Human Brain Software
The human brain is evolutionarily primed to seek out and respond to what is unexpected or novel new information coming in from the outside world that is different from what it expects. It's what turns the brain on. In response to novelty, cortical activity is increased in more and varied brain areas.3 This strengthens synaptic connections, links different areas together in new patterns, and pumps up production of neurotrophins.
Brain Mapping is an internationally popular idea generation technique for both individuals and groups. It is visually very appealing and quite functional with respect to how the human brain thinks in branches, not in rigid outline format. Have participants debrief using the following questions
A quick look back at Chapter 1 (page 33) reminds us that symbols, linear patterning and analysis, the major elements of current standard note-making taking, are only three of the many tools available to the cerebral cortex of the human brain. These standard notes show an almost complete absence of
Few people ever put their memories to the immediate test, and it is for this reason that most are unaware of the false limits, the habits and potential of their minds. Because of the way we are trained (or not trained) in school, the simple tasks you will soon attempt will in some cases prove very difficult and in others almost impossible. Yet these tasks are perfectly within the capacity of the average human brain. Do not worry about poor performance, however, since it is the purpose of this book to make memorisation, such as is required in the following tests, an easy and enjoyable exercise.
The discovery that the mature human brain possesses neuronal stem cells that yield new neurons into advanced age was groundbreaking and has provided major impetus to research into the potential of stem cells to definitively treat degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Researchers hope that stem cells might be able to restore damaged brain functions by replacing cells that were destroyed. Stem cells might also be able to slow or stop 190, further damage by helping to bathe neurons in protective chem
In the human brain, DHEA is present at six times its concentration in the bloodstream. In the average person, DHEA blood levels decline fivefold from the age of twenty to seventy years. A few proponents quote this fact to claim that giving DHEA to older people boosts low blood levels and corrects a deficit. More systematic research is needed to find out if this claim is valid. Of note, in a study of older men, those with the highest DHEA blood levels had the best general health over the course of a decade of follow-up. An alternative to DHEA is pregnenolone, a natural steroid that is converted to DHEA in the body.
Brain researchers continue to discover the importance of environmental factors on the human brain. To capitalize on their findings, you can design your learning environments in a manner such that participants have maximum access to information. You should also plan activities in which they can best use their five senses to receive and process information. In building your programs, your training environment should complement subject matter as closely as possible. To accomplish this, consider the audience, organizational culture, subject matter, and expected outcomes for the training. With these factors in mind, set out to create a learning utopia in which all the elements of brain-based learning are addressed to your fullest capability. Even if you have only indirect control over the room (e.g., a hotel or conference room) in which training will take place, you can still incorporate many of the ideas outlined throughout this book.
'The human brain is an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern, though never an abiding one, a shifting harmony of sub-patterns. It is as if the Milky Way entered upon some cosmic dance.' In each human brain there are an estimated one million, million (1 000 000 000 000) brain cells. 'We can show that each of the ten billion neurons in the human brain has a possibility of connections of one with twenty-eight noughts after it If a single neuron has this quality of potential, we can hardly imagine what the whole brain can do. What it means is that the total number of possible 'No human yet exists who can use all the potential of his brain. This is why we don't accept any pessimistic estimates of the limits of the human brain. It is unlimitedT
By now it will be clear to you that the systems worked out by the Greeks, and for nearly 2000 years discarded as mere tricks, were in fact based on the way in which the human brain actually functions. The ancients realised the importance of words, order, sequence and number, now known to be functions of the left side of the brain and of imagination, colour, rhythm, dimension and daydreaming, now known to be right-brain functions.
As the largely negative clinical trials with choline, lecithin, and acetyl-l-carnitine demonstrate, promemory effects in rats or mice are not easy to replicate in people. Improving cognition in the primitive rodent brain is a lot simpler than boosting it in the ultracomplex human brain.
In this division you are introduced to the most up-to-date information about the human brain, its design, architecture and function. You are shown that many of the great thinkers of history (referred to in this book as the Great Brains) used skills that are available to everyone. You are then shown why, despite this, more than 95 per cent of people experience major problems in such areas as thinking, memory, concentration, motivation, organisation of ideas, decision-making and planning.
In order to examine the possibilities, it is necessary to return momentarily from the cosmos to the cortex, and to search for Rader Piatt's beacons of hope in the welter of discouraging news about economics, pollution and the general global state. If we are to achieve a complete understanding of our current situation, and a more realistic interpretation of our future, it is necessary to look very closely at the single factor which most dramatically affects all future possibilities. This crucial factor is not the general environment, nor is it the theories of economics or psychology, nor even the 'basic aggressiveness of mankind', nor the 'irreversible tide of history'. The main, almost blindingly obvious factor is that which has been the subject of The Mind Map Book, and which in large part records, controls and directs the rest of the equation the Radiant Thinking human brain.
