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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Saturday, 17 September 2011 17:30
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 6 - Association, Perception and Learning
The Learning Cycle & Perception
What Happens if Things Go Wrong
COMP & Natural Learning
NHA Guide to Methods & Technology
The Most Important Bits to Remember
Hacks & Exercices
Notes, References & Answers
All Pages



What Happens if Things Go Wrong?


What's the biggest obstacle to learning? I’ll give you three guesses... anxiety. In this case, largely other people’s!

The success of learning depends on our being given a content suitable to our intent, and on not being distracted from that.

A proper content is one appropriate to our individual and particular stage of development and relevant to the task or skill that we need to learn. The ability to learn fast and well is wrecked when our intent is met instead with the intentions of an anxiety-driven society. Learning slows right down when we are forced into mismatched relating of intent and content. When the chemistry doesn’t happen in the right order, memory and concentration are poor, we lose interest and are distracted easily.

We make a clear distinction here between intent, which comes from the bottom up, and intentions, which are contrived events imposed or controlled from the top down. So for a start, you cannot make the natural learning process adhere to an academic timetable. Trying to do so slows learning down. Schooling produces a series of bad habits of thought that need to be replaced by good habits or you will always have to do it the hard slow way.

If you practise learning the easy way, the learning process takes place automatically, as you just play with things [explore them] and quite a lot of the learning process happens during sleep.

Humans were programmed by biology to learn by playing, which is why healthy children are so awfully keen on doing it. Most grown ups have forgotten how to play, and the closest that they ever get to it is reading fiction. Consequently they can only learn things the slow way –fed in from the top-down (school fashion). And it’s slower by orders of magnitude.

...A guitarist who’s used to ‘playing along’ with stuff can get the basics of a song s/he’s never heard before within about two minutes and be filling in the details and copying the others reasonably well in ten without even knowing what the chords are called or how to spell ‘theory’.

A musician working from the top down has to learn the whole of musical theory in order to be able to understand and interpret the sheet music, and will still be unable to improvise a solo or make anything creative up on the spot. There will be practice, but no variation.

If you do it the right way round, you will learn music theory as you are going along because the problems that you need to solve will demand an ever-greater expansion of knowledge. You will have become interested in it, it is associated with something that you already know well, and it will therefore be much easier and faster to learn.

This is the most important difference -if you learn things n the right order, you can get both ends (the ability to improvise and the ability to read sheet music). But if you do it the hard way you may well not ever be able to learn improvisation, no matter how accurate your score-reading becomes.

Learning things the hard way is a bit like trying to get your nutrition by shoving food up your ass...it works, eventually, sort of, but it’s a long, painstaking [and possibly painful] process.

Shoving information into our brains the wrong way round becomes a habit because that’s the way humans are currently taught in schools despite the fact that people obviously learned to walk and talk without being given any lectures on locomotion or grammar. Top-down knowledge is meant to augment the natural kind; it is there for exploring the subject in as much abstract detail as you like later on; not for grasping the concrete basics, amd by the time you've finished this tutorial you should know exactly why.

Remember that we learn by associating new things with things we know already, when the new subject is seen as being relevant to and in context with our previous knowledge. And we don’t associate unconsciously in words or musical notes on a stave at all; we do it in pictures and experiences.

Remember also that we don't respond well to coercion. People with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) often have problems with inattention and reduced motivation, and a new research study suggests why.[6] Relative to control subjects, people with ADHD had lower levels of dopamine receptors and transporters in two key regions of the brain directly involved in processing desire and motivation.

In addition, the measurements of dopamine markers correlated with measures of behavior and clinical observations of ADHD symptoms, such as reduced levels of attention as measured by standard psychological tests.

This is a classic result of coercion-based learning. From the brain's pov, ADHD may well mean 'Aversion to Doing the Horribly Dull', because for a maturing brain until around age seven, where there is no sensorimotor movement, there can be no attention and no real learning. The result of restrained physical activity right when the brain really needs activity is, well, hyperactivity. The result of not being given the right input for attention is the inability to pay attention. If you suppress intent it will usually come back and kick you up the ass.



Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 13:07