Socially and Cognitively, Neither Here Nor There High Volume of Data Presented Rapidly Rapid Shifts in Topic or Place Compressed Speech Environmentally Directed Awareness Digital and Visual Data Multi-Tasking
Every experienced event modifies the brain’s structure and processing style The brain is plastic into old age All behavior comes from the brain
Musicians who became music teachers engaged in solitary, intense, reflective music practice 9 hours per week or 4000 hours total by age 20. Musicians who became expert performers practiced 24 hours per week or 10,000 hours total by age 20. The brain becomes expert by practice, practice, practice and by trying to improve in each practice session, until automaticity is achieved, by storing information and patterns in long-term memory and constantly reflecting upon one’s performance.
Divided controlled attention Heightened reactive attention Heightened arousal Frequent shifts from one topic to another High volume of data Inadequate time to reflect and evaluate External rather than internal direction Multisensory experience Limited physical activity
Reacting, Not Planning or Reflecting Someone else is making decisions about what, where, how, how long, and how much.
Control over emotions Impulse resistance Planning Plan execution Execution monitoring and self-evaluation Task persistence
1940 3 year olds 0 minutes 5 year olds 3 minutes 7 year olds a long time 2001 3 year olds 0 minutes 5 year olds 0 minutes 7 year olds 3 minutes
PLAY IN FIRST HALF OF 20 TH CENTURY Unsupervised Child directed In groups Imaginative Activity focused Improvisation Symbolic toys Kids made the rules At home and at school PLAY IN SECOND HALF OF 20 TH CENTURY Adult organized and directed Toy or object focused Real toys with a specific purpose or theme Rules are given TV, video games, or lessons Schools focus on cognitive skills development to pass the test
Imaginative play promotes self-regulatory self-talk Self- regulatory self-talk promotes Control over emotions Impulse resistance Planning Plan execution Execution monitoring and self-evaluation Task persistence
The Rule of 7 Divided attention Superficial engagement Continuous partial attention leads to staying busy without truly focusing on anything Limited opportunity for reflecting and planning Continually in the “on” position; stimulus seeking; increased cortisol production Are we producing an ADD style of living ?
Country20002003Japan 557(1 st ) 534(4 th ) Korea 547(2 nd ) 542(2 nd ) China- 550(1 st ) United States 493(18 th ) 483(24 th ) International Average 500 (32 Countries) 500 (39 countries)
Country199519992003Singapore 609(1 st ) 604(1 st ) 605(1 st ) Korea 581(2 nd ) 587(2 nd ) 589(2 nd ) China 569(4 rd ) 582(4 th ) 586(3 rd ) Japan 581(2 nd ) 579(5 th ) 570(5 th ) U.S 492(18 th ) 502(19 th ) 504(12 th ) International Average 519 (23 Nations) 487 (38 Nations) 466 (45 Nations)
“Technology… The knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” Max Frisch, architect and author Decreased capacity for social perception Decreased tolerance for social interchange over a period of time Lower scores on memory testing More ADD-like in relationships Derivatives traders
Pilot induced oscillation Heal thyself first
List your priorities Allocate your time accordingly Schedule your time Power naps Alternate tasks Pause, reflect, summarize, plan before moving on Set limits Watch your speedometer Slowly build multi-tasking ability
Mind you mind Consciously engage your mind Increase the interest value of the task Minimize distractions Manipulate the environment Be a noisy learner Frequent breaks Power naps No phones at the dinner table, etc.
Simon Says Thinking Impulse inhibition Complex Imaginative Play Sustained for 30+ minutes Of the 1940’s style
Activities requiring planning Games with directions and goal seeking Construction activities Pattern recognition activities Cooking Joint Storybook Reading Process the characters self-regulatory behavior promoted modeling Mastery models not Expert models
Model self-talk Encourage self-talk Internalize, do not externalize, the conflict
Classroom routines Classroom rules Classroom organizational systems Learning strategy training Classroom process meetings Managing developmental angst Watch your language
Explicit instruction in learning processes Modeling Post-mortems to discuss why the patient lived or died Post-mortems to define the “next level’ and how to get there. Then, go do it. Practice, practice, practice with a focus on attaining a specific level of proficiency or grade
iBrain, Gary Small, MD and Gigi Virgan The New Brain, Richard Restak, MD The Overflowing Brain, Torkel Klingberg, MD Learning and the Brain Conference, November 2009, Boston, MA