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June 11, 2014

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Scott Fruehwald

Cognitive psychology backs up Judge Moylan. The brain stores bits of knowledge in neurons. When bits of knowledge are stored together, they form chunks. From a neurobiological viewpoint, chunks are neurons that are connected by synapses. When a person accesses a part of a chunk, the entire chunk is retrieved.

So, your student had the Tennessee Waltz and the name of the arena stored together in a chunk because she heard the Tennessee Waltz in the arena. When she heard the waltz again, she also remembered the name of the arena. This phenomenon can happen with smells, tastes, sounds, etc.; it occurs when any part of the chunk is accessed in long-term memory. In other words, Judge Moylan had observed how the brain works without knowing the theory.

anon

Don't you just love it when the human mind is described as a computer?

"bits" are "stored" in "chunks" that are "connected" and "accessed" from "long term memory" (as compared with RAM?)

Right.

Tell us: is a GUI interface needed to drag and drop the icons to move the bits around, or does the mind swipe by moving the eyeballs up and down and from side to side?

anon

Kramer wasn't reviving any recollection of an actual prior discount.

He was coercing a discount based on the "service" he had provided.

Didn't any student realize that this scene had nothing to do with reviving recollection?

Scott Fruehwald

Anon sorry you don't like science. My source is Duane F. Shell et. al., The Unified Learning Model: How Motivational, Cognitive, and Neurobiological Sciences Inform Best Teaching Practices (Springer 2010).

Also, I made a small mistake in my original post. Wes says that she remembered the arena right before the clip. Therefore, she either heard the waltz in her head, or she associated the title of the waltz with the arena. Either way, the experiment and cognitive science backs up Judge Moylan.

anon

Scott

Didn't say anything about "not liking" science. My comment was about "just loving" (sarcasm here) ridiculously oversimplistic, and inherently bogus attempts to liken the processes of the mind to "bits" that are "stored" in "chunks."

Do you equate "science" with explaining the organic processes of the mind as one might explain building a cathedral to a child? There are no "bits" and "chunks" in the brain. That isn't science; that is "popular science."

anon

Add

See, Associative Learning and the Hippocampus

"Previous studies have shown that in addition to the hippocampus, cells in several other brain areas including the prefrontal cortex ..., frontal motor-related areas ... and striatum ... exhibit similar patterns of learning-related activity during similar associative learning tasks. An important long-term goal will be to understand how all these brain areas from the hippocampus to the motor related areas of the frontal lobe and striatum may work together to underlie the initial formation as well as the early strengthening and consolidation of new associative learning."

There are no "chunks" of "bits" "stored" together.

Sorry.

Scott Fruehwald

Look at the book I cited above. It is backed up by numerous studies. These are written by real scientists, not popular scientists.

anon

Here's what the book you cited stated, inter alia:

"We “understand” what something is because a pattern of sensory input in working memory matches a pattern of neurons
in cortical long-term memory. When one part of a chain is matched, the entire chain is activated because patterns are linked by chaining of neurons. The process of match and retrieval is called spreading activation. You see the Granny Smith apple, but you also seem to be able to link the visual input to input from smelling and tasting it."

As noted in another comment above, this science is hardly as established or as well understood as you suggest. The authors you cite note that the simplistic notion that there are "chunks" of "bits" "stored" together is simply not scientifically accurate. IMHO, it is not even a good way to describe the patterns of brain activity that constitute "memory." And, this statement seems to be just wrong: "When a person accesses a part of a chunk, the entire chunk is retrieved." I think we all know that this is wrong from common experience. That isn't "science."

In fact, the authors of the study upon which you rely forthrightly admitted that their work was not intended to be "science" per se.

I've seen your references to this work in at least one other law blog from years ago. IMHO, you've been misreading the work, oversimplifying it and building an edifice on "bits" of it that you have "connected."

The process of "match and retrieval ... called spreading activation" is a rather rudimentary concept, IMHO, that almost everyone grasps at an intuitive level, but it is not supported or explained or illuminated by an inaccurate claimed resort to any "science" that purports to "explain" this process in the terms you have employed.

Scott Fruehwald

There are lots of other sources that agree with Shell and his co-authors. The study is footnoted with extensive original scientific research. Let me cite you to another book that has extensive references on learning and the brain: Susan A. Ambrose et. al., How Learning Works (Wiley 2010). And yes, I have read the original articles those works cite.

What is the date of your quote?

anon

The study you cite now diverges even more from your original point.

Reading from a sample chapter online:

"When learning new material, students may draw on knowledge (from everyday contexts, from incomplete analogies, from other disciplinary contexts, and from their own cultural or linguistic backgrounds) that is inappropriate for the context, and which can distort their interpretation of
new material or impede new learning. To help students learn
where their prior knowledge is and is not applicable, it is important for instructors to (a) clearly explain the conditions and contexts of applicability, (b) teach abstract principles but also provide multiple examples and contexts, (c) point out differences, as well as similarities, when employing analogies, and (d) deliberately activate relevant prior knowledge to strengthen appropriate associations."

Of course there is scholarly research about learning! But what has the quote above have to do with the "science" of "chunks" of "bits" "stored" together, that leads to the "scientific conclusion" that "When a person accesses a part of a chunk, the entire chunk is retrieved."

To the contrary, the study you now cite comes closer to reality: that teaching has little to do with the claimed "proved scientific facts" that you put forth originally. In fact, were the claimed "proved scientific facts" true as presented, the study you now cite would show that effective teaching is mitigated and hindered by this so-called "brain science."

Studies of effective teaching? Yes. But claimed "scientific facts" regarding "brain technology" have led to now discredited theories in education before. It is discouraging that like so-called "facts" are still claimed based on loose interpretation of scientific research, time and time again, with the retort that anyone who disagrees or pushes back "rejects science."

As for the "date of your quote" I don't know to what quote you refer. I saw a post by you on another blog, dated in 2012, as I recall, that used the same work to support the claims noted above.

Scott Fruehwald

I don't see how the above quote, which I agree with, contradicts my original idea. Prior knowledge is stored in neurons (brain cells), which combine to make chunks (chains of neurons)(connected knowledge). Some of that prior knowledge can be incorrect or inapplicable in a new field.

To be clearer, when I am talking about bits, I an referring to information stored on neurons, brain cells. If information isn't stored in brain cells, where is it stored?

I never said that my science doesn't have critics. Most science has critics. Your quote, which is from 2005 (http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2005/02/suzuki.aspx), is also a theory that some scientists disagree with. I also don't see how this quote contradicts anything I've said.

I would like to add that it is difficult having a discussion with an anonymous poster.

Scott Fruehwald

I don't see how the above quote, which I agree with, contradicts my original idea. Prior knowledge is stored in neurons (brain cells), which combine to make chunks (chains of neurons)(connected knowledge). Some of that prior knowledge can be incorrect or inapplicable in a new field.

To be clearer, when I am talking about bits, I an referring to information stored on neurons, brain cells. If information isn't stored in brain cells, where is it stored?

I never said that my science doesn't have critics. Most science has critics. Your quote, which is from 2005 (http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2005/02/suzuki.aspx), is also a theory that some scientists disagree with. I also don't see how this quote contradicts anything I've said.

I would like to add that it is difficult having a discussion with an anonymous poster.

Del Griffith

Memories aren't lost; they slumber; see Proust's la petite madelaine in "A la recherche du temps perdu.

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