Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.
Topic: Chapter 3: The Brain and Learning
Synopsis: The brain is a highly specialized organ consisting of billions of neural connections. These neural connections are organized into neural pathways that form the interconnected substance of our thoughts, memories, and behavioral responses to the input from our senses. Although the brain has structures that are highly specialized for processing specific types of environmental stimuli (e.g. visual or auditory information) these structures do not process information in isolation. Rather, different parts of the brain are interconnected in complex and highly individualized patterns. A melody or fragrance, for example, that triggers a memory is often coupled with both implicit emotional memories as well as explicit details of a particular event. These neural pathways are constantly changing as a result of our interaction with the world. Neural pathways that are used frequently become strengthened while pathways that are seldom used atrophy. Neuroscientists call this constant generation of neural pathways neural plasticity, and it has become the basis for new theories of learning grounded in the interdisciplinary study of mind, brain and education.