Seeing is More than Believing, It’s Learning!
BY MAGAZINE EDITOR SUSAN MAIER-MOUL
I’m interested in how we learn and communicate whole experiences compared with, for example, rote learning of lists.
I found this study intriguing because it points to the natural function of thinking with our bodies the same way – with the same brain activity – as thinking with words.
I often spend time looking at photographs of asana in addition to practicing postures. It feels like I’m learning when I’m looking at the photographs, not just noting details like foot position, but absorbing the feeling of the posture.
It supports the principle of swadyaya – practice can be well served by sharing and discussing practice, too!
Playing, And Even Watching, Sports Improves Brain Function
ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Being an athlete or merely a fan improves language skills when it comes to discussing their sport because parts of the brain usually involved in playing sports are instead used to understand sport language, new research at the University of Chicago shows.
The research was conducted on hockey players, fans, and people who’d never seen or played the game. It shows, for the first time, that a region of the brain usually associated with planning and controlling actions is activated when players and fans listen to conversations about their sport. The brain boost helps athletes and fans understanding of information about their sport, even though at the time when people are listening to this sport language they have no intention to act.
The brain remains “flexible” even in adulthood
“We show that non-language related activities, such as playing or watching a sport, enhance one’s ability to understand language about their sport precisely because brain areas normally used to act become highly involved in language understanding,” said Sian Beilock, Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago.
“Experience playing and watching sports has enduring effects on language understanding by changing the neural networks that support comprehension to incorporate areas active in performing sports skills,” she said.
The research could have greater implications for learning.
It shows that engaging in an activity taps into brain networks not normally associated with language, which improves the understanding of language related to that activity, Beilock added.”
Read more at Science Daily.
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