BBI 2007 Session 11

Paul Grobstein's picture

 

BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR INSTITUTE 2007

Output Architecture, Continued

 

Review (and completion of output side)

 

 

 

  • Central pattern generation, corollary discharge
  • Gene/environment interaction
  • Distributed control
  • Influences on input

"I liked the concept of the nervous system having certain scores stored inside of it and yet at other times making thing up as it goes along... like jazz musicians" ... Cheryl

"What you're experiencing is influenced by what you're doing and by your genes-very interesting suppositions for an inquiry based educatonal setting." ... Mingh

"All symphonies have a conductor...imagine what might happen if they didn't..." ... Geneva (see also Bob and Paul)

"I liked the idea of the nervous system being explained as a symphony but I am a little concerned about what will happen if the outside stimulus is the unconscious as in the example of a sleep walker or a person who has multiple personalities. How can their symphonies be explained? How do they learn to ignore these discharges if they are not consciously aware that they are doing them?" ... Judith

Finishing up a look from the output side

  • Purposive, adaptive action can occur without the "I-function"
  • The cognitive unconscious and the I-function
  • I-function as suppressor of existing possibilities, creator of new ones?

 

What particular aspect of our discussions of the motor side of the nervous system seem most useful for your classroom, for your teaching in general? Write some thoughts/questions in the institute forum area.

Comments

Paul Grobstein's picture

stories and behavior

Interesting notion from discussion today: change stories and behavior changes, change behavior and stories change. Its a loop? Can get into it either way? Should help students/people acquire skills to do both? To mull further.
Robert McCormick's picture

I am going out on a limb

I am going out on a limb here, but I think there is a small similarity between the contemporary model way of describing the scientific method and the input-neuron-output-reafferent loop, but then again I may be way off base which is at times my default mode. Think of it this way: Inputs equal new observations,implications equal neuron, summary still works/summary needs replacement equal outputs (my weak one!), reafferent loop equals the crack (no doubt). The one I am having trouble rationalizing is the summary of observation. Does this happen in the neuron or is there no place for it in Paul's input-neuron-output-reafferent loop model? How far off-base am I?
Diane OFee-Powers's picture

Monday 7/16

Once again, great info that leads to many questions and great ideas for my classroom! Today's discussion makes me want to pay more attention to my unconscious behavior in the classroom and to teach myself to be more aware of my "I" function. I hope to use my I function to change some of my stories. I hope to be able to teach my students to be more conscious of their thoughts and behaviors and to be aware of their I function to change their stories. The thought of teaching the kids to be effective casual change agents is very exciting to me! I want my students to be conscious when they take test, but not too conscious that they get too stressed.
Angela Morris's picture

reflections

This morning discussion has me thinking of many ideas or my own sense of story telling. As far as the role of an educator as a conductor and/ or a facilitator. I also began questioning the role of consciousness versus unconscioness. As educators alot of practices that we do are unconconscious but do we really view it that way. Our unconscious is writing stories that are conscious may or may not be aware of. It is important that we not hold either as truth but as a story that our unconsious or conscious had made by their different types of summary of observations. The discussion was very informative as Paul shared his stories on this topic and dealing with the I function.
Donna Morris's picture

I function

interesting to think about the things we do unconsciously
joycetheriot's picture

Using the I-function

Using the I-Function to override NS signals for a specific purpose conveys great importance to this ability. The supposition I understood from today was that I-Function allows us to write new stories that can be creative ways to perform desired results. As we investigate and learn more about the power that resides in the I-Function will we one day override the disconnect that causes paralysis? I think that there are people who have a finely tuned I-Function. These people have spent their lives reaching that heightened level of awareness. I respect their ability and dedication for their own journey into the mind. I wonder about my ability to observe and detect the I-function ‘activation key’ for each of the 140 students that enter and leave my 5 classes of science each day. Do we strive for a percentage (20, 35, or 50%) each year and how do we measure our success?
Deidre Bennett's picture