Only during the last few centuries have we begun gathering information about the structure and workings of our brains. As excitement about what we find gains momentum, so does the number of papers and articles published on the subject. Indeed it has been calculated that in the last 10 years we have accumulated as much as 95 per cent of all information ever gathered about the human brain. Although still a very long way from a complete understanding (we are increasingly aware that what we do know is only a tiny fraction of what there is to be known), we now know enough to change, for ever, our view of others and ourselves. U Is the human brain fundamentally a pattern-making and pattern-seeking device
A memory trace is solidified if there is a small gap in time between the pieces of information that need to be remembered. Using this technique, which is called spaced training, scientists engineered a fruit fly to have a photographic memory. In the same fruit fly species, they triggered a master gene called CREB, which has the ability to goad a number of other genes into action. In this manner, the fruit fly with a fabulous memory was born. Ideally, if we could stimulate CREB in the same way in the human brain, total recall would become the standard for everyone. But there is no known method to turn a gene on or off in the human brain, so even though we all possess CREB, we don't yet know how to galvanize it into action in people. The goal of these researchers is to see if manipulating CREB in some fashion will make it possible to unlock the full power of human memory.
In an exercise like this, it is essential for people to overcome their inhibitions about drawing 'bad' images. No matter how 'bad' the initial images may seem, because of the trial and success (not error) nature of the human brain they will simply form the first experimental stage from which there will be continued and inevitable improvement. Alexander chose the human brain as his central image because he had heard it mentioned so many times during the preceding days. He then began to 'image aloud' in the following manner.
Professor Mark Rosensweig, a Californian psychologist and neurophysiologist, spent years studying the individual brain cell and its capacity for storage. As early as 1974 he stated that if we fed in ten new items of information every second for an entire lifetime to any normal human brain that brain would be considerably less than half full. He emphasised that memory problems have nothing to do with the capacity of the brain but rather with the self-management of that apparently limitless capacity. 6 The Potential Pattern-MakingAbility of Your Brain Professor Pyotr Anokhin, the famous Pavlov's brightest student, spent his last years investigating the potential pattern-making capabilities of the human brain. His findings were important for memory researchers. It seems that memory is recorded in separate little patterns, or electromagnetic circuits, that are formed by the brain's interconnecting cells.
As if the processes for establishing and maintaining long-term memory weren't already complicated enough, recent findings indicate that hitherto unanticipated mechanisms also may play a role. Specifically, neurogenesis has entered the picture. When I was a young scientific sprout, the dogma was that there is no new generation of neurons in the adult CNS. However, fascinating recent results have shown that neurogenesis does indeed continue into the adult, particularly in the dentate gyrus. One key publication by Fred Gage and his colloborators showed specifically that new neurons are generated in the adult human brain (73). How might one be able to ascertain this fact Cancer patients sometimes receive treatment with the drug Bromo-deoxy Uridine (BrdU). It selectively affects dividing cells by being incorporated into their DNA upon de novo DNA synthesis. Therefore, an ancillary aspect of this is that BrdU selectively labels freshly divided cells. Post-mortem analysis of the brains of...
Your brain grows with exercise and atrophies with lack of use. Out of the estimated 15 billion neurons of the human brain, 100,000 unused neurons deteriorate each day. By improving your brain's circulatory system, your brain cells need not deteriorate at this horrendous rate. Capillaries that supply your brain cells with oxygen and nourishment can be manufactured by your body when they are needed. An autopsy of Einstein's brain after his death revealed that there was a greater profusion of superficial capillaries interlacing his cerebral cortex than men of ordinary intellect. With a program of intensive mental exercise, your body must respond with the development of new capillaries to provide the necessary oxygen your brain is asking for.
In relation to memory, it is important to understand the potential of a human brain. A negative view of our ability to remember will interfere with our memory potential. Learning just how incredible our brain is will help you view the potential you have to remember more positively. A human brain has over 100 billion working parts. Most brains weight just over 3 pounds and contain between 10 and 14 billion neuron cells. To visualize how tiny these cells are, 250,000 of them will fit on a penny. Yet, each of these tiny cells is capable of storing between one and two million bits of information. The storage capacity of a brain equals ten new items every second, for a lifetime. That means a potential for 600 new items per minute or 36,000 bits of information in an hour. For a normal lifetime, a human brain has the capacity to store more than 100 trillion bits of information.
Scientists learned a lot about the neuroanatomy of memory and amnesia more than half a century ago from the case of a young man in Connecticut (now famous in the medical literature as HM) who underwent brain surgery for relief from epileptic seizures. Taking desperate measures to stop the seizures, a Yale surgeon removed large portions of both medial temporal lobes, including the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices. The surgery controlled HM's epilepsy, but it left him with profound amnesia.
Now think about trying to note down all these associations. It would be impossible, because every time you noted something you would have a thought about what you had noted. That would be another association which you would be obliged to note down, and so on, ad infinitum. The human brain can make an infinite number of associations and our creative thinking potential is similarly infinite. In the average human brain there are multiple quadrillions of 'used' associations. This vast network may be considered not only as your memory or personal reference library, but also as your entire conscious and paraconscious self (see Tony Buzan, Harnessing the ParaBrain).
