From Serendip

BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR INSTITUTE 2000

Forum Discussion

Institute participants made use of an on-line forum to talk about issues that arose during the two weeks of the institute and after. The following is an unedited transcript of those discussions.


Name: Paul Grobstein
Username: pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject: Welcome
Date: Sun Jul 9 17:29:56 EDT 2000
Comments:
Glad to have you here this summer. I'm very much looking forward to working with you, and seeing what new understandings we can come to by sharing our experiences and thoughts. Hopefully, we can collectively come up with some better ways to think about classrooms and how to make them a more enjoyable and productive place for everyone.

Feel free to write any time you like about anything you think is interesting. Thoughts about things talked about during the day, questions of your own about brains and behavior, reactions to the doings of the institute itself, responses to other people's posting are all important contributions to our working together.


Name: Aliya
Username: Catanch@aol.com
Subject: Brain and Body
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:28:09 EDT 2000
Comments:
Dr.PG: I do not yet agree that your brain and actions are one in the same. I think that a woman who had their body violated, yet her body may have at some point felt a certain stimulation or sensation, did not enjoy that expereince or want it to happen - EXPLAIN....
Name: Nancy Bialon
Username: SailorNB@aol.com
Subject: left/right brain
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:31:41 EDT 2000
Comments:
I am interested the concept of theleft/right sides of the brain controlling certain funtions of the body. Does the right brain half affect the left side of the body wich represents the "female" aspects? Does the female brain have special "connectors" joining the right and left halves of the brain?
Name: Nora Kasper
Username: nkasper@fjquest.com
Subject: Brain and Behavior
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:33:06 EDT 2000
Comments:
PG: I can find similarities between the neurobiological and the spiritual concepts, such as, your brain is your personality, actions, etc.
Name: Sheila Mallory
Username: sfm1@juno.com
Subject: Opening Session/lunch
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:33:33 EDT 2000
Comments:
The opening discussion was very enlightening. It is hard to grasp the concept that there are no True answers. It would be interesting to see the observational foundation for the statement "the brain and behavior are one".

Lunch was delecious. We were amazed by the conversation during the lunch break. The views of our collegues were intriguing.


Name: carol and inger
Username: 1.1juan@msn.com / isegre@aol.com
Subject: morning session
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:33:35 EDT 2000
Comments:
Learned alot and found that the scientific method that we were taught as children is not accurate. Helped to intimidate us as adults in learning and teaching science. There are no absolute truths in science. Science is open-ended with the correct outcome being the best possible fit for that moment. In otherwords experience is the best teacher.
Name: Heidi King
Username: sourwench@aol.com
Subject:
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:33:43 EDT 2000
Comments:
Hot morning lecture. Folks buzzing with questions and reactions. Promise of cutting edge perspectives and exploring connection of physical/mental/spiritual stuff tastes sweet. Want to share applications of theory daily, for both personal and professional evolution. Nice springboard of disequilibrium set up. Let's stretch. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Name: karen cohen
Username: kaco44@yahoo.com
Subject:
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:34:10 EDT 2000
Comments:
I believe that concrete learners of upper elementary-middle school age need formulae like the scientific method in order to conquer a science project. The relative and ephemeral nature of knowledge could be explained to students, but they still require concrete and distinct steps to follow. The language:observation gathering, summarizing, postulating new observations, and then adding them to the earlier observations and creating a new summary sounds more complicated than the scientific method! Perhaps if a thought web or other graphic structure was introduced and then utilized by students, it would be more understandable. Explanation of brain as behavior smacks of behaviorist theory. I need to explore the spiritual expressed in terms of brain theory as it was presented this morning.
Name: Tola Oronti
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: First shocker
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:34:57 EDT 2000
Comments:
I definitely have a new perspective of the brain and people's behavior now even including myself.Now I think I am believing that science is not an absolute truth but just a collection of observations. In other words it is someone's opinion which is neither right now wrong absolutely.

Concerning education, I will say it is a summary of one's personal observations exhibited in physical behaviors.


