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Educators Professional Day 10/04/10 Neurophysiological Foundations of Learning & Evidence-Based Teaching Ahmed M. Abdelal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Assistant Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "Educators Professional Day 10/04/10 Neurophysiological Foundations of Learning & Evidence-Based Teaching Ahmed M. Abdelal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Assistant Professor."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Educators Professional Day 10/04/10 Neurophysiological Foundations of Learning & Evidence-Based Teaching Ahmed M. Abdelal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders Department of Special Education & Communication Disorders Phone:

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9 LEARNING STAGES & STRATEGIES

10 Learning “Learning is the process in which neurons that fire together to produce a particular experience are altered so that they have a tendency to fire together again. The subsequent combined firing of the neurons reconstructs the original experience, producing a ‘recollection’ of it. The act of recollecting makes the neurons involved even more likely to fire again in the future.” (Carter, et al 2009, 154)

11 Relationship Between Learning & Memory Leaning is “the process by which we acquire knowledge about the world, while memory is the process by which that knowledge is encoded, stored, and later retrieved” (Kandel, Schwartz, & Jessell, 2000, p. 1227) (Kandel, Schwartz, & Jessell, 2000, p. 1227)

12 Types of Memory Based on Duration Immediate memory Immediate memory Capacity of 7 items Capacity of 7 items Only 30 seconds, if info not rehearsed Only 30 seconds, if info not rehearsed Working Memory (WM) Working Memory (WM) Phonological loop (verbal info) Phonological loop (verbal info) Visuospatial sketch pad (faces, images, spatial layouts) Visuospatial sketch pad (faces, images, spatial layouts) WM sustains info for 0.5 sec. to 10 min. WM sustains info for 0.5 sec. to 10 min. Long-term memory Long-term memory

13 Learning & Emotions “Our memories are personal and evocative, intertwined with emotion, and they provide us with a sense of who we are.” (Squire & Kandel 2010, 75)

14 How Learning Changes Brain Structure Any type of learning must result in physical changes in brain structure: Any type of learning must result in physical changes in brain structure: Cellular changes Cellular changes Birth of new neurons (Neurogenesis) Birth of new neurons (Neurogenesis) Expansion of existing networks Expansion of existing networks Creation of new circuits Creation of new circuits

15 How Learning Changes Brain Structure Cellular changes in the existing neurons: Cellular changes in the existing neurons: Strengthening existing synaptic connections Strengthening existing synaptic connections Growth of new synaptic branches and production of neurotransmitter components in presynaptic neurons Growth of new synaptic branches and production of neurotransmitter components in presynaptic neurons Translation and transcription of specific genes Translation and transcription of specific genes Production of new receptor proteins and inserting them along the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron Production of new receptor proteins and inserting them along the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron

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17 Primary Centers of Learning Hippocampus Hippocampus Amygdala Amygdala Medial temporal lobe Medial temporal lobe PF cortex PF cortex Association cortices Association cortices

18 © A. Abdelal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

19 Phases of Learning For information to be retained in LT memory, it has to be processed in phases For information to be retained in LT memory, it has to be processed in phases Each phase involves specific neural pathways, and structural modifications Each phase involves specific neural pathways, and structural modifications Perception Perception Pre-encoding Pre-encoding Encoding Encoding Transfer Transfer Imprinting Imprinting Storage Storage Retrieval Retrieval Consolidation Consolidation

20 Setting the Stage for Learning Motivation and emotional response direct our attention Motivation and emotional response direct our attention Information cannot enter into the memory system unless it is attended to Information cannot enter into the memory system unless it is attended to Attend to a piece of info for about 0.2 sec. Attend to a piece of info for about 0.2 sec. Attention intensifies the experience by triggering neurons to fire more frequently Attention intensifies the experience by triggering neurons to fire more frequently The more a neuron fires the stronger its connections are with other neurons (Squire 07,77) The more a neuron fires the stronger its connections are with other neurons (Squire 07,77)

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22 Preparatory Phase: Pre-encoding Mechanism There are specific areas “pre-prepared to store new information, even before the stimuli are collected and coded” There are specific areas “pre-prepared to store new information, even before the stimuli are collected and coded” If these areas are activated in time for encoding, encoding & recall will efficient If these areas are activated in time for encoding, encoding & recall will efficient This pre-encoding circuit is activated by: This pre-encoding circuit is activated by: Good self-esteem Good self-esteem Strong motivation Strong motivation Positive attitude (Atlas of Human Physiology, 2009, ) Positive attitude (Atlas of Human Physiology, 2009, )

