Friday, June 13, 2014

Virtual Rehearsal and the Brain, 2

Yesterday I shared with you a success story about 'virtual rehearsal' when a couple of little piano students had no piano in their home. This was my response.  According to some studies, many people operate on the ideas and beliefs they absorbed by the age of five, often subconsciously. For example, when I was a little girl someone told me that Galileo ran afoul of the religious establishment because he said the world was round, not flat. That little ‘fact’ has been lodged in my brain all this time. It turns out that Galileo did run afoul of the religious establishment but for a different reason: he proposed that the earth revolved around the sun and that ran contrary to the belief system of the day. You only know what you know and the only brain you know if your own, filled with its own beliefs. That’s what is so exciting about brain-function research! Sometimes emerging research conclusions run contrary to what you have believed or assumed. When practically applied, however, brain-function information does work, sometimes amazingly well. Most people have little concept of how they could cooperate with their brains and minds (yes, they are separate entities) to be more successful. And in case you are wondering how the brain and mind differ, scientists seem to be clear that somehow the brain creates the mind, but exactly how that happens is an ongoing puzzle. Not only that, once it has been created, the mind is able to influence the brain. Amazing. One of the best metaphors I’ve heard compares this phenomenon to traffic. Vehicles create traffic. In turn, traffic can constrain and impede movement of the vehicles. Hmmm.

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