Task 6d: Basic brain concepts, teaching and learning

No matter how many times one reads about the brain, one forgets how really complicated, yet simple, it can be. It is amazing how much we know about it, but how little at the same time. One can name the parts of a neuron, how it is supposed to work, how synapses happen and the role of neurotransmitters. Yet, as humans, we have not been able to replicate it and it has been almost impossible to create true artificial neural networks. Chemistry and electricity, impulses and signals, sodium and potassium,  firing, positively charged ions, networks, communication ... a jungle of circuits which make magic happen.

How as teachers and learners can we maximize the chances of creating the right connections, lasting communication between all these multiple parts of our brains?  There might be many answers to this question but I guess that for now it could be familiarity and repetition, the more a specific circuit, network or connection is fired, the higher the chances it would become automatic and imprinted in memory, and the more variation in stimulus, the higher the chances to establish different paths to strengthen the connection. I did not know some years ago, for example, that water was a much needed brain food and that drinking juice was not the same as drinking plain water. Since then, I am drinking more water and less liquids of other sources and have passed this info. to people around me, especially my students and family members, who very often just drink pop sodas all day and do not often see the relationship between nutrition, the brain and learning.

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