Internet Special Education Resources
Special Education & Learning Disabilities Resources: A Nationwide Directory
Cognitive Training unlocks easier learning. Try this!
Ever wonder exactly how your brain works? Here’s an exercise that will help you understand how your brain learns. Try the exercise, then look at the Learning Model (on page 7) to better understand what’s going on inside your head.
EXERCISE #1: As fast as you can, spell your first name out loud. Was that easy? Probably. Here’s why. Input came as you read the instructions, "Spell your first name out loud." Automatic Processing kicked in, and you gave Attention to the request, held it in your Working Memory, and began to Process it. You made the internal, executive Decision that this was an easy request; one that you didn’t really need to think about. You already had the answer stored in your Knowledge Bank, and you immediately accessed the spelling of your name, and Output it without hesitation. You handled this request easily—most likely in a split second—because it was previously Known information. Now try this.
EXERCISE #2: As fast as you can, spell the last name of the first American President backwards. Not so easy, was it? You received Input (attended to, processed, and remembered the request). But this time you made the internal Decision that something about this request was New (you instantly recognized that "Washington" was part of the answer, but…). You engaged your Higher Thinking skills (probably even physically rolling your eyes), and selected a plan of action (using Logic and Reasoning). Maybe you created a mental image (using Visual Processing) of the word "Washington." You might have repeated the name a few times to hear the separate sounds (using Auditory Processing) and then retrieved the letter codes (using Long-Term Memory) that represent those individual sounds. Then you created the word image and vocalized the letters (as Output). Congratulations! While you were using all these mental skills, you were actually laying down an imprint (a neuronal pathway) in your brain. This imprint would not only begin to help you spell "Washington" backwards, but it would serve as a pathway for similar tasks, making them faster and easier as well. If you were to train with similar exercises enough times, with enough variety and intensity, the imprint created would become a solid, permanent mental pathway. You might even become a world-champion backwards speller! T’ndluow taht eb nuf?!?
If... then... Each Automatic Processing and Higher Thinking skill is important. Here’s how weakness in any of these cognitive skills might affect your performance:
- If Attention is weak you may have never fully heard the request.
- If Short-Term Memory is weak you may have forgotten the request before you responded, maybe needing the request repeated.
- If Processing Speed is slow the request may have seemed too complex, requiring the need to have it repeated.
- If Logic and Reasoning is weak you may have failed to come up with a plan.
- If Auditory Processing is weak you may have been unable to unglue sounds in "Washington."
- If Long-Term Memory is weak you may have been unable to remember letters that represent the sounds in "Washington."
- If Visual Processing is weak you may have been unable to create a picture of the word in your head.
If you believe there is unrealized learning potential in yourself or someone you love, a simple cognitive skills test could be the key to unlock that potential. At LearningRx, we offer such testing as a wise and affordable first step. Please give us a call today. We can answer your questions and help test and strengthen skills that can lead to that brighter future..
Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.
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