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24 Working Memory & Executive Functions Executive functions: location? Executive functions: location? Develop, pursue & focus on goals; sustain attention, allocate attentional resources, monitor our own work toward the goal; regulate our behavior, etc. Develop, pursue & focus on goals; sustain attention, allocate attentional resources, monitor our own work toward the goal; regulate our behavior, etc. Behavioral inhibition suppresses distractions Behavioral inhibition suppresses distractions Working Memory: PFC  Sensory center Working Memory: PFC  Sensory center Holds material to guide on-going behavior and cognition Holds material to guide on-going behavior and cognition Info gets shuttled back and forth from frontal cortex to the sensory cortex that initially registered it. Info gets shuttled back and forth from frontal cortex to the sensory cortex that initially registered it.

25 Encoding The process by which new information is attended to and processed when it is first encountered (Kandel et al., 2000) The process by which new information is attended to and processed when it is first encountered (Kandel et al., 2000) Mediated by the hippocampus & PFC Mediated by the hippocampus & PFC New info reaching the hippocampus induces activation of pathways to previous info New info reaching the hippocampus induces activation of pathways to previous info

26 What Happens During Encoding Activation of previous information Activation of previous information Evaluation of the new information Evaluation of the new information Analysis Analysis Organization Organization Integration Integration Reassembling and synthesis Reassembling and synthesis

27 Encoding Mechanisms Neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters Noreadrenaline/Norepinephrine Noreadrenaline/Norepinephrine Acetylcholine Acetylcholine Serotonin Serotonin Dopamine Dopamine Proteins Proteins C-Kinase C-Kinase Synapsin 1 Synapsin 1

28 Neurogenesis During Encoding Occupies the first 20 minutes of learning Occupies the first 20 minutes of learning Newly born neurons immediately enter the memory pathways individually Newly born neurons immediately enter the memory pathways individually Enter Enter Exit Exit Re-enter and stay Re-enter and stay They appear to imprint the new information and integrate it with previous information They appear to imprint the new information and integrate it with previous information They mediate forgetfulness of irrelevant information They mediate forgetfulness of irrelevant information

29 Efficiency of Encoding Encoding determines the efficiency of retrieval. Encoding determines the efficiency of retrieval. Efficiency of retrieval depends on the cues & strategies used while the info is being encoded, rather than the strategies used during the retrieval process. Efficiency of retrieval depends on the cues & strategies used while the info is being encoded, rather than the strategies used during the retrieval process.

30 What Determines Efficiency of Encoding Emotional content of the info: happy vs sad Emotional content of the info: happy vs sad Motivation & level of interest cause deep encoding and subconscious rehearsal Motivation & level of interest cause deep encoding and subconscious rehearsal Effort learner puts into practicing recall of info Effort learner puts into practicing recall of info Novelty (Carter et al, 2009, 154) Novelty (Carter et al, 2009, 154) Extent to which the info is: Extent to which the info is: Organized Organized Related to previous knowledge Related to previous knowledge Rehearsed after it has been presented Rehearsed after it has been presented (Squire & Kandel 2009, 74)

31 Efficiency of Encoding: Elaborative Encoding Elaborative/deep encoding is better than shallow/superficial encoding Elaborative/deep encoding is better than shallow/superficial encoding Breaking down info Breaking down info Discussing the meaning of each part Discussing the meaning of each part Relating the info to previous knowledge Relating the info to previous knowledge Asking questions in the process Asking questions in the process Example Example

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34 Retrieval The process of recalling stored information through reactivating the pattern or pathways in which the information was originally stored. The process of recalling stored information through reactivating the pattern or pathways in which the information was originally stored. (Nelson, 2005) Retrieval is a reconstructive process that involves pulling pieces of info from various storage sites and integrating them into a coherent whole. Retrieval is a reconstructive process that involves pulling pieces of info from various storage sites and integrating them into a coherent whole.

