Sensory Learning (#1)
STYLES: Everyone uses all sensory channels to some degree, but the most valued are those we use on a regular basis – from birth – to bring information into conscious. While we all have the same basic brain structures, how these parts work can vary greatly.
EXP: One person sleeps better on their side, another does better on their stomach…..
If we diligently pay attention to how our brain ‘likes’ to receive information & in what form, we can better understand & make sense of what we experience, which helps to improve learning.
AROUSAL: Successful sensory processing (gathering info thru the senses) is strongly linked to emotional well-being, governed by the ’Sensory Threshold’ – our point of initial contact with a stimulus.
‘For most of us, this threshold is high enough that we can tolerate the complexity & stimulation of our environment, & low enough that we can notice new input & subtle changes around us.’ (INSIDE OUT, slide 21)
A suitable amount of sensing allows us to achieve & maintain optimal arousal levels – a combination of alertness, situational awareness, vigilance, level of distraction, stress & direction of attention. (See “Inside Out” slide 18)
In effect, it’s how ready a person is to perform appropriate tasks in a timely, effective manner:
• Top-down (cortical inhibition) – uses strategies such as thinking & self-talk to stay on task
• Bottom Up (cerebellum inhibition) – heavy work with muscles & joints, which regulates arousal & so promotes focus & attention
LOW arousal will limit general interactions, cause depressed emotions & prevent forming primary attachments (parents, mates, children, friends….)
— Extreme under-arousal can cause unconsciousness, possibly from tiredness, fatigue, hypoxia, poisoning or illnesses.
HIGH arousal can show up as hypersensitivity from too much input (especially for Introverts), such as noise, touch, crowds, social anxiety….. Also, low self-confidence, feeling inadequate, constant frustration…..
— Extreme over-arousal can be seen in a range of symptoms peculiar to the individual, the environment, the task and other factors. This may include: panic, aggression, submission, resignation, withdrawal, irrational behavior, mood swings, or unconsciousness. (MORE….)
Learning STYLES vs MULTIPLE Intelligences (MI)
Both are considered ways we learn. However,
• INPUT: Learning Styles identify the broad-strokes way we gather & store information, using our 5 senses, while —
• OUTPUT: the 9 MI posts identify specific ways we express ourselves, having absorbed information via the various senses. (MORE…… excellent comparison)
Learning Styles identify how each of us is most comfortable learning & retaining new information. They indicate how we gather, sift through, interpret, organize, come to conclusions about, & “store” information for further use. Everyone has their own mixture of strengths & preferences, but usually one is dominant.
Info gathered thru our specific style of sensory input affects the way we internally ‘see’ our experiences, & the way we recall facts, even to the words we choose. It allows for more efficient ways to learn, whether formally in school, or in daily from relationships or at work.
FAST learners incorporate all 3 main modalities (eyes, ears, body). Even so, our dominant style can help us excel, & can compensate for the less developed ones.
Brain-imaging has found the relevant brain areas:
Aural: Temporal lobes. The right lobe is especially important for music
Logical: Parietal lobes drive logical thinking, especially the left side
Physical: Cerebellum & the motor cortex (back of frontal lobe) handle much of our physical movement
Social: Frontal & Temporal lobes handle much of our social activities. The Limbic system (with the Hippocampus) also influences both social & solitary styles, as it deals with emotions, moods & aggression
Solitary: Frontal and Parietal lobes, & the limbic system
Verbal: Temporal & Frontal lobes, especially 2 specialized areas = Broca’s & Wernicke’s (left side of these two lobes).
Visual: Occipital lobes at the back of the brain. Both Occipital & parietal lobes manage spatial orientation.
NEXT: Sensory Learning (Part 3)