Name: Deonna Vickers
Username: deeteacher0608@aol.com
Subject:
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:35:33 EDT 2000
Comments:
Same as Sheila Mallory (collective comments).
Name: Sharon and Carolyn
Username: CarolynFC3@Aol.Com
Subject: Brain Behavior and Education
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:36:14 EDT 2000
Comments:
This morning the disucssion was quite interesting. The scientific method was explained in a different perspective. It also reinforced for us a way to expain to students who insist on saying ," I proved my hypothesis was right." We learned that science is open ended / evolving .
Name: Wanda Williams
Username:
Subject:
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:36:26 EDT 2000
Comments:
Same as Sheila Mallory (collective comments).
Name: Tunde Oronti
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: Evolution
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:38:36 EDT 2000
Comments:
The theory of evolution has too many mssing links in order for it to explain the evolution of man from lower forms of life. Also the concept of male and female differences cannot be explained by this theory.
Name: Judy V.
Username: AAAJAVA@aol.com
Subject: Morning 7/10/00
Date: Mon Jul 10 13:39:12 EDT 2000
Comments:
The summary of my thoughts: There is much, much more to the possibility of this course than I had even begun to imagine. I look forward to a well spent two weeks with you my BBI Associates.
Name: Paul Grobstein
Username: pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject: Day 1
Date: Mon Jul 10 17:22:00 EDT 2000
Comments:
Thanks all for a fun and interesting first day. Its always intriguing to see what themes emerge (over and above those I had in mind). And one certainly seems to be the "spiritual", as talked about over lunch and here in the forum. Is the "spiritual" part of the brain, or is it something in addition to the brain? Its a worthwhile issue to explore (which is to say its one that hasn't been much actively approached by brain scientists, though there is, among other things an recent interesting book, Zen and the Brain sitting partially read on my desk at the moment). Its also an issue which Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about, coming down pretty clearly on the brain=behavior side long before much was actually known about the brain. While finding that, I also came across some stuff comparing Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman in their use of the brain concept.

Looks like the male/female issue may emerge as something worth more attention too. Another issue that a couple of us were talking about but isn't yet in the forums (maybe after tomorrow?) has to do with what one means by saying one is (or is not) "responsible" for one's own behavior.

Like Carol and Inger's concern about wanting things not "to intimdiate us as adults about learning and teaching science". Is VERY important. Will need to keep an eye on balance between not intimidating and .... "oversimplifying"? as well as Karen's perhaps opposite concern about needs of "concrete learners".

Looking forward to seeing who wakes up in the middle of the night and can't keep themselves from writing here. If anyone does, remember that the issue is what do all the things we've talked about so far (science, evolution, brain as behavior) have to do with education?

See you all in the morning.


Name: Jan Richard
Username: jrichard@haverford.edu
Subject: organization of the body
Date: Tue Jul 11 13:24:57 EDT 2000
Comments:
I'm interested in the fact that action potentials take time, and therefore parts of the body more distant from the brain will take a longer time to receive signals from it. In that case, the most important time critical body parts that provide input and receive output, or those that provide the most input and/or receive the most output, must be closest to the brain. Presumably, that's why the sense organs are close to the brain. But why isn't the brain in the center of the body, where it can be closer to all body parts and better protected? Is it because the sense organs need to be at the front (top) of the body?
Name: inger segre
Username: isegre@aol.com
Subject:
Date: Tue Jul 11 13:32:52 EDT 2000
Comments:
DISCUSSION: Intrested in learning about the chemical imbalance with people who are criminally insane and what does it have to do with interneurons, if any? What in our brain makes us laugh?
Name: Deonna, Sheila, Aaron, and Wanda
Username:
Subject: Neurons and HTML
Date: Tue Jul 11 15:10:40 EDT 2000
Comments:
The discussion today on the Nervous System was amazing. We found out how many neurons are actually contained in the brain. We now have a better understanding of the brain (Input-Output Box in a Box Model).

P.S.Lunch was superb! Kudos to the chef and you too Paul.

Lesson on HTML was

Nice to see the HTML, but .... remember to "review for editing"? (PG)


Name: Carolyn and Sharon
Username: CarolynFC3@aol.com
Subject: Carolyn and Sharon
Date: Tue Jul 11 15:59:35 EDT 2000
Comments:
07/11/00, It was interesting to begin the discussion of the brain and nervous system. Especially relating it to an individual with a nuerological disability and all the new ideas of reversing this condition. We are still in AWE of the computer information we learned andare using today. THANK YOU, PAUL AND JAN
Name: Tola Oronti
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: My father's experience.
Date: Tue Jul 11 15:59:46 EDT 2000
Comments:
Sometime last year,!999, my dad had a stroke which we could not understand because he could do so many things contrary to our limited knowledge of what should happen when someone has a stroke. He was talking moving all his limbs very well but could not walk.He felt pain and had all feelings but to walk was a herculine task.

From what we learned today about the connection between intraneurons,sensorineurons and motor neurons now I understand that there might have been a disconnection somewhere in my Dad's system.

This is all amazing and points to the AWESOME nature of God the creator of everything.

Beginning the creation of our own web page is another thrilling experience today. I cannot wait for the connection to the world wide web.


Name: Babatunde Oronti
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: Our brain is refectio of or personality?
Date: Tue Jul 11 16:00:55 EDT 2000
Comments:
It's quite interesting to find out today that the major part of what represents a man's personality is located in his brain which interestingly enough, represents less than 5% of his body weight. Earlier on in the morning, I read that the brain of a Stegosaur (A type of Dinosaur) is 0.004% ? of his body weight. This may explain why most of the actions of this enormous creature was based on instinct rather than reasons. And also why they were not able to survive any adverse weather condition.