35 Retrieval … Either involuntary or intentional Either involuntary or intentional Intentional retrieval is required for adequate academic performance and similar goal-directed behavior. Intentional retrieval is required for adequate academic performance and similar goal-directed behavior. Requires: Requires: Executive functioning & WM Executive functioning & WM Attentional resources Attentional resources Strategic memory searching Strategic memory searching

36 Retrieval … Involves gene expression and protein synthesis and insertion along pathways Involves gene expression and protein synthesis and insertion along pathways Any interruption of these cellular processes (e.g., stress, anxiety, etc.) prevents the formation of long-term memories Any interruption of these cellular processes (e.g., stress, anxiety, etc.) prevents the formation of long-term memories

37 Retrieval: Facts & Strategies Previous knowledge promotes efficient recall of new information Previous knowledge promotes efficient recall of new information Experts have superior abilities in remembering info related to there area of expertise, but “have no special gift for recalling details that are not meaningful to their area of expertise” Experts have superior abilities in remembering info related to there area of expertise, but “have no special gift for recalling details that are not meaningful to their area of expertise” Memory exercises do not improve retrieval Memory exercises do not improve retrieval (Squire & Kandel 2009, 77-78)

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39 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based Foster a friendly relationship with students, characterized by mutual respect Foster a friendly relationship with students, characterized by mutual respect Create a flexible teaching environment free from tension and anxiety Create a flexible teaching environment free from tension and anxiety Have the students move about in the classroom, whenever possible: to provide physical mobility & reduce tension Have the students move about in the classroom, whenever possible: to provide physical mobility & reduce tension Teaching Environment

40 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based ► Reduce your own stress to avoid stressing your students ► Perseveration Effect/Rigidity ► Always adopt a positive communication style ► Yes, smile at the kids and use humor ► void negative feedback ► Always be positive, even if the student’s answer is incorrect – student’s learn from mistakes

41 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based ► Avoid Habituation: ► Elicit student interaction ► Avoid monotone ► Vary loudness, tone, and accent frequently ► Do not stand or sit still for an extended period of time ► Change topic points every 5-10 minutes ► Use humor

42 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based ► Ensure adequate encoding (quality over quantity) ► Guide students to the correct answer by asking step- by-step questions ► Keep in mind that students have different learning styles ► Two major interactive learning styles: ► Experiential/Narrative Style ► Rational/Expository Style A combination of both styles is expected to produce the best results A combination of both styles is expected to produce the best results

43 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based Experiential Experiential Teaching through: Stories Settings Intentions Emotions Plots Acting and role-playing Metaphors and similes Personal experiences Rational Teaching through: Analysis Logical explanations Abstract ideas, etc. Completely removed from direct experience

44 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based The familiarity effect The familiarity effect Provide lesson previews a week or two prior to in-depth presentation of lessons Provide lesson previews a week or two prior to in-depth presentation of lessons Implications for: Implications for: Arabic Instruction Arabic Instruction English Instruction to nonnative speakers English Instruction to nonnative speakers Exercise Exercise

45 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based Strengthens existing synaptic connections Strengthens existing synaptic connections Establishes new synaptic connections Establishes new synaptic connections Strengthens memory pathways between hippocampus and storage sites Strengthens memory pathways between hippocampus and storage sites Leads to cognitive efficiency Leads to cognitive efficiency First few revisions are the most important First few revisions are the most important First revision  40% First revision  40% Second revision  80-90% Second revision  80-90% Third revision  95% Third revision  95% Then, get a good night’s sleep! Then, get a good night’s sleep! Power of Retrieval ( Power of Retrieval (Newell & Rosenbloom, 1981; Anderson, 1995)

46 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based The more frequently the information is retrieved, the stronger the pathway, and the faster the activation The more frequently the information is retrieved, the stronger the pathway, and the faster the activation Information not retrieved for an extended period of time might take longer to reactivate or might be forgotten Information not retrieved for an extended period of time might take longer to reactivate or might be forgotten Context & Strength of cues are related to strength of retrieval Context & Strength of cues are related to strength of retrieval Retrieval is best when in same context and in presence of initial cues used during encoding Retrieval is best when in same context and in presence of initial cues used during encoding Power of Retrieval

47 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based Create opportunities for student interaction: Create opportunities for student interaction: ► Heighten student curiosity, and ask questions to make them actively engaged in the information ► Provide hands-on learning experiences and concrete examples ► Teach information in an organized way ► Use controlled, deep semantic encoding ► Allow for transition time when shifting between topics to avoid interference

