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Home Library Tutorials Neurohacking Tutorial 6 - Association, Perception and Learning - NHA Guide to Methods & Technology
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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Escrito por NHA   
Sábado 17 de Septiembre de 2011 17:30
Índice de Artículos
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
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NHA Guide to Methods & Technology


Mind maps

Many of us lead very busy lives, with far too much to do. It is hardly surprising that, with so much going on, we can be poor at concentrating on single things. The ability to identify and focus on important ideas, details, methods, techniques, names and so on is however critical to the effective recall of information. Biology has evolved an association system that helps us pay attention [or not] to things. There are different kinds of attention skills that help your short term working memory to process information into long term, and there’s a very useful tool for helping us during the cycle of learning. It’s called Mind Mapping, and if you do it already you can skip this bit.


Mind Mapping is an important NH association technique that improves learning speed and supports and enhances creative problem solving. By using Mind Maps, you can quickly identify and understand the structure of a subject and the way that pieces of information fit together, as well as recording the raw facts contained in normal notes. More than this, Mind Maps provide a structure which encourages creative problem solving, and they hold information in a format that your mind will find easy to remember and quick to review.


Popularized by Tony Buzan, Mind Maps abandon the list format of conventional note taking. They do this in favor of a semi-graphic structure. The brain works by association; not separated, disconnected lines A good Mind Map shows the 'shape' of the subject, the relative importance of individual points, and the way in which ideas associate or relate to one another. Mind Maps are more compact than conventional notes, often taking up only one side of A4 paper. Their spatial qualities help you to make associations and remember more easily. If you find out more information after you have drawn the main Mind Map, you can also easily integrate it with little disruption.


Drawing Basic Mind Maps

We have given an example of one student’s first mind map of “Neurohacking” below; followed by the instructions:


the instructions:

1. The basics. -Write the title or theme of the subject you're exploring in the center of the page, and draw a border around it. Most students find it useful to turn their page on the side and do mind maps in "landscape" style. With the main idea or topic in the middle of the page this gives the maximum space for other ideas to radiate out from the centre.

2. The details. Your initial words and images will stimulate associations; write them in. As you come across major subdivisions or subheadings of the topic (or important facts that relate to the subject) draw lines out from this circle. Attach whatever words or images are triggered. Allow the 'random movement of your thought; you do not have to ‘finish’ one branch before moving on. Connected lines create relationships and a structure. They also demonstrate the level of importance, as from a branch to a twig. Allow your thoughts to come freely, meaning you ‘jump about’ the Mind Map as the links and associations occur to you. Don’t worry that you’ve got ‘too much’ on the page. There will be plenty of time for modifying the information later on but at this stage it is important to get every possibility into the mind map.

3. Modeling. The idea of mind mapping is to think creatively and in a non-linear manner. A good mind map is just that –a mapped copy of the real associations (and the real networks!) inside your mind. As you empathise with the subject and uncover more information (further subheadings, or individual facts) belonging to the subheadings above, draw these as lines linked to the subheading lines.

4. Practice & variation. Once you understand how to make notes in the Mind Map format, you can develop your own conventions to take them further. The following suggestions may help to increase their effectiveness:

*As you come across new information, link it in to the Mind Map appropriately. Some of the most useful mind maps are those which are added to over a period of time. After the initial drawing of the mind map you may wish to highlight things, add information or add questions. If you run out of space, other pages can be adhered to the edges to give an ever-expanding map.

A complete Mind Map may have main topic lines radiating in all directions from the center. Sub-topics and facts will branch off these, like branches and twigs from the trunk of a tree. You do not need to worry about the structure produced, as this will emerge of its own accord.

*Add a little humor, exaggeration or absurdity wherever you can Your brain will delight in getting the maximum use and enjoyment from this process and will therefore learn faster, recall more effectively and think more clearly. Cartoons work very well.

* Use single words or simple phrases for information: Most words in normal writing are padding, as they ensure that facts are conveyed in the correct context, and in a format that is pleasant to read. In your Mind Maps, single strong words and meaningful phrases can convey the same meaning more potently. Excess words just clutter the map.

* Print words: Joined up or indistinct writing can be more difficult to read.

* Use color to separate different ideas, starting at the violet end of the spectrum in the centre and following the rainbow format. This will help you to separate ideas into layers where necessary. It also helps you to visualize the Mind Map for recall. Color also helps to memorise the organization of the subject. Sometimes enclose branches of a Mind Map with outlines in color. Hug the shape tightly and use different colours and styles. The outlines will create unique shapes that will aid your memory; these provide immediate visual linking, can encourage follow-up and remind you of action you need to take and can also show connections between branches by using the same color outline.

* Use symbols and images: Where a symbol or picture means something to you, use it. Pictures help you to remember information more effectively than just words.

* Using cross-linkages: Information in one part of the Mind Map may relate to another part. Here you can draw in lines to show the cross-linkages. This helps you to see how one part of the subject affects another.

* Circular maps: Mind maps usually proceed from the centre outwards, but some concepts can better be described in a circle; a very simple example is the life cycle of the butterfly, but whole ecology nets can be structured in interlocking circles. Try these ideas after you’ve done a few basic maps.


Mind Maps are also useful for:

* Summarizing information;

* Consolidating information from different research sources;

* Thinking through complex problems; and

* Presenting information in a format that shows the overall structure of your subject


They are very quick to review as you can often refresh information in your mind just by glancing at one. And in the same way, they can be effective mnemonics: Remembering the shape and structure of a Mind Map can give you the cues you need to remember the information within it. As such, they engage much more of your brain in the process of assimilating and connecting facts, compared with conventional notes.