I'm also thrilled to realise how messages and informations are formatted on web pages. I think my students will be excited to find out all they are able to do with the computer when the school resumes in September. See you tomorrow. Tunde.


Name: Tunde and Tola
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: Night Owls
Date: Tue Jul 11 21:59:52 EDT 2000
Comments:
We were just going through the day's journals and discovered that our PC is not too bad. HERE YOU GO

We were just trying to ruminate over how all these things connect to the real classroom in Philadelphia public schools.

Is it possible to imagine what is going on in the brains of the students we teach everyday? Could there possibly be some disconnections between their intraneurons and sensory as well as motor nuerons? Can somebody have half a connection between these nuerons such that their behavior reflects

half responses or half expected responses?

We might be lucky to solve some of these mysteries before the end of the program with Paul and Jan as our guides.

Regards and see you tomorrow.
Tunde and Tola.


Name: anonymous
Username: kaco44@yahoo.com
Subject: second day of institute
Date: Tue Jul 11 22:34:40 EDT 2000
Comments:
Enjoyed today's session, but am frustrated by my limited knowledge of the anatomy of the nervous system. We haven't even broached the area of research findings as they relate to brain development, education, human psychology, etc. Way too much detail obviously for a two-week institute. Want to ask what we can realistically expect to gain from this institute in terms of our roles as educators/guides/nurturers of children and adolescents. Paul is enigmatic, both reserved and friendly at the same time. I'm beginning to relax in the company of new acquaintances.

Enigmatic, huh? Yeah, what CAN we "realistically expect to gain"? Remember to go to institute home page, and to forum area from THERE (PG)


Name: Jan Richard
Username: jrichard@haverford.edu
Subject: computers and the brain
Date: Wed Jul 12 07:22:20 EDT 2000
Comments:

There have been a number of articles about "Internet addiction". In some people, surfing the net (and more often, in my observation of college students, playing computer games) appears to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain in much the same way as alcohol and drugs do. Perhaps computer-addicted people experience physical withdrawal symptoms as well. I think the content of what they're doing -- playing games or web surfing -- is part of what is stimulating the brain. But perhaps something else is going on as well.

My observations:

  1. When I work on the computer before going to bed -- whether I'm web-surfing, writing in a word processor, reading email, or just reading text -- I can't fall asleep: my brain is wired. However, when I read a book, write on paper, or watch TV, I usually fall asleep while I'm doing these things.
  2. I heard something a while ago about a Japanese children's TV program that caused some children to become very agitated and even vomit and maybe pass out (I don't remember the details). Apparently, one part had a visual sequence of light that caused a disturbance in the brain.
  3. Some epileptics will experience a seizure when exposed to a strobe light.
It appears that certain kinds of light and visual stimuli have negative effects on the human brain, and on some brains more than others. Perhaps part of computer/Internet addiction results from the unusual (in the sense that it is different from what occurs in the natural world) patterns and intensity of light from the computer.

What made me think of this? I was lying in bed last night, unable to sleep at 1:00 am after working on my computer!


Name: Aliya
Username: acantach@phila.k12.pa.us
Subject: Hot News
Date: Wed Jul 12 08:49:58 EDT 2000
Comments:
Yesterday it appears that many interesting things went on. I did not feel compelled to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to report any brain work, however I really would like to capitalize on this experience. I believe that Dr. PG is a very deep individual with many things to share. The hope is that as he picks my brain to better understand it and its inner workings, hopefuly i can become a little deeper myself!
Name: karen cohen
Username: kaco44@yahoo.com
Subject: reflections of an insomniac
Date: Thu Jul 13 03:46:32 EDT 2000
Comments:
Today's session was mind boggling. The content, and in particular, the manner in which the content is being presented, is, in 1980's jargon, a real "turn on." I even read through my notes this evening!

BTW, what "potential" is being tapped when one feels affection, admiration, or a feeling of being "in like" with someone? [I'm really much too old to have a crush on my professor!]

Here are Hippocrates' poetic thoughts about the brain -

Men ought to know that from the brain and the brain alone, arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrow, pain, grief, and tears. Through it, in particular, we think and learn, see and hear, and distinguish the ugly from the beautiful, the bad from the good, and the pleasant from the unpleasant....The brain is also the seat of madness and delirium, of the fears and terrors which assail by night or by day, of sleeplessness,inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, forgetfulness, eccentricities, and acts that are contrary to habit. These things that w we suffer all come from the brain when it is not healthy. But all the time the brain is still, a man can think properly. Hippocrates. ca. 400 B.C.


