Saturday, October 29, 2011

Managing attention during pronunciation change: jogging the mind

This Science Daily summary of 2010 research by Seidler et al. looked at the effect of aging on inter-hemispheric connectivity in the brain. As we age, the corpus callosum (Latin: tough body)--my new nom de plum, the bridge between or manager of left and right side communication, begins losing its ability control "crosstalk," allowing random interference from the "other side," especially on motor tasks involving only one side of the body. The implications of that are far reaching.

On some cognitive (vs motor) tasks, "full brain" engagement is beneficial; on others, it may not be. (That the Tough Body in women is much larger than that of men is interesting here as well but apparently was not a relevant factor in the study.) The "good news" from the study is that aerobic exercise may function to strengthen and regenerate the Tough Body. I had some time back been using highly energetic (near aerobic) warm ups and rhythm-focus activities.

Clip art: Clker
For various reasons, I have since moved to more controlled, haptic anchoring throughout the EHIEP system, backing off from more dramatic, uninhibited and emotionally "unbuttoned" engagement. I,  personally, begin the day with aerobic work of some kind and have often observed that "exercisers" seemed to have an advantage in personal pronunciation change, especially in dealing with fossilized pronunciation.

This may help explain why, other than blowing off stress and pumping more blood into the Brocas area, regular physical exercise has been proven to complement all kinds of learning. Our general approach has been to manage attention by requiring constant, multiple modality "mindful" attention--which may also serve to further invigorate your Tough Body as well.  But perhaps it is time to reexamine that assumption, add a touch of haptic "boot camp" up front every morning! Clearly, a tougher Tough Body is worth attending to, too!

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