Sunday, August 7, 2011

Starting "from scratch" (Haptically speaking!)

Clip art: Clker
Haptic-based, integrated pronunciation instruction relies upon consistent, "memorable" anchors (speech-coordinated, movement terminating in both hands touching or one hand touching the body someplace.) If the felt sense or impact of the haptic "collision" is not strong or appropriately located--as noted in a previous post--best case: nothing is connected or learned; worst case: the diffuse haptic action works against any meaningful encoding of visual and auditory stimuli.

2007 research by Gallacea, Tanc, Haggardd and Spencea suggests that haptic anchoring is especially sensitive to intensity. In other words, with more pressure or skin "trauma", short term memory for haptic stimuli should improve. In some preliminary work on intensifying EHIEP protocol anchors, it does appear that using the finger nails in some contexts to impact or lightly "scratch" the skin of the other hand, rather than the flesh of the finger as is the practice now, creates a strikingly persistent anchor. This does feel like a promising lead. We have, however, only just "scratched" the surface . . .

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