We all know that we do

We all know that we do things unconsciously, but it is very informative to know why. It makes me wonder about human behavior and how much is really controlled by the I-function. it seems to me that most of out pysical actions are done unconsciously. It would be overwhelming if we had to think about every little thing that we did. I am curious about our mental behavior. What controls our mentals thoughts and actions? Are our thoughts and the responses they elicit done unconsciously? Or it is 100% controlled by the I-function. Or does the I-function come into play later as a result of trial and error. What works vs. what doesn't, what's acceptable behavior vs. what is deemed unacceptable.
Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Real World Situations

Again this morning's section was very stimulting in the fact that we as teachers and our society tend to put people into particular boxes that we expect them to enjoy for the rest of their life. We are surprised and shocked when they are not receptive to this. We need to change the way we think and the way teach. Sometimes students can get more from less. Students at an early age need to be given choices. We need to get into their unconscious and pull up some of the beneficial things that will encourage them to be self motivated not only in their own interests but also about the things that will make them productive citizens in the future. Do we really want to open up the unconscious mind? Personally, I think we need to self exam our motivations for controlling people when we are not in control of most of what we do ourselves.
Victoria Brown's picture

Monday

What particular aspect of our discussions of the motor and sensory sides of the nervous system seem most useful for your classroom, for your teaching in general? Write some thoughts/questions in the institute forum area. I am really surprised of how much of what we do is unconscious. I think that it is a good thing!!! Why? Because it allows me to focus on other extenal stimuli that requires more attention. I like the idea that we are not totally in control of everything, because I believe that I would make a lot of mistakes, that may kill me. This gives me an awesome sense of HOPE!!!!
Dalia Gorham's picture

This mornings thoughts

I found the conversation this morning interesting, I never really thought about how much we do unconciously. In terms of our classrooms I wonder if the children took standardized test unconciously if they would do better. I say that because of the basketball senario, when the children are so nervous they seem to "mess up" on questions they know.
Tammi Jordan's picture

motor and sensory sides of the nervous system

During last weeks' discussion I was starting to feel powerless over the outcomes in my classroom or their impact on the school, and community. Today I feel like I can have a positive impact on making students aware of their conscious and unconscious actions. By making them aware of the things that they do without thinking about them I have a better chance of helping them to account for their total "I" function which in turn will positively influence the classroom, the school, their families and hopefully the community. In a nutshell today's discussion has opened the possibility to being able to shape behavior or controll outcomes. However, I must keep in mind that there are some things that we do unconsciously that self regulate.
Mingh Whitfield's picture

the power of I

So, the I function can allow the body to perform in certain ways, even while the rest of the nervous system is not ready to. I can't wait to delve further into helping children bring unconscious behavior into consciousness. I suspect that Paul's question to his twins is key to the facilitator's role in this process. It got them to pay attention to their bodies and cause change.
Graham Phillips's picture

The power of imaginative thinking

What really intrigues me about this morning's session is the role the I function plays in the ability to create unique and creative movements in the human body by the I function's ability to isolate, to "switch on and off" movement. I have several questions about it and wonder what implications it might have on our teaching and our students...

First, is this ability of the I function especially pronounced in those who make their life by the creative arts (dancers, figure skaters, gymnasts)? Do the brains of these people have a common variation that allows them to do this more than others?

Next, can this be extended to thinking and creativity in general? Is this something that could be applied to how a student writes or reasons?

Finally, how much of this is innate, and how much of this is learned through behavior and upbringing? Does this mean that we can teach our students to be able to isolate movement and or thought? Can our students be conditioned into being more creative, or does this mean that their brain and or muscle power is, at least to an extent, predetermined by their genetics?

