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Play & brain activity

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  • Robert Swanson
    http://www.brainconnection.com/SITEWare/2001/02/05/eca/0089-0149-Science..ph p3 Researchers used a sophisticated scanning technique to peer into the brains of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8 3:31 AM
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      Researchers used a sophisticated scanning technique to peer into the brains
      of 14 women with optimistic or pessimistic personalities. They found that
      parts of the brain controlling emotion fired up when a series of positive
      images was shown to optimistic and sociable women.

      But no brain reactivity to positive stimuli was seen in women prone to
      pessimism. They reacted more to negative images but in fewer parts of the
      brain that governed emotions.


      Thought moves into the lower, primitive, brain when under duress. Thought is
      then linked with primitive emotions.

      Strong emotions activate memorization. If our past is filled with stress
      then stress events will be the reality from which we decifer the present.

      Pessimistic people don't seem able to see the joy in life. They are stuck in
      fight-flight. Probably they cannot play. I presume this applies at least
      partly to most or all adults. Since children need to learn in a milieu of
      joy and play, probably most adults are poor role models. Many of us
      deliberately teach the stress and threat of our authority, afraid to see
      children become extraordinary, something we could not understand or control.

      ---------more: ------------------------------------------------------------


      According to her study, bilingual individuals who acquired a second tongue
      during childhood display elevated activity in the same part of Broca's
      area--a frontal lobe structure considered crucial for language
      use--regardless of which language they use. In contrast, people employing a
      second language acquired later exhibit neuronal bustle in another segment of
      Broca's area, the researchers report in the July 12 Nature.

      The findings may reflect either the sensitivity of part of Broca's area to
      language exposure during childhood or the existence of marked differences in
      the ways that children and adults learn languages, Hirsch says.
      Joseph Chilton Pearce noted a study where a researcher taught adults to play
      with young children. In the background was palyed music laced with a lesson,
      such as a foriegn language. In several weeks they had pretty much learned
      the lesson, no effort required. In other words, they learned as little
      children do -- in play. Natural learning is easy.

      ------------------final note: ----------------------------------------------

      But if big brains aren't correlated with smart animals, then what does the
      enriched environment research mean? Quite simply, it underscores a
      phenomenon that educators have long observed Ð that children who are exposed
      to a rich and varied education early in life develop a great capacity for
      learning throughout life. Furthermore real learning, not just rote exercise,
      can have a dramatic influence on the physical structure of the brain.
      Although the exact relationship between these changes in physical structure
      and intellect remains unclear, there is mounting evidence that there are
      real connections between the physical stuff that we are made of and our
      abstract qualities of intelligence and creativity.

      If enriched environments really do lead to brains with an increased capacity
      to learn, then the passive entertainment, junk food saturated couch that
      hosts the vast majority of America's leisure time could be doing more than
      turning our youth into boring conversationalists. We could actually be
      depriving our children of a vital resource, a physical need as real as food,
      water, and clean air. Neuroscience cannot provide a roadmap out of this
      dilemma, but when we juxtapose the conclusions in the research with
      conditions of our society, we may at least realize that we're heading in the
      wrong direction.
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