Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raising Funny Kids 27: Reward-Driven Learning



Neuroimaging and brain-mapping research have found correlations between many AD/HD subjects and a lower quantity of neurotransmitters - dopamine and norepinepherine are of most importance with respect to learning. 

We've all heard the saying, "I'm bored." 



Psychologists turned this around on us in reverse psychology. Relying on the psychological phenomenon of reactance, in which people have a negative emotional response in reaction to being persuaded, and thus chooses an option that is opposite against what is advocated, you can persuade a person to rectify the experience of being bored by encouraging them to action by attacking their personhood. For example, "Only boring people get bored." 


This statement shifts the responsibility to the individual whereby a person will create a diversion from their boredom and reengage their minds toward action because they do not want to be called "boring". You can call people many things, but "boring" seems to be the most personally offensive. 



Boredom, in to preexisting chemical imbalances, can lead to AD/HD-type symptoms because dopamine responds to reward-driven learning. In the absence of reward-driven learning, the brain does not produce enough dopamine - the result is a lower quantity and complexity of interconnecting brain cell networks (i.e., it's difficult to make connections). 


When you bore a child or an adult to death, the brain does not produce as much dopamine. Furthermore, norepinepherine levels decrease, and as a stress hormone, norepinephrine affects the amygdala, where attention and responses are controlled. As such, attention levels drop and response levels diminish. 


Add a dash of stress (e.g., if you do not master and regurgitate the large amount of information we have amassed for you onto our algorithmic assessments designed for one type of factory-processing intelligence (because we didn't have enough teachers in the early 1900s we needed to process kids through a system), we will drop your grades, which will result in an avalanche of problems for which you may be punished at home, while in society we will punish you by not allowing you to stay in our system, a system that will give you a job so you can survive in the world and support yourself and have a happy life)...


The systems we created are not working (we realize that, but we do not have an answer), but please, bear with us and follow our system anyhow because it is still your best bet to get a job in a company that may or may not exist depending on how the economy goes over the next decade. 


By the way, we're calling it "The lost decade
Sorry about that...
We are officially working on the problem



Still, don't think about what's happening in the world, just do what we say and study these books, take these assessment tests, which no one, even us who design the tests cannot stomach, and do your best



The result


Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is released at periods of high stress (situations like having your entire future presented to you as being in jeopardy if you fail at a pre-defined task). Norepinephrine is believed to play a role in AD/HD as well as depression and hypertension


Basically boredom not only enhances AD/HD-type symptoms, but it can lead to a number of other adverse conditions. 



Conversely



When a child is engaged with a reward-driven learning approach, norepinephrine is synthesized from dopamine and is then released into the blood as a hormone. When noadrenergic neurons in the brain form a neurotransmitter, and when that is activated, large areas of the brain respond and the result is increased alertness and arousal, which influences the reward system


Our brains reward system regulates and controls behavior by inducting pleasurable effects. This neurological system ignites reinforcement in the brain, which is the process of strengthening a directly measurable dimension of behavior. Essentially, reinforcement strengthens our responses. When we strengthen our responses, the continued possession of them leads to retention. 


Essentially, a reward-driven learning system would increase the brain's ability to effect the rate of probabilistic shifts in predictive cueing and enhance subsequent learning. 


Irregardless of whether frontal lobeslimbic system, and reticular activating system (RAS) are below normal activity levels, an increase in reward-driven learning would increase stimulation to these centers of the brain and result in increased attentionlearning, and memory recall = happiness




UPCOMING POSTS: 

Reward-Driven Learning is Personal 
Mastery is Personal 


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