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Brain Stuff

May 18, 2009

I think it would be a good idea at the beginning of the year to give a short talk about how the brain functions — short term/working memory versus long-term memory. A couple of analogies I’ve thought of:

Learning to write the letter “M” — four strokes versus one motion

The letter example from Why Don’t Students Like School:

XCN becomes X
NPH CNN
DFB PHD
ICI FBI
ANC CIA
AAX NCAA
X

as an example of using our long-term memory to help out our working memory. The idea is that since we can’t increase the size of our working memory, the more we can load into our long-term memory, the more “processing power” we can free up to use as working memory. Unfortunately, there’s no magic button that we can push to do this — it takes practice and repetition.

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