremely complicated and interactive but never to this extent. For lack of a $10 word, it is astounding!

Another point. Our talk has centered on the brain. Is not our minds different from our brains or are they one and the same?

And finally, today as we were discussing plasticity I tried to remember the following study done which I think vividly illustrates plasticity. (I think I have the facts correct.)

Nobel prize winners, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel (had to confirm the names but knew they were Nobel Prize winners),covered 1 eye of newborn kittens. After 2 months, they took off the patches and found the eye that had been covered was effective blind. It was not connected to the brain despite the fact that the eye was perfectly normal from an optical point of view. The brain had no received stimulation from the eye and had rewired itself to receive information only from the other eye, the open eye. A sort of take over, all the brain cells in that portion of the brain had been taken over by 1 eye, leaving no connections to the other eye. I think this proves the brain can physically expand and contract depending on experience.

Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Emotions

Emotions are a necessary part of our life; we need to learn to control them and not be controlled by them. In this mornings' class we learned about mood and emotions and how they make us what we are physcially. They influence not only our own reality but also the reality of those around us. Again, we are what we think, if you believe it then it is so!
Teresa Albers's picture

emotions

It took me awhile to realize that learning does not occur until the emotions are touched and that emotional states can block learning. Having realized those things made me more conscious of the emotional state of my students as they arrive for the day (and throughout the day) and increased, in my I-fcn, my response to mollifying or utlizing their emotional state (depending on its nature). Like one groping in the dark, working with, through, and around emotions, is something that is in the I-fcn of my teaching. One thing that seems to be important, especially since I work with such young children, is teaching and training about emotions/feelings. Over time, it has become apparent that they need words to express these states and the capacity to be an observer of themselves in their emotional states. Many avenues merge to help children transcend their emotions including role playing, conversation, books, and physical gestures (like throwing it out the door.) It just seems pivotal to help children recognize the temperal nature of emotions, that emotional states can be transcended (focus on an incoming sensory input like smell, sound, etc.) and that emotions are a feeling to which there is a choice of one's response to the emotional state. Perhaps this teaching about emotions is simply strengthening of the I-fcn in working with the unconscious and its communications.
Benjamin Zerante's picture

Morning Response

This morning's session offered some good take aways to consider when thinking about my classroom. Feelings and emotions are an important part of the thinking process and thus as teachers, it is important for us to be aware of our students' feelings and emotions because those components will certainly affect the amount of learning going on. The more conscious we are of such factors, the more we can do to facilitate learning and create a productive classroom environment.
Dalia Gorham's picture

reflection

This morning was informative and useful. I am thinking about the many moods in my classroom, and perhaphs the children cannot always explain their moods. For example, when a child comes into to school in a bad mood and we ask them what is wrong, when they don't answer we assume they don't want to share, maybe they really just don't know. I also wonder can people go through long periods of time without reaching all sleep cycles?
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo While

W. Keith Sgrillo While listening to our discussion today, I reflected back on Paul's presentation of this part of the class in the past. As I having told many people who ask "how do you take the same class and not get bored?" I answer "it's always different." Well, this statement has held true. Paul used to start off the institute raising the notion of "two minds." I would have to say that out of the three instittutes I have attended, todays discussion (as well as the rest of the discussions) have done a better job of explaining this idea of "two minds" without actually bringing that statement into the discussions. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This idea of "More than one mind" helps me to better understand disorders like depression and schizophrenia. But furthermore, I have really been able to use this information to help students understand them selves. I think it is in all or our better interest to take time to teach part of this institute to our students (say...in the form of a mini lesson). I can speak for my experience that it is truely affective for many of my students. The differences I see in them after giving them a brief explanation of "more than one mind" in their own bodies really has a positive affect. Many of them have even thanked me (to which I pass on the thanks to Paul). If you are interested on a simple way that I have found affective to help redirect (not control) negative behaviors, please feel free to ask me about the "SPOT" experiment.
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo While