Name: Nora Kasper
Username: nkasper@fjquest.com
Subject: B&B
Date: Thu Jul 13 14:25:04 EDT 2000
Comments:
Paul, There is so much to process. Alison gave us practical and realistic goals and objectives. I feel as if the sharing time was valuable. This time enabled me to process some of the B&B material and then apply this to the classroom.
Name: Aaron, Deonna, Sheila, and Wanda
Username:
Subject: July 12th and 13th
Date: Thu Jul 13 14:25:54 EDT 2000
Comments:
During our morning session, on July 12th, we were captivated by the wealth of information bestowed upon us. We particularly appreciated the concept of switching the auditory and optic nerves. Being able to "see thunder and hear lightening" amazed us.

During the afternoon forum, on July 13th, the "open floor discussion" was very enlightening. The most important point made was that as educators we should realize that we have similar problems or concerns nationwide. We need to focus on the bigger picture and stop jumping up and down over the little things. In other words "don't sweat the small stuff".


Name: Nancy J, Bialon
Username: SailorNB@aol.com
Subject: Testing
Date: Thu Jul 13 14:27:41 EDT 2000
Comments:
Since standardized testing is popular again, what brain concepts can I use to help students feel more comfortable taking tests?
Name: Jan Richard
Username: jrichard@haverford.edu
Subject: proprioceptors
Date: Thu Jul 13 14:31:56 EDT 2000
Comments:

I think proprioceptors might operate on multiple levels. Today we talked about propriocepors that give feedback on the movement of muscles in space. There is a disorder called sensory integration dysfunction where children have too much or too little sensory feedback information (i.e., info from proprioceptors). If they have too much, they are very sensitive to touch and/or noises, visual stimulation, etc. If they have too little sensory feedback input, they need a lot of physical stimulation and tend to be very active and clumsy -- the kind of kids that are always in motion and always knocking things over. So the proper functioning of the proprioceptors is important for understanding your relationship to the outside world in a physical sense.

Maybe there are analogous sensors on a higher level that allow you to sense your place in the world on an emotional/intellectual level. People who are oblivious or socially inept may have higher level propriceptors that don't function well. Maybe what we call emotional intelligence or intuition is a reflection of these higher-level self-sensors functioning well.

Jan


Name: anonymous
Username: CarolynFC3@AOL.com
Subject: Inquiry Approach
Date: Thu Jul 13 15:00:16 EDT 2000
Comments:
I strongly believe ALL administrators,educators in general should understand that students should have a balance of inquiry and guidance. A consideration for individual learning styles is imperative.
Name: Carolyn Fitchett
Username: CarolynFC3@aol.com
Subject: Inquiry Approach
Date: Thu Jul 13 15:14:05 EDT 2000
Comments:
The anonymous comment was written by Carolyn Fitchett 07-13-00

Name: Judy Vlad
Username: AAAJAVA@AOL.COM
Subject:
Date: Thu Jul 13 15:29:05 EDT 2000
Comments:
LEARNING ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND WHOLELISTIC LIVING. HOW OUR BRAINS REFLECT HARMONY AND PEACEFULLNESS INTO OUR WELL BEING AND GENERAL INTERACTION WITH OUR WORLD.

There is a world wide trend pulling human kind to wholelistic living and spiritual development. The reading that I have completed all share a common thread of a heightened awareness mankind is awakening to as the new millenium unfolds.

(Remember to go to the forum on the institute home page, AND to "review for editing" ... Paul).


Name: Tunde Oronti
Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
Subject: Inquiry learning
Date: Fri Jul 14 12:50:31 EDT 2000
Comments:
Comment for Wednesday 7:12:00

Based on our studies of the anatomy of the Brain, (Neurons) I think the Inquiry mode of learning is beneficial for the brain of our students because it helps the brain to experience some challenges which otherwise will not be possible under the traditional mode of teaching.


Name: Aliya
Username: catanch@aol.com
Subject: learning how to "html"
Date: Fri Jul 14 12:56:09 EDT 2000
Comments:
I am trying to do the following:

Let us hope ad pray that I can accomplish ALL These Things

(and, maybe, remember to

  1. go to the insitute home page forum so your posting will get HERE, and
  2. "review for editing" to be sure you've got the html right. Love, Paul)
    Name: Carolyn
    Username: CarolynFC3@Aol.Com
    Subject: body weight
    Date: Fri Jul 14 13:02:50 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    I wonder if people who spend lots of money and change to different diets are aware that the body weight is controlled by negative feedback. Maybe with a little understanding of weight many ladies especially could save themselves from lots of truma.
    Name: Tunde Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject: What is real?
    Date: Fri Jul 14 13:04:28 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Comments for Thursday 7:13:00.

    The main concept I was able to get is the fact that some of the stimuli that affects our perception of the outside world are generated from interneurons and that they have the same impact as if they were generated from sensory neurons giving the impression that the individual is seeing things that are not there.

