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Learning skills, brain


Learning skills, brain & cognition Jaana Holvikivi 2011 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Learning skills, brain

Learning skills, brain cognition
  • Jaana Holvikivi
  • 2011

  • Intelligence and learning
  • Brain and cognition
  • Learning styles and cognitive skills
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation

Social interaction, study group
Expert community
Mediating structures instruction,
methods, artefacts
Activity and practice
Learning as a knowledge creation process
Information, knowledge
Development of expertise
Previous knowledge and mental schemas
Guidance Advising of studies and student support
Emotional states, feelings, physical well-being
Metacognitive skills and abilities, motivation
Engineering expertise
Social communication skills Management skills
Problem- solving Reasoning Creativity
Technical skills Knowledge
Motivation Initiative Attitudes
Learning Community Students Teachers
Learning through activity, practice theory
Information Mediating artifacts Methods
Expert community
Engineering expertise
Social communication skills Management skills
Problem- solving Reasoning Creativity
Technical skills Knowledge
Motivation Initiative Attitudes
Embodied cultural experience
Personal qualities
Cultural schemas
Learning approaches
Communication styles Social relations Attitudes Re
lations to artifacts
Personality, Feelings, Reactions, Knowledge
Cognitive styles, skills
Motivation Metacognitive skills, Habits
Learning Community Students Teachers
Learning through activity, practice theory
Information Mediating artifacts Methods
Expert community
Engineering expertise
Social communication skills Management skills
Problem- solving Reasoning Creativity
Technical skills Knowledge
Motivation Initiative Attitudes
Intelligence and expert performance
IQ, general intelligence
  • Linguistic competence
  • Reasoning
  • Spatial ability
  • Analytic and number skills
  • General knowledge
  • Visual auditory processing
  • Long-term storage and retrieval
  • Working memory and processing speed

Views of intelligence
  • Academic success requires analytical
    intelligence, GI
  • Modern society versus instinctive behavior
  • evolution prepared us for natural surroundings,
  • schooling prepares us for information society
  • IQ does not seem to predict expertise nor does it
    predict the acquisition of complex
    problem-solving competence

Successful intelligence (R.Sternberg)
  • analytical intelligence,
  • practical intelligence
  • creative intelligence,
  • ethical intelligence,
  • executive processes to plan and control activity
    are instrumental for successful performance.

Multiple intelligences
  • linguistic,
  • bodily-kinesthetic,
  • spatial,
  • musical,
  • logical-mathematical,
  • intrapersonal,
  • interpersonal,
  • naturalist intelligences
  • emotional intelligence

Other views on intelligence
  • Intelligent action
  • as deciding what to do next
  • if the environment is well-designed and
    well-known to the person, intelligent action is
    greatly facilitated.
  • people are not particularly good at tasks that
    require abstract reasoning or intensive recall
    but they excel at using resources in a systematic
    but creative fashion to work their way to

Other views on intelligence
  • The Cree in Canada (hunters)
  • showing respect, self-control, and listening
    attentively are essential parts of intelligent
    behavior, in addition to good sense of direction,
    wisdom and a quick wit.
  • Insensitivity, living like a white, and craziness
    were seen as negative competences.
  • Chinese views of intelligence
  • focus on hard work and effort,
  • intelligence is not a quality of a person but
  • The Japanese view of intelligence encompasses
  • social competence such as one's ability to
    sympathize with others.
  • African conceptions of intelligence focus on
  • wisdom,
  • trustworthiness and
  • social attentiveness.

The acquisition of expert performance as problem
  • Even the most talented individuals in a domain
    must spend over ten years actively engaging in
    particular practice activities (deliberate
    practice) that lead to gradual improvements in
    skill and adaptation that increase performance to
    achieve mastery.
  • The acquisition of expert performance can be
    described as a sequence of mastered challenges
    with increasing levels of difficulty
  • The mental representations of experts appear to
    be qualitatively different from those of less
    skilled individuals. It is not simply a
    difference in accumulated knowledge about past
  • Expert novice differences appear to reflect
    differential ability to react to representative
    tasks and situations that have never been
    previously encountered.