W. Keith Sgrillo While listening to our discussion today, I reflected back on Paul's presentation of this part of the class in the past. As I having told many people who ask "how do you take the same class and not get bored?" I answer "it's always different." Well, this statement has held true. Paul used to start off the institute raising the notion of "two minds." I would have to say that out of the three instittutes I have attended, todays discussion (as well as the rest of the discussions) have done a better job of explaining this idea of "two minds" without actually bringing that statement into the discussions. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This idea of "More than one mind" helps me to better understand disorders like depression and schizophrenia. But furthermore, I have really been able to use this information to help students understand them selves. I think it is in all or our better interest to take time to teach part of this institute to our students (say...in the form of a mini lesson). I can speak for my experience that it is truely affective for many of my students. The differences I see in them after giving them a brief explanation of "more than one mind" in their own bodies really has a positive affect. Many of them have even thanked me (to which I pass on the thanks to Paul). If you are interested on a simple way that I have found affective to help redirect (not control) negative behaviors, please feel free to ask me about the "SPOT" experiment.
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo While

W. Keith Sgrillo While listening to our discussion today, I reflected back on Paul's presentation of this part of the class in the past. As I having told many people who ask "how do you take the same class and not get bored?" I answer "it's always different." Well, this statement has held true. Paul used to start off the institute raising the notion of "two minds." I would have to say that out of the three instittutes I have attended, todays discussion (as well as the rest of the discussions) have done a better job of explaining this idea of "two minds" without actually bringing that statement into the discussions. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This idea of "More than one mind" helps me to better understand disorders like depression and schizophrenia. But furthermore, I have really been able to use this information to help students understand them selves. I think it is in all or our better interest to take time to teach part of this institute to our students (say...in the form of a mini lesson). I can speak for my experience that it is truely affective for many of my students. The differences I see in them after giving them a brief explanation of "more than one mind" in their own bodies really has a positive affect. Many of them have even thanked me (to which I pass on the thanks to Paul). If you are interested on a simple way that I have found affective to help redirect (not control) negative behaviors, please feel free to ask me about the "SPOT" experiment.
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo While

W. Keith Sgrillo While listening to our discussion today, I reflected back on Paul's presentation of this part of the class in the past. As I having told many people who ask "how do you take the same class and not get bored?" I answer "it's always different." Well, this statement has held true. Paul used to start off the institute raising the notion of "two minds." I would have to say that out of the three instittutes I have attended, todays discussion (as well as the rest of the discussions) have done a better job of explaining this idea of "two minds" without actually bringing that statement into the discussions. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This idea of "More than one mind" helps me to better understand disorders like depression and schizophrenia. But furthermore, I have really been able to use this information to help students understand them selves. I think it is in all or our better interest to take time to teach part of this institute to our students (say...in the form of a mini lesson). I can speak for my experience that it is truely affective for many of my students. The differences I see in them after giving them a brief explanation of "more than one mind" in their own bodies really has a positive affect. Many of them have even thanked me (to which I pass on the thanks to Paul). If you are interested on a simple way that I have found affective to help redirect (not control) negative behaviors, please feel free to ask me about the "SPOT" experiment.
Bruce Williamson's picture

emotions value

Most of the time prior to this I would have asked students to leave their emotions outside the classroom, or control them so they do not interfere. Now I think I will ask about emotions, try to put students in touch with their own and see how emotions may be used to help learning happen. Regards,
Bruce
William Sgrillo's picture

Mood Disorders

W. Keith Sgrillo This discussion about mood disorders is interesting and very important to me. There are cases of such disorders in my son's lineage (bi-polar, obsessive compolsive, possibly Schizophrenia ), some of which are very severe. I hear a lot of mixed explanations and responses to the possibility of heredity playing a role in the aquisition of these disorders. I also here discrepencies in the statistics of variability in males vs. females, age of onset, symptoms and identifying behaviors. I inquire about these questions because I am very concerned for my son. I often wonder when one should start with early intervention, or if early intervention is even helpful (although I am currently beginning the intervention process). It is also the case that all of those who have these disorders in the family are all women (I often wonder if that has any influence on genes).

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