Cheryl Brown's picture

Monday morning

The idea of loops creating a system that seems to have a purpose is fascinating. I see that the negative feedback loop is beneficial and has setpoints.
Teresa Albers's picture

I function

A lot has been written about the relationship between the hand and the brain implying that the strenght of the brain is positively correlated to the strength of hand control. In the classroom, we have a plethora of activities that are designed to improve the eye-hand control movement and the strength of the hand. Most of the children who enter are rudimentary in these skill areas. Furthermore, when we sing the finger play song about the fingers, most cannot isolate the individual fingers. In fact, at the beginning of the year, they seem shocked that the fingers are actually able to move separately. For my current setting, in which I only have most children for one year, I see a clear development, at the the end of the year, in their ability to isolate the individual fingers as we sing the fingerplay song. By that time, most don't even remember how hard they had to work to see that the fingers were individual digits and then try to raise each finger at the appropriate time. These same children show a clear development in their ability to self-regulate behaviors, in a variety of settings, and in their pincer grasps and eye-hand control. Furthermore, their gross motors skills are refined and executed with more finesse. The question I am leading up to is whether the strengthening of hand-eye movement and hand strength is correlated to the strengthening of the I-function. If so, what are the implications for education? A friend once described the PT she received for brain damage, due to high velocity impact, and those exercises could easily have been the same as the ones I put in my classroom for the development of hand strength and hand-eye coordination.   

This issue also shows the role of awareness in mastery. 

Paul Grobstein's picture

movement and I-function at early ages

This seems to me very much worth noticing, following up on in re elementary science education. We're talking here about kids in the 3-6 year old range (preK-K). What all this suggests is a correlated development of physical and "cognitive" abilities, happening at a quite early age. Maybe this is the time when its most important to encourage the kind of self-reflection and enjoyment of discovery that can provide the basis for a life-long enjoyment of inquiry, of writing and revising stories?
Bruce Williamson's picture

I-function control

In some cases it seems that even the I function cannot make motion happen. I am thinking of cute challenges with fingers, where the victim is shocked to find that they cannot complete a simple sounding motion command. LIke boys who cannot pick up the chair while girls can. Or the hand on the desk with the "long tom" finger tucked under and then one finds that they can raise all the other fingers except the ring finger which will not move by brain command at all, but you may pick it up with the other hand! Today I found a new one. With the other fingers collapsed against the palm the pointer can be bent all the way into a hook shape. But with the other fingers kept straigth, the pointer will ONLY bend into L shape, not a hook. When you take the tip, with the other hand, and deliberately bend it down into a hook you can feel that it is loose and disconnected, just like it were dead. Next time I am with young children I will show them this stunt since that sort of thing fascinates them. So when I-function cannot do the job, even with the strongest will behind it, feelings are going to arise. In a game or trick these feelings are funny and frustrating in a way that can be laughed off, especially if no-one can do it. But let it be the case that others, or even worse--all the others, are successful and the individual is likely to pass the point of being able to keep trying and just shuts down. Regards,
Bruce
Angela Morris's picture

reflections

This morning discussion has me thinking of many ideas or my own sense of story telling. As far as the role of an educator as a conductor and/ or a facilitator. I also began questioning the role of consciousness versus unconscioness. As educators alot of practices that we do are unconconscious but do we really view it that way. Our unconscious is writing stories that are conscious may or may not be aware of. It is important that we not hold either as truth but as a story that our unconsious or conscious had made by their different types of summary of observations. The discussion was very informative as Paul shared his stories on this topic and dealing with the I function.
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo Is the

W. Keith Sgrillo Is the "I-function" operational when in a dream state or coma?
William Sgrillo's picture

W. Keith Sgrillo I feel as

W. Keith Sgrillo I feel as though this thought of the conscious and unconscious working side by side is extremely interesting. For me, it is a very positive idea that much of what we do is unconscious. It helps to disspell the idea of "fate". I do not like the idea that I have a plan set out for me. That I am following some sort of script. The idea that not only "I" but the rest of me is doing things to creat a new and ever changing story gives me a stronger sense of self. I think this idea is crucial to us as an educator because it hleps us to understand and appreciate the differences that exsist in our students. It also leads me to feel a sense of hope because it suggests the abilty to change the present stories we have, especially those that are negative.

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