48 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Instructor-Based Testing promotes “better long-term retention than restudying” (Squire & Kandel 2009, 77). Testing promotes “better long-term retention than restudying” (Squire & Kandel 2009, 77). Prior knowledge of test format impr. perf. Prior knowledge of test format impr. perf. High-protein breakfast prior to major exams High-protein breakfast prior to major exams Focusing on concepts is best for essay tests Focusing on concepts is best for essay tests Focusing on details is best study for multiple- choice tests Focusing on details is best study for multiple- choice tests Visual presentation is extremely powerful: “Nearly half of the cortex is dedicated to processing visual information” (Squire & Kandel 2009, 77) Visual presentation is extremely powerful: “Nearly half of the cortex is dedicated to processing visual information” (Squire & Kandel 2009, 77)

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50 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Learner-Based Use testing as a teaching tool Protein breakfast on morning of Testing Advise parents who smoke not to do so in the presence of their children: Decreased recall, attention & tooth decay Sleep is crucial Use testing as a teaching tool Protein breakfast on morning of Testing Advise parents who smoke not to do so in the presence of their children: Decreased recall, attention & tooth decay Sleep is crucial

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52 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Learner-Based Sleep plays a direct role in WM, executive functioning, behavioral inhibition, and attention Sleep plays a direct role in WM, executive functioning, behavioral inhibition, and attention Plays a crucial role in consolidation of new learning Plays a crucial role in consolidation of new learning Regulates neurotransmitters Regulates neurotransmitters Learning and memory circuits are reactivated during sleep Learning and memory circuits are reactivated during sleep Sleep plays a direct role in WM, executive functioning, behavioral inhibition, and attention Sleep plays a direct role in WM, executive functioning, behavioral inhibition, and attention Plays a crucial role in consolidation of new learning Plays a crucial role in consolidation of new learning Regulates neurotransmitters Regulates neurotransmitters Learning and memory circuits are reactivated during sleep Learning and memory circuits are reactivated during sleep Sleep & Dreaming

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54 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Learner-Based Information is reprocessed during sleep Information is reprocessed during sleep Plays a pivotal role in neuroplasticity Plays a pivotal role in neuroplasticity Different types of learning require different stages of sleep Different types of learning require different stages of sleep Speed of processing in sleep is faster than in real time Speed of processing in sleep is faster than in real time Information is reprocessed during sleep Information is reprocessed during sleep Plays a pivotal role in neuroplasticity Plays a pivotal role in neuroplasticity Different types of learning require different stages of sleep Different types of learning require different stages of sleep Speed of processing in sleep is faster than in real time Speed of processing in sleep is faster than in real time Sleep & Dreaming

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56 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Learner-Based Regulate Sleep Seek medical help for velopharyngeal obstruction (causes snoring, sleep apnea, and weight gain) Avoiding studying over an extended number of hours Avoid studying late into the night Organize your studying/learning environment Organize your studying/learning environment Organize the information while you are learning it Organize the information while you are learning it The method of loci could be an effective tool for exam preparation The method of loci could be an effective tool for exam preparation Regulate Sleep Seek medical help for velopharyngeal obstruction (causes snoring, sleep apnea, and weight gain) Avoiding studying over an extended number of hours Avoid studying late into the night Organize your studying/learning environment Organize your studying/learning environment Organize the information while you are learning it Organize the information while you are learning it The method of loci could be an effective tool for exam preparation The method of loci could be an effective tool for exam preparation

57 Maximizing Learning Outcomes: Learner-Based Physical Exercises: Reduce stress Improve blood flow to the brain Improve brain plasticity : increases synaptic density, and positive effects of Ach Increase amount of oxygen in blood stream In adults, decreases risk for memory disorders, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Physical Exercises: Reduce stress Improve blood flow to the brain Improve brain plasticity : increases synaptic density, and positive effects of Ach Increase amount of oxygen in blood stream In adults, decreases risk for memory disorders, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

58 Conclusion What you teach changes the structure of the brain What you teach changes the structure of the brain Set a positive tone for the day Set a positive tone for the day Mood & Motivational states play a major role in determining the efficiency of encoding and retrieval of new learning Mood & Motivational states play a major role in determining the efficiency of encoding and retrieval of new learning Learning is an-experience and time dependent process Learning is an-experience and time dependent process The lengthy consolidation allows the brain time to re- configure itself in response to the new information The lengthy consolidation allows the brain time to re- configure itself in response to the new information Get the parents involved to implement healthy sleep and dietary habits Get the parents involved to implement healthy sleep and dietary habits

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