You have seen how the human brain has evolved upwards from its most primitive reptilian form, capable of little more than fight or flight responses. As it has been required to undertake more complex tasks, so it has grown in complexity and size. As evolutionary biologists have made clear, it has changed in complexity and size over thousands of years. All change involves some stress, but if stress levels become too high, the brain ceases to operate as effectively as it should. This can often be because the people engaged in the change feel that they have lost control of their lives.
The Gestalt Psychologists discovered that the human brain has a very strong tendency to complete things - thus most readers will find that they labelled the shapes in figure 46 straight line, cylinder, square, elipse or oval, zig-zag line, circle, triangle, wavy or curved line, rectangle. In fact the 'circle' is not a circle but a 'broken circle'. Many actually see this broken circle as a circle. Others see it as a broken circle but assume that the artist intended to complete it.
Association exercises reveal the unlimited power of every human brain, both those of'gifted' people and those previously considered to be 'average'. These exercises can therefore liberate billions of people from their self-imposed mental limitations. By simply performing the 'happiness' exercise described in this chapter, anyone can experience an instant explosion in mental power. fTake the example of an eight-year-old boy in a deprived area of London who was considered to be virtually a moron, both by his teacher and by himself. After he had completed the 'happiness' exercise I asked him whether he could find further associations for any of the ten words he had written down. He paused for a moment, wrote down two, then looked up with the beginnings of a gleam in his eyes and asked, 'Can I keep going '
There is a 'linger effect' of several seconds that takes place in the human brain when sensory input can be acknowledged or not acknowledged. For instance, when you speak to someone who is concentrating on a certain activity and doesn't appear to have heard you, nudge them within 4 seconds and ask them if they heard you. Usually they'll say, Yes, I heard you and they'll be able to remember what you said. If you wait much longer and ask them whether they heard you, they'll usually say, No. The lag time for recall was too long. Taking advantage of this lag time of recall and quickly flashing your conscious awareness to various tasks can enable you to perform simultaneous mental functions. When certain skills are learned thoroughly enough and the shift to other areas of the brain is made, this split second flashing of your conscious attention is not as necessary.
Additionally, practice on the type of questions that follow in this section also gives the brain a much needed work-out. Despite the huge capacity of the human brain, we only use, on average, 2 per cent of our potential brainpower. There is, therefore, enormous potential for us to expand our brainpower considerably and regular testing is one of the key methods of doing just that.
Amygdala is one of the components of the midbrain or limbic area of the human brain. Among other things, it functions to help link emotions with memory and helps control blood circulation, breathing, and other automatic body functions. Brain-based learning is a term applied to the theory incorporating research on the human brain its implications on education and training and creative strategies to enhance acquisition, retention, and recall of information. Hippocampus is located in the midbrain and is the area of the human brain responsible for the formation and storage of memories. Limbic system is the second oldest part of the brain to develop, according to researcher Dr. Paul MacLean, who proposed the classic triune brain theory. This section of the human brain acknowledges rewards and punishments. It also controls the autonomic nervous system and houses emotions. Lobes are the term given to the four sections of the human brain. Each has specific functions yet all are believed to...
Appreciation of the human brain, and which was to eventually win Roger Sperry of the California Institute of Technology a Nobel Prize and Robert Ornstein worldwide fame for his work on brain waves and specialisation of function. Another most convincing case for the excellence of the human brain, is the functioning and development of the human baby. Far from being the 'helpless and incapable little thing' that many people assume it to be, it is the most extraordinary learning, remembering and intellectually advanced being - even in its most early stages it surpasses the performance of the most sophisticated computers.
Of course we must be careful not to consider humans as nothing more than complex machines. The human brain is vastly more complex than a computer. It is impossible to reproduce all known human biological functions, not to mention those we still don't understand. With that in mind, we could say that the great advantage of cybernetics is that it gives us a clear working model on which to base further research. In his theory of psycho-cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz shows that how human beings make use of an incredible machine - the human brain and nervous system - in order to achieve specific goals. The fact that we are free to choose our goals separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. This freedom of choice is what gives humanity its grandeur and privileged place on
The human brain a spring board from which we can leap into the magical world of genius. Although it is impossible to condense everything that scientists and researchers know about the human brain and learning into a single chapter, several important concepts pertinent to understanding the brain, learning, and memory are highlighted in these pages. Recent decades have brought forth an exciting era of neuroscientific (life science that deals with anatomy, physiology, and biology of nerves related to behavior and learning) and cognitive research (related to factual data and knowledge) into the composition of the brain and how it functions. This brain-based or brain-compatible learning research has uncovered a wealth of insight into how the human brain develops, thinks, learns, and retains information. From the research, we have learned much about the physiological structure of the brain, what impacts brain development, and ways that learner motivation can be influenced. Researchers...
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