The acquisition of expert performance
  • Comparison of several groups of professional
    musicians representing different levels of
  • the most accomplished had spent more time in
    activities classified as deliberate practice by
    the age of 20, the best musicians had spent over
    10,000 hours practicing, which is 2,500 and 5,000
    hours more than two less accomplished groups,
    respectively, and 8,000 hours more than amateur
    pianists of the same age.
  • elite performers report a very high level of
    focus and concentration during deliberate
    practice. Practice sessions were limited to
    around one hour at a time maximal level of
    deliberate practice was found to be 4-5 hours
    when sustained daily for months and years.

Problem solving by experts and novices
  • Experts possessed greater domain-specific
    knowledge about a task that novices. Experts
    excelled mainly in their own domains and did not
    have greater knowledge or general problem-solving
  • Experts perceived meaningful patterns, redefined
    and classified problems according to underlying
    principals. They organize their knowledge more
    hierarchically than novices.
  • Experts performed quickly because they took
    strategic shortcuts.
  • Experts spent more time in analyzing and
  • Experts redefined and reinterpreted the task.
  • Experts monitored their performance more
    carefully. Good self-regulation.
  • High levels of motivation.

Intuitive and formal reasoning systems
  • deductive reasoning
  • categorization
  • analogical reasoning
  • decision-making
  • belief formation
  • social cognition
  • Western analytical mode of thought dominant (?)
  • East Asian holistic mode of thought (?)

Contextualization in reasoning
  • Environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA)
    favored the tendency to contextualize a problem
    with as much prior knowledge as is easily
  • The tendency to socialize problems. To see
    deliberate design and pattern in situations that
    lack intentional design. (superstition)
  • Seeing intentional design in random events.
  • Financial analysts tend to concoct elaborate
    explanations for every little fluctuation in
    stock market prices even though the fluctuations
    are mainly random.
  • The intentional interpreter in our brains does
    not automatically decouple itself from problems
    when it is not needed.
  • The narrative mode of thought.

Learning, perception and memory
Memory and knowledge
Learning situation
Concentration alertness motivation
Modalities perception
Human cognitive capacity 1
  • Based on patterns and schemas
  • Chess masters remember nearly all pieces in a
  • Affordances visual object is perceived through
    intended action perception depends on context
  • Auditive and visual input separate

Auditory and visual input
  • Yakking drivers are four times more likely to
    crash their cars. Using a hands-free headset
    instead of handheld phone made no difference at
  • The brain can be intensely aware of what is
    coming through either the eyes or the ears but
    not both at the same time. (Certain brain
    regions were activated when subjects consciously
    chose to see these were muted when they chose to
    hear. )

Auditory and visual input
  • The use of sound during visual training can
    enhance later performance on a purely visual
    task, a finding that demonstrates just how much
    multisensory interaction occurs in brain areas
    that before now were thought to be dedicated
    solely to vision.
  • Multisensory interactions can be exploited to
    yield more efficient learning of sensory
  • People can focus on more than three items at a
  • if those items share a common color like players
    in a football team. They perceive separate
    individuals as a single set. Color seems to be
    the easiest sorting tool.

Human cognitive capacity 2
  • Attention selective perception
  • Object and background discrimination,
    exceptional features
  • Attention is directed to one object
  • Memory registers also unconscious perception
  • Automatic actions (bicycle riding) do not need
    attention but then action becomes fixed,
    difficult to modify (changes in interface)

Which way does the airplane fall?
Long term or Reference memory
Short term memory
Declarative memory
Sensory memory
Working memory
Procedural memory
Central executive
Semantic memory
Episodic memory
Motor skills
Perceptual learning
Habituation and sensitation
Improving memorizing
  • Timing of activities is decisive when storing
    information to the memory.
  • In an experiment, where fruit flies were trained
    to avoid a particular odor, it was found that
    massed training, giving the flies the same number
    of training experiences in rapid succession, did
    not produce an enduring memory
  • spaced training, with session intervals of 15
    minutes, did produce the memory.
  • Distributed practice works better than massed
  • Spreading out your study is better than cramming.
  • There is a specific time interval, about six to
    eight hours after training, when the neural
    activity is particularly strong, and lasting
    memories are formed.

