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The Century of the Brain and Computing Part 2: Learning

new field of science where neuroscience, psychology, pedagogy and information technology is melted togetherOur senses like sight and hearing, skills like motor skills and memory functions is managed by different parts of the brain. Therefore different forms of training are needed to develop different skills. From this prerequisite Torkel Klingberg, Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm says that “I want to see an improved understanding of where individual differences come from, and how different problems connect to each other.” He hopes that a new field of science where neuroscience, psychology, pedagogy and information technology is melted together in order to receive more answers on his problem-description above etc.

Professor Klingberg said this in an interview 2011 with the daily paper Svenska Dagbladet’s Maria Carling. Today the foundation of his vision to large extent is being realised with the EU-financed Human Brain Project as well as the American, The Human Connectome Project that is now expected to be a part of the neuroscience-programme that President Barack Obama has announced.

 

Martin Ingvar, Professor in Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet has written the following:

”One of the most important mistakes that now have had long time to develop is the idea that pedagogy has nothing to do with how children’s brain function. Children’s brains are like adult brains, but better.” 

The focus of Martin Ingvars research is ranging wide over a wide field with e.g. how children learns to read, to learning of different behaviours and how the brains function with different kinds of diseases. He wrote the following in the daily paper Dagens Nyheter in March 2008 there: “is a historically grounded fear for hard-study-school. This fear during the recent years has been the ruling force.” This must be counteracted according to Professor Ingvar. Repetition is the mother of knowledge, which is illustrated with the following example.

When you learn to drive the car you do all operations on a conscious level, even simple operations like hit the brakes and steering. The better the brain becomes to handle the different operations, the more automated the behaviour becomes. Continuing repetition and practice of the operations leads thereby to that the ability becomes automated, which at the same time decreases the pressure on the working memory.

Professor Klingberg adds that for an effective learning environment all distractions should be reduced since they take up space from the working memory’s capacity. You should focus on one operation at the time. He says: Clear the desktop and do not have too interesting things near you. Learn by the Memory Masters for instance by doing associations.”

The third part in this series of articles will be directed on the fact that the brain is plastic, which means that continuing training keeps it vital. In same way as we train our physics at the gym you need to continually train your brains ability.

Written by LarsGoran Bostrom©

 

Sources

HBP – The Human Brain Project
http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/

Human Connectome Project
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/

Hjärnforskare vill att skolan tänker om by Maria Carling
http://www.svd.se/nyheter/idagsidan/barn-och-unga/31-3-hjarnforskare-vill-att-skolan-ska-tanka-om_6052835.svd

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