Week 2 Understanding How The Brain Processes Information

In reviewing the material this week, we are looking at the brain and how it functions. We all have someone in our lives like Loved One, mentioned in our text, which has some “issues”. I am “the one” who has issues in my immediate family.

I had a car wreck in 2003. My head hit the back windshield of a truck. I had scrambled eggs for brains for a couple of years. Since then, my memory does not always function as it should. Sometimes, things are blurry, I talk backwards or my writing and typing is all jumbled up. Other times I cannot remember a word I have known all my life. It can be very frustrating at times. Unfortunately, there is not a medicine that can bring back the memories I have lost. If that were the case, I would be one of the first in line to try to get memories back.

My long term memory seems to be mostly intact. I say “mostly” because I lost a lot of memories as the truck struck my head at the occipital lobe, which is responsible for interpreting and for remembering visual information, and it and my spinal cord, where it attaches to the brain stem, was very sore for a few years. If one has ever experienced a car wreck, you know how it feels. Even though one may be at a complete stop, a car, at 55 MPH, when it slams into your vehicle, feels like you have been hit by a Mack Truck. Most of the impact is taken on by the vehicle, then the body. However, even though the vehicle and the body have stopped moving, the brain continues to move sloshing back and forth, hitting the skull repeatedly until it stops. That is how one gets “scrambled eggs for brains”.

Cognitive effects may include: Difficulty concentrating, Trouble with attention, Forgetfulness, Difficulty making decisions, and Repeating things.

Behavioral effects

may include: Becoming angry or getting frustrated easily, and Acting without thinking.

Since I find myself relearning subjects, I have to devise ways to remember what I have heard, read, or watched on video. Many times, more often than not, I have to read or watch videos over and over until “I get it!” My “procedural knowledge”, or knowledge of how to perform cognitive activities (Anderson, 1990), such as summarizing information, skimming passages, and solving problems was “interrupted” by the auto accident. According to Miller (1956), working memory is limited in capacity. It can only hold a small amount of information…One can increase the amount of information by “chunking”, or combining information in a meaningful fashion.” In my case I find this statement to be accurate. Many times, it is quite difficult to remember what I was going to say or write in a paper. Sometimes, the information comes back. Most of the time, I have “lost” what I was going to say / write.

I have found that if I pay attention, take notes the best that I can, read my assigned reading, I seem to do okay. Sometimes, I may have to read a passage three to five times for me to comprehend what it says. I may have to sing or make up something silly to remember, I may have to sing, and chant. According to our text, Learning Theories and Instruction, “Brain research can help us refine our theories of learning and cognition, but it can tell us little if anything about what to teach or how best to teach it.” “Nor does brain research give us many clues about how we can best help learners acquire important information and skills (Bandura, 2006; Kuhn & Franklin, 2006; Mayer, 1998). So, knowing how and understanding a certain population, in this case, accident victims, they think and process information; I can create something specifically geared toward them for learning. If I can find out “where” they are and “how” they learn, I can create and design for better learning. If I can retrain myself and my learning patterns and processes, then I believe I can devise ways through Instructional Design and Technology to help design better learning experiences for others.

Resources

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler., M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate Custom Edition). New York: Pearson.

http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/traumatic-brain-injury?gclid=CKHL2eLIu7ICFQGDnQod_UcAHg

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