Improving memorizing
  • Memory consolidation takes place while we sleep,
    and it takes up to a few weeks of repeated
    rehearsal for the molecular reactions controlling
    gene and protein synthesis to record long-term
  • If the interval between rehearsal sessions is too
    long, the short-term memory will have weakened
    too much to benefit from repetition.
  • Also, having a break and relaxing after intensive
    working often releases creativity and yields a
    solution to the problem under consideration.

  • Rats learn to navigate new spaces by replaying
    memories in reverse order
  • After exploring an environment such as a maze,
    rats typically pause to eat, groom or rub their
    whiskers. Electrodes in rats hippocampus
    monitored so-called place neurons, which fire in
    specific sequence as a rat navigates a path.
    When various rats paused on completion of a run,
    the place neurons fired in reverse order from the
    firing that had occurred during navigation. This
    reverse replay occurred more frequently after
    walking through new mazes than familiar ones,
    implying that the technique plays a role in

Cognition and emotion
  • Happiness and positive mood increases flexibility
    in problem solving.
  • Affect, cognition, and motivation influence one
  • Meaningful and emotional information is retained
    better in memory than purely factual information.
  • It does not necessarily indicate, however, that
    the memories would be accurate in relation to
    factual events, especially if they are connected
    to strong feelings.
  • Memories do change.

Cognition and emotion
  • Stress weakens attention and working memory.
  • It rises levels of noradrenalin, dopamine, and
    cortisol in the brain, and induce neuron
    destruction in hippocampus. The production of new
    neurons in hippocampus is also reduced under
  • Laughing has numerous benefits for health as well
    as learning.
  • Laughing reduces stress because the level of
    cortisol is reduced and levels of epinephrine
  • Laughing improves memory Students who watched an
    episode of "Friends" after studying for an exam,
    got 20 better grades than the control group that
    did not have fun.

Music in brain
  • Brain imaging studies when people listen to
    music, the neural activation proceeds from the
    auditory system to regions related to planning,
    expectation and language as well as arousal,
    pleasure, mood and rhythmic movement.
  • Music engages nearly every area of the brain.
  • Music promotes cognitive development.
  • Music reaches deep into the brain's most
    primitive structures, including the "reptilian
    brain" tied to motivation, reward and emotion.
  • Music elevates dopamine levels.

Types of intelligence and teaching
  • Experiment with four methods
  • One group was subjected to the "traditional"
    teaching method that is called memory condition,
    which includes presenting the material which
    students have to memorize and represent.
  • In the analytical condition, students are asked
    to compare and contrast theories.
  • In the creative condition, they are asked to
    formulate their own theory based on the facts.
  • In the practical condition, they are asked to
    apply the theoretical knowledge in a real-life
  • All students were evaluated in the same way for
    memory, practical, analytical, and creative
    quality. The results confirmed that students who
    got instruction that matched their cognitive
    style, performed better than others.

  • Memory condition teaching resulted in an inferior
    outcome than other methods.
  • Students who were subjected to a multicondition
    teaching that included analytical, practical, and
    creative methods, performed best in all types of
    tests that included practicing analysis,
    creativity, and practical application,
  • even in better memorization of the material than
    the memory condition students
  • Students who were strong in analytical skills,
    had an advantage over others in all conditions, a
    consequence of the emphasis on analytical way of
    teaching in all school instruction.

Social interaction
Instruction, methods, artifacts
Expert community
Activity and practice
Communication styles
Experience with artifacts
Ways of action
Development of expertise
Learning approaches
Embodied knowledge, feelings
Reactions, skills
Problem solving through progressive inquiry
Metacognitive abilities
Previous knowledge
Cultural schemas
Learning styles
Cultural influence
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