    The question now is what is reality? I want to believe that reality can be regarded as what the overall majority perceive to be real. This has to be so to put in place a sort of control on what people might want to use as hardcore evidence in a civil suit etc. For example if every type of stimulus is to be admissible as real, then someone who commits murder or any other type of criminal act will be able to get scott free because in the first instance nobody has defined for them what is real and what is not.


    Name: Tola Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject: Inquiry Vs Banking models of education.
    Date: Fri Jul 14 13:19:02 EDT 2000
    Comments:

    Late comment for Wednesday,7/12/00

    To approach the way children or students learn in any rigid way would be suicidal for any educator in my opinion. An educator has to be able to teach , which is impart knowledge, by giving information and at the same time be a fascilitator of learning experiences in the classroom or any designated area for such activities that will cause students to learn.

    There are a couple of problems which we encounter here in Philadelphia which may not be perculiar to us alone as educators.The number one of these will be the background of our students .Their family backgrounds,alonside other considerations affect their behaviors which eventually have an efect on the learning atmosphere in the classroom.

    Where does the brain come in here?.If we put in the back of our minds the fact that brain and behavior are same , then these behaviors are the direct or indirect products of our students brains. Now the question is how do we fit all these into teaching to be effective?


    Name: Tunde Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject: What a diversity?
    Date: Fri Jul 14 13:27:33 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    It's interesting that the outcome of paralysis as a result of blood flow stoppage to the neocortex in man, cat and the 3 toed sloth is remarkably different.

    I would have expected that they will be the same since the root cause of the paralysis is the same (stopege of blood flow to a part of the brain). No wonder the Psalmist says we are so

    wonderfully

    and

    fearfully

    made.

    Name: Tola Oronti.
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject:

    Amazing revelation


    Date: Fri Jul 14 13:30:26 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    I was getting lots of questions answered today in class as we were disussing the negative feedback loop and the different types of paralysis. All these discussions threw light on questions my family has had for a while ever since my daddy had a stroke. Now I understand that the area of the neuro-cortex that is involved is the one that actually determines/explains my father's behavior now.

    The fact that he can move his limbs by himself and also respond to stimulus but found it difficult to walk or stand means that his I-Function is working but some other areas of the neuro-cortex are having some difficulty.


    Name: karen cohen
    Username: kaco44@yahoo.com
    Subject: weekend wishes
    Date: Fri Jul 14 17:36:00 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    I enjoyed today's session very much, as usual. This is just a friendly message wishing everyone a pleasant weekend. Paul, hope we left the computer lab in relatively good shape Friday afternoon. See you promptly at 9:00 am on Monday.
    Name: Paul Grobstein
    Username: pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
    Subject: week 1
    Date: Sat Jul 15 19:55:47 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Thanks, all, for a fun, productive, and very satisfying week. I'm impressed/pleased by the enthusiasm for HTML (notice Tunda's and Tola's forum contributions, and Judy's, and ...), and very much looking forward to seeing the web exhibits we have by the end of this coming week. I'm also impressed by and learning a lot from your thoughts about what does/doesn't/might/might not work in a classroom (yes, as Carolyn says, we need "a balance of inquiry and guidance" ... its not a choice but an artistry of blending; and we DO somehow have to bring that blend into line with testing practice, as Nancy says).

    Most of all, I've enjoyed and learned a lot from our working through together observations on the nervous system, and thinking about what they mean for behavior, and for the classroom. Every year is different, and every year is fun because I discover from talking with you what is "less wrong" than last year. One exchange that particularly sticks out in my mind this year is the one about difficulties in knowing whether a pattern of neuronal activity (something one sees or thinks) starts inside the nervous system or in sensory neurons. This, as both Aliya and Heidi put it, is a really important issue in dealing with kids in a classroom. Its essential to begin by recognizing the patterns going on in a kids' head, regardless of their origin, and then making the input (what one does as a teacher) relate to that rather than presuming that there is either noting there or that it is simply wrong and should be erased.

    Very much looking forward to the coming week, to continuing to try and blend the "spiritual" and the "scientific", to talking more about the "I-function" and what its good for (generally and in education; who's thought was it that education usually stresses the I-function? Inger or Heidi or ....?); to talking more about the distinction between the analytic and the intuitive (and how to blend them?). See you all Monday morning.


