Friday, January 20, 2012

Haptic anchors and mnemonic "pegs"

There have been several posts aimed at defining a "haptic anchor" as used in HICP. Among other features it must involve use of both hands connecting in the visual field (related to the effect of bilateral stimulation and focus) and coordinated vocalization and body engagement. In this 2010 article, Samuels comes up with a good term to identify other types of anchoring: pronunciation pegs. (The article has some clever examples of such linkages.) "Pegs" are mnemonic devices, some involving movement and touch, such as touching a part of the face to remind learners about a sound or pronunciation feature. She mentions others, such as rubber bands to reinforce the idea of vowel lengthening, etc.

The human brain is wonderfully adaptive in creating and using such pegs. Much of hypnosis is based on that idea, associating a state with some kind of action or image. Pegs are, by nature, throw aways, something to be used in the learning process and quickly discarded. Haptic anchors have much more complex and integrative functions. Not to recommend that you immediately toss your favorites and switch to haptic anchors--or attempt to knock your favorite mnemonic pronunciation pegs down a peg or two--or suggest that you don't have a leg to stand on in using them . . . 

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