For this reason, mind maps work best when they are done by hand, because the physical movements you make in order to draw one will remind you of the original information if you trace them. If you have difficulty with handwork though, mind mapping can be done on computer.

Mind Mapping is just one tool of this nature for enhancing memory, creativity and problem solving techniques, but it is the most effective one that we have found. Mind mapping is sometimes called ‘concept mapping’ because somebody along the line got dumb about copyright; they are exactly the same technique.


Practical Assignment 1

Make a mind map of your favorite movie in your NH diary. Here’s one student's map of “Lord of the Rings”:




Introducing EMDR


Q: What is EMDR?

A: EMDR is a drug-free way of processing painful or frightening memories and wiping their anxiety-causing triggers.

In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro was walking through the park and thinking about something that was troubling her. She accidentally noticed that her eyes were darting back and forth. When she returned to her thoughts she noticed that they weren't as disturbing. This intrigued her and she tested it out on herself by thinking of something disturbing, then thinking of it again while purposely moving her eyes back and forth. The results were the same. Dr. Shapiro began testing this scientifically, first with war veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Some of these men had been in traditional therapy for 15 to 20 years and yet they continued to have nightmares and flashbacks that felt as if they were reliving the horrors of war. PTSD had completely incapacitated some of these men, but when they received EMDR treatment, many found that years of PTSD symptoms disappeared within a few sessions. These results were repeated when EMDR was tested with rape victims and victims of other types of trauma.

Shapiro found that not only does EMDR desensitize painful memories but people spontaneously began to view themselves and the event in a healthier and more positive way. So, "I'm worthless" became, "I'm a good and lovable person and deserving of love and respect".


How EMDR Might Work

We know from memory and brain research that painful or traumatic experiences are stored with a different “weighting” than pleasant or neutral ones. Normally, if we're troubled by something, we go through the learning process; think about it, talk about it, perhaps dream about it and eventually we are able to come to some sort of adaptive resolution [We find a way to come to terms with it in a healthy way, enabling us to solve the problem.] Things can happen that interrupt this process if we experience a trauma or very painful event. Instead of downgrading their emotional “weighting” in memory over time, traumatic events can get stuck with their original weighting so that each recall remains in its original form, complete with the same thoughts, feelings, bodily sensation, smells and sounds. It's as though network 3 is for a short time sealed off from the rest of the brain. That's why it's not uncommon for a person who's had years of traditional talk therapy to find that they still hurt and haven't changed as much as they had hoped. This is because the dysfunctionally stored material still has not been properly processed.

What researchers think is that EMDR in some way is able to nudge that material so that N3 neurologically reconnects with the healthy brain while accessing it and the memories are reprocessed and integrated at an accelerated speed. The most popular theory is that when the eyes move back and forth it creates brain activity similar to that which occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It's during this REM phase (when we dream) that we resolve conflicts, defragment information and consolidate learning and memory. More simply put, information processing takes place. By creating similar brain activity, while thinking about the painful event, it appears that EMDR is able to help the brain finally process the stuck material, giving correct weightings and enabling the person to arrive at adaptive resolution. The painful event or trauma is still an unfortunate memory but is no longer produces the emotional pain that it did before.

EMDR is helpful in treating many other problems besides PTSD, including anxiety, apathy, depression, abuse issues, work related problems, paranoia and low self-esteem. Furthermore, some EMDR therapists have found that EMDR can enhance the performance of athletes, performing artists and writers, so it’s useful for IA too.

It is important to understand that EMDR is not merely a technique using random eye movements, but a complex, integrative method that utilizes a very precise protocol. We’ve included an EMDR session in the hacks below.


Practical Assignment 2:

Start the habit of looking for new information and constantly educating yourself.

A lot of factors in our lifestyles that we may not be aware of can work against biology. Scientific information takes a long time to filter through to the public, so you must make it your business to find out stuff for yourself and keep yourself up to date.

We have to a right to know about anything that can benefit or harm our health and wellbeing, but information cannot help us if we don’t both seek it and pay attention to it.

Society is not designed with our biology or our health as a priority; it is designed with financial success as a priority. -If everyone was happy and healthy and contented and fulfilled, where would all the cash crops and drug companies go?

Any factor of our modern lifestyles that causes anxiety is working against biology, because anxiety produces the chemical response that blocks bonding, interaction and learning. You now know that pollution, chemicals in food, sleep deprivation, the weather, electric light, nasty behavior viewed on television, music, your occupation, even the people you socialize with, can all affect the levels of anxiety hormones in your bloodstream and can slow you down and even damage your brain without you consciously noticing. So it’s up to you to remain aware of these factors and interact accordingly.

Science already knows what many of these factors are, but unless there is a profit incentive, or a serious and acute problem such as an epidemic, scientific discoveries are not broadcast on the news. New technology has to undergo years of trials before it can be used in hospitals, and news of dangers to your health is broadcast sometimes years after it has been discovered, especially if it is not in the interests of, for example, tobacco or sugar manufacturers.

We try to update these tutorials once a year, incorporating the latest information. But you should make it your business to research health information for yourself; and that’s why we assemble all the files in the library. Make a habit of being nosey and poking around exploring places for information, but always make sure you are hunting in a reputable area. Where there is no proof offered for assertions, turn away from those assertions.

Choose an area of your own main personal interest in NH. Hunt through the NH library files and see if you can find out anything you didn’t know. At the current rate of progress in scientific discovery, you might surprise yourself.



Última actualización el Lunes 29 de Mayo de 2017 13:07