    Name: anonymous
    Username: juan@msn.com
    Subject: closing comments
    Date: Sat Jul 22 00:17:44 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    The bb seminar of has been one of the most informative of my teaching career.I now have "some" limited understanding of how the brain receives and disseminats information . It is troubling however, to learn that the picture which is viewed by the eye is not necessarily perceived by the brain as the exact same image or message.If the brain does "not'have the ability to add information about the eye message than learning can not be achieved.This would force further classification of those students who continue to have difficulty.Anyway , i do have a very clear picture of the role of neurons in the brain ,and how injury to them can alter ones life forever.My hope of course is that the growth simiulations will work on humans.Wish we could have spent alot more time on areas of real interest to me ;emotions , gender differences, styles ,etc.Pauls easy manner encourages interest and inquiry into the subject. I appreciate his patience and look forward to next year.Many unique personalities among us....I could go on about what I've gained ,but , have so much more to discover.Thanks again ,Paul!
    Name: Tunde Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject: Brain/Mind/Spirit.
    Date: Sun Jul 23 16:28:33 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    To an extent the Institute has been able to clairfy or throw some light into how these three things relate and has helped to explain some previously inexplicable phenomenon that I've heard people talked about or even watched on TV.

    One good example is a story of how a child missed her cat so much that after the cat died, she still claimed she sees it and plays around with it. Applying the knowledge of what we learnt in the Institute, one can say her interneurons are generating signals to the brain and creating images of the cat just as if it is there.

    A psycologist came and pretended to take the Girl's picture with the cat which apparently (at least to every other person) was not there expecting that when the picture is developed there will be a space where the cat was expected to be, and he can use that to deliver this girls from the halucination. But to everyone's surprise, when the pictures were developed the cat was seen sitting on the girl's laps. This can only be explained spiritually. Both Spirit and Brain work on the mind to make us exhibit the kinds of behavior we have.


    Name: Tola Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject:

    New Look


    Date: Sun Jul 23 21:10:38 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    In general, the Brain and Behavior institute has been very revealing to me. I have learned so much in this short period of time that I just wonder how this happened.

    First and foremost I will like to acknowledge the fact that we were blessed to have Paul as our fascilitator during this period. I wish we had more time anyway because we seem not to be able to finish answering all our questions.

    I have a new look and a new perspective of things as regards the kids I teach because of the various areas of the brain that were discussed.It is interesting to note that I was able to discover a couple of things in addition to what we were taught.

    Very dear to me is Reading in my class. As a future reading specialist I am interested in how reading can be affected by the brain.In the course of this institute I came across so many factors that link the brain and reading together. This is an eye opener for me and it will definitely enhance my approach to teaching reading in my classroom.It has been a wonderful time and I wish every teacher gets a chance to attend this institute with Paul as the coordinator.Thanks Paul and Jan.Long Live Brain & Behavior Institute.


    Name: Carolyn Fitchett
    Username: CarolynFC3@aol.com
    Subject: Brains and Behavior
    Date: Mon Jul 24 19:12:30 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    07/20/00 D.K. I agree, artificial intelligence is used in robots because these robots can go to places that are too dangerous for man to go; such as volcano and too other planets. Your demonstration with the robot showed to me the robot had been programed but you referred to it as learning. I can't understand that this robot has learned anything. I will use the demonstration with the box in cla
    Name: karen cohen
    Username: kaco44@yahoo.com
    Subject: Post B&BI Commentary
    Date: Tue Jul 25 00:29:01 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Hello alumni from B&BI 2000. I've missed you all; hope those who are not continuing on at Bryn Mawr for other institutes are enjoying their leisure time or whatever it is they are doing the rest of the summer. I've been enjoying some of the post-Institute comments so far and envy those people who were able to respond in a timely manner. However,if you are like me, you are still trying to organize and sort out those concepts, observations, and discussions that were very significant, and those that were perhaps not as as significant. I, for one, am still trying to work this out in an offline draft. My biggest problem is trying to be concise, since a good 95% of what went on is on the level of VERY significant to me.

    My concluding thoughts will be posted VERY soon. Honest!

    Looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts too.

    Warm regards to all -

    Karen


    Name: Aliyah Catanch
    Username: CATANCH@aol.com
    Subject: Re: BBI00: thanks, pictures, and ...
    Date: Tue Jul 20:58:51 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Doc PG.... I want you to know that you have single handedly changed my outlook on the science subject. It was not as drastic as me wanting to be the next Einstien, but enough to make me at least like it... C ya around doc Aliya
    Name: INGER SEGRE
    Username: ISEGRE@AOL.COM
    Subject: OVERALL FEELINGS
    Date: Fri Jul 28 18:38:59 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    OVERALL I FELT THE CLASS WAS INSPIRING AND A CORNUCOPIA OF KNOWLEDGE. PAUL WAS FULL OF WARMTH, INTELLIGENCE, AND WITTY ANECDOTES. HE SUCCESSFULLY PROVIDED A CEREBRAL STIMULI SO OVERWHELMING THAT I WAS BLINDED BY HIS SCIENCE. I NOT ONLY LEARNED BUT RELEARNED THE TRUES AND NOT TRUES OF SCIENCE. WHEN PAUL DISCUSSED THE EMOTIONS AND OPTIC STRUCTURES I TRULY APPRECIATED HIS SIMPLISTIC APPROACH. I AM INTERESTED ON MORE ACTIVIITES THAT ARE FUN & EDUCATIONAL(i.e. optical illusions)TO IMPLEMENT IN MY CLASSROOM. I DEFINITELY WOULD RECOMMEND THIS COURSE TO MY COLLEAGUES.
    Name: Karen Cohen
    Username: kaco44@yahoo.com kaco44@yahoo.com
    Subject: Post BBI 2000 commentary
    Date: Sun Jul 30 20:09:08 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Well, folks, the time has come for all good people to put their thoughts on the line. Mine are lengthy, and not presented in any particular order; apologies for taking up so much space; and if you actually read these comments, forgive me for taking up so much of your time.

    1) "Getting it less wrong" is much more than a catchy slogan; it is a powerful concept for students and teachers to embrace in the learning process, no matter what subject, so that neither is intimidated by the idea of finding the "perfect" answer, and so that both keep questioning those things that are important and sharing their views in order to reach a greater and more precise understanding. (I also like McCartney's "It's Getting Better All The Time" as a philosophy for living, in general).

    2) The Harvard Law of Science as it applies to the research and observations in lower animals resulting in observation of intrinsic variability in motor responses was fascinating stuff. I would like to know what other life forms exhibit this and its application to human behavior and student behavior--what research, if any, has been conducted on higher life forms and humans?

    3) Brain as behavior: On the first day of class, the idea that "It's all there" was presented, that is, that brain activity is synonymous with behavior (at least that's the way I envisioned what was said). I bristled at this notion, I think, because it appeared to reduce all human activity to something measurable and material. I realized soon that this was only a small piece of the picture (probably presented this way to create controversy and agitation!). However, at this early point, I saw this idea more as, "Is that all there is?" I know that during the first day of the BBI (at lunch) Paul suggested that whatever it is that comprises the spiritual may also be "in there" (the brain). In the next class we were introduced to the concept of "interneuronal" activity, and that interneurons generate their own brain activity and hence, thought processes. I felt we were getting closer to explaining the "spiritual". Then we touched upon this idea again in terms of the genome, and we explored how we are bound together as humans by way of a gene-derived "collective unconscious" which we can say travels to and through us by way of the genome as a stored record of memory of the human experience: wars, environmental occurrences, social revolutions, political and cultural influences, perhaps even cultural practices related to mating, societal organization, birth and death, etc., tying humanity together with the memory imprint of previous cultures (the "free package" Paul says we get as our birthright) .. Well, now I really had something to chew on! The spiritual may come to us from our ancestors, and the genes may be responsible for spiritual inclinations in man, which we then restructure in our lifetimes and pass along, as part of our gene legacy, to our children. I will be paying very close attention to all future scientific or other inquiries into this area. I'm still very unsatisfied with current explanations. We have to address further those concepts which have influenced our thinking and living possibly since we emerged as a species: the spirit, the soul, the mystical, the psychic, "love" in all of its manifestations, and the drive for a mythos or religion.

    4) The Thinking/Rethinking Process: Alas, cognition/metacognition and its significance in the learning process was not addressed! (Allison and Vygotsky, take note!) With a growing need for students to feel they are being heard and have a degree of ownership of the educational process, metacognition, the looking back at what has been learned or discovered in the classroom, and then writing/discussing/reflecting or creating other kinds of "self talk" has produced very positive results: higher learning, higher sense of community (social) in the classroom.

    (5) Intellectual/Emotional Connections: Another special interest of mine, the connection between the intellectual and the emotional as it impacts the learning process, wasn't touched upon either. I'm interested in the phenomenon of intellectual stimulation creating an emotional reaction or affect, or vice versa. (don't think this was brought up in class). In other words, how is it that through the receiving and processing of intellectual information and ideas, a person can get emotionally "charged", almost to the point of "euphoria"? Or, conversely, how is it that a person who is brought into a learning situation by relating first his prior knowledge (knowledge as memory of experience, whether first-hand or witnessed) about poverty or violence, or the feelings associated with being in love, can have his intellectual interest triggered into reading and interpreting a particular author's writing? This is an important idea for success in the classroom; that is, when a student is emotionally "hooked" on the material presented in class, the chance that he/she will make the investment in learning is certain to be higher. Even on the teaching side, I know that if I plan lessons or present material that I particularly enjoy, or have positive feelings about, my teaching is more effective (and affective), the interactive potential between myself and students is higher, and overall learning is increased on all levels.

    5) Intuition, Dreams, Dreamwork, Dreaming: wonderful stuff, beautifully described as part of our intuitive brain activity. I still canít quite believe that brain wave patterns for conscious and dreaming brains look the same. This knocks me out! I've kept a dream journal sporadically throughout the years, and truly believe that if you can decipher the symbolic/metphoric language in which dreams speak, then they are a very useful tool in self-discovery/decision making. etc. I would also like to look more into the intuitive side of creativity and examine what is actually happening to brainwork when pure creation occurs--as reported by artists, entering the vortex, the void, the dark place.

    6) First Impressions and Neurons: It would have been helpful to have more of a brain "map" as an introduction which would delineate the separate structures of the brain (the triune structure, the limbic system and the areas of the neocortex). I would have liked this kind of "top down" approach, at least on the first day, before launching into neurons. However, the presentation of material on neurons was carried out in a beautifully orchestrated combination of illustrations, lecture, response, more lecture, more illustrations, more response. By the end of the second day, I was mesmerized by Paul's gifted way of drawing in and engaging even the most reluctant learners among us. From that moment on, I stopped questioning the order in which the material was presented. I then relaxed and let myself be swept away by our adroit conductor!

    7) Computer technology: As a language/linguistics person, I have been intrigued by the idea that perhaps many of the classic writers--Hemingway, Poe, even Shakespeare, would have created very different "pieces" if they had used PCs! With touch of the finger technology, revising drafts, or piecing in remnants of stories as they occurred serendipitously may have created a very different product than the works we all know and love. In fact, one of our morning coffee discussions revolved around "idea flow" and how we best create written pieces. Jan and Nancy felt that it was difficult for them to revise papers without hard copy in front of them. I felt that I wrote best in a "serendipitous" manner (I never told you this Paul, but this word has been one of my favorites for years before I met you; so much so, that if the guy from the Actor's Studio who interviews celebrities on the BRAVO channel asked ME what my favorite word was, serendipity would certainly be up for consideration)--that is, my creative flow was best when I typed, rather than hand wrote. In this manner, I could allow some creative part of my brain full exploratory power over my thought processes, without the censor that inevitably pops out to limit me when I hand write my thoughts (Paul, can you explain this phenomenon? )

    8) Critical importance of having inter-collegial programs like these. I was stimulated and encouraged by, and, yes, even euphoric about the information flow and the intensity of the ideas and responses of everyone involved in the Institute. There never was, nor will there ever be, a department or small learning community meeting that could come close to the level, intellectual or emotional, that BBI did (and as D&D has thus far). Interestingly, by being informal in our oral and written input, we still managed to make some awfully lofty conclusions about science, education, and the human condition (I have previously experienced this phenomenon in my classroom where I too encourage brainstorming and unedited thinking and writing, but Paul and Allison were so encouraging about this mode of communication. Thank you!)

    9) Conclusion: In general, a huge thank you, Paul, for creating this institute, which carries out your mission to nurture teachers as learners in order to help them become better educators. Please be assured that all you have imparted will not be lost on us; your efforts will be rewarded for years to come in the way we conduct ourselves as professionals and caring human beings.

    10)Nexus: I know there are some folks who have taken these institutes again and again. I don't want to deprive someone else of a seat for next yearís program, but if I could reserve my seat now, I would! My thought is that this should be open to other disciplines. Since I am certified in K-8 science, even though I teach high school English, I wondered about my qualifications and whether I'd be the only "non-science" person attending. As it turned out, there were others who managed to get around the science background requirement, which, as it turned out, wasn't a requirement after all. I'm curious to know how you plan to run the institutes for next year, and whether us "non science" educators will be welcome.

    That's all folks!

    Love, Karen


    Name: Carolyn Fitchett
    Username: CarolynFC3@AOL.com
    Subject: Brain and Behavior
    Date: Wed Aug 2 04:53:32 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    The Brain and Behavior Institute was refreshing and enlighting. Refreshing to review the scientific method, the work of the brain and the nervous system. The idea that science is a "process of getting it less wrong", is a concept I will share with my colleagues so that students will understand they have not proved anything or they are not correct when they form conclusions on science fair projects. An author of a web page and learning to use HTML were enlightening experiences. The introduction to other search engines expecially Google is useful. I think this Institute should become a part of professional development days. Educators need to remember how students learn of course they forget we are also learners, or should be. Thank you, Paul !! Professor Extraor
    Name: Carolyn Fitchett
    Username: CarolynFC3@aol.com
    Subject: Brain and Behavior
    Date: Wed Aug 2 05:08:26 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Oops, PROFESSOR EXTRAORDINAIRE should be written at the end of my last commen
    Name: Tola Oronti
    Username: tunatol@yahoo.com
    Subject: They are blessed
    Date: Sat Oct 14 19:48:14 EDT 2000
    Comments:
    Anyone who get a chance of a life time to have Paul for a teacher/ lecturer is just blessed. In whatever area he is just good. Continue to have fun as you learn.You never can finish all that is out there to know because it is so much.Anyway I wish you all the best.


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