Femme à la resille (Woman in a hairnet), 1938, by Pablo Picasso.
Picasso selfportrait….Image: artquotes.net
Portrait of Dora Maar- 1937
On THIS LINK you will find an interactive page about the brain. The link will open in a new window.
A few years ago I was fortunate to be chosen to attend a day “course” on creativity and the whole brain. I really enjoyed the course and Dr Kobus Neethling (read about him at the bottom of my post) was expected to be there, but he was held up and we had only his videos to watch and we were fortunate too to have brilliant speakers to lead the day. We had to do all sorts of activities and one “test” results pointed out that I was a “whole-brain”-person. They say that you should strive to use your whole brain…I’m not always sure if I really use my “whole brain”…e.g. today, I’m really in a lazy mood and I think I don’t want to use my brain at all! as the week’s activities was really “stretching” my brain too much…hehehe…I copied an image here for you with a link and you really should follow that link, there’s some interesting info to read. Picasso was also a “whole brain”-thinker! I’ve found this fun website where you can create your own “Picasso”! I’m also tagging any blogger reading here to create your own Picasso and I would love to see it! I know I can do better and I will – once I’ve sat up with my feet more – create some better images and replace them here with these uncreative images of mine…follow THIS LINK to create your own Picasso!! and enjoy!! and…on THIS LINK you can read more about Picasso on Wikipedia…Links will open in a new window.
If you’re a chess player, you will find this PDF-document-link interesting…or if you’re interested in the brain …. Please click on chess and thinking to read the pdf document…about chess and content- orientated psychology thinking …..the link will open in a new window.
and you might want to read on this forum about “Chess and the brain”…
http://www.chesscircle.net/forums/general-chess-forum/12623-article-chess-and-the-brain.html and this document/research was done by Brunel University. http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/2274/1/Gobet-Intelligence+and+chess.pdf
Please click HERE to see a movie about chess that can sharpen your wits AND how chess helps with your logical thinking!! The link will open in a new window.
Whole Brain Thinking
What is WHOLE BRAIN THINKING? Whole Brain thinking is when the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain unify to create a “whole brain thinking” pattern. Using whole brain thinking enhances living, logic, intution, analytical skills, mechanical reasoning and artistic ability.
Whole brain thinking, essentially enriches brain functioning to a superior level of heightened awareness. To better understand the effects of whole brain thinking, read on:
Left Brain thinkers are often engineers and scientists; Right brain thinkers are most often artists and poets. In overview, left brain thinkers use structured analysis in their thought patterns; right brain thinkers use patterned recognition in their thought patterns. When both are combined, intuition is the ultimate achievement of the two. Clarification of whole brain thinking is that persons who use whole brain thinking have the ability not only to be creative in the arts, but could possibly fix a diesel truck engine as well. By using whole brain thinking, the impossible becomes possible.
Some of the world’s greatest pioneers, inventors and leaders use whole brain thinking. Leonardo da Vinci was not only a fine artist but a great scientist as well. Frederic Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty, utilized whole brain thinking — not only did he create the Statue of Liberty, he also engineered the scientific dimensions of his creation.
The four thinking styles in the Whole Brain Model are:
1. Logician: Analytical, Mathematical, Technical and Problem Solving.
2. Organiser: Controlled, Conservative, Planned, Organised and Aministrative in nature.
3. Communicator: Interpersonal, Emotional, Musical, Spiritual and the “talker” modes.
4. Visionary: Imaginative, Synthesizing, Artistic, Holistic and Conceptual modes.
Dr Kobus Neethling is the President of the South African Creativity Foundation. In 1998 he received “The Distinguished Leader Award” from the International Creative Problem Solving Institute and the Creative Education Foundation: The most prestigious creativity award in the world.
He is also the founder and Director of the South African Creativity Foundation and the Kobus Neethling Group. He holds 6 University degrees (Cape Town, Potchefstroom and Georgia USA), including two Master’s Degrees, a Doctorate and a Post Doctorate (Cum Laude).
What is whole brain thinking…read more here too….
Please click on the link here to take your test to discover which part of your brain is dominant!
“Genius is the ability to avoid work by doing it right the first time.”
— old saying
“The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.”
— B.F. Skinner
“Improvement makes straight roads;
but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.”
— William Blake [1757–1827]
“If the brain were so simple we could understand it,
[then] we would be so simple [that] we couldn’t.”
— Lyall Watson
“Most people would sooner die than think. In fact, they do.”
— Bertrand Russell [1872-1970]
“Geniuses are like thunderstorms. They go against the wind,
terrify people, cleanse the air.”
— Søren Kierkegaard [1813-55]
“When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this
sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”
— Jonathan Swift [1667–1745]
“The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [1749-1832]
“Some superior minds are unrecognized because there is no standard
by which to weigh them.”
— Joseph Joubert
“A genius is one who can do anything except make a living.”
— Joey Adams
“There’s nothing as stupid as an educated man,
if you get him off the thing that he is educated in.”
— Will Rogers [1879-1935]
“Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited;
genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.”
— Samuel T. Coleridge [1772-1834]
Paintings from Picasso’s Blue and Rose Period are my favourites and I’ve uploaded some of my favourites here..
Picasso…Wounded bird and cat — 1938
Picasso…Le Gourmet from the Blue Period — 1901
This next article is about the brain…from the new scientist. The link will open in a new window.
The Human Brain – With one hundred billion nerve cells, the complexity is mind-boggling. Learn more in our cutting edge special report.
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It produces our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world. This jelly-like mass of tissue, weighing in at around 1.4 kilograms, contains a staggering one hundred billion nerve cells, or neurons.
The complexity of the connectivity between these cells is mind-boggling. Each neuron can make contact with thousands or even tens of thousands of others, via tiny structures called synapses. Our brains form a million new connections for every second of our lives. The pattern and strength of the connections is constantly changing and no two brains are alike.
It is in these changing connections that memories are stored, habits learned and personalities shaped, by reinforcing certain patterns of brain activity, and losing others.
While people often speak of their “grey matter”, the brain also contains white matter. The grey matter is the cell bodies of the neurons, while the white matter is the branching network of thread-like tendrils – called dendrites and axons – that spread out from the cell bodies to connect to other neurons.
But the brain also has another, even more numerous type of cell, called glial cells. These outnumber neurons ten times over. Once thought to be support cells, they are now known to amplify neural signals and to be as important as neurons in mental calculations. There are many different types of neuron, only one of which is unique to humans and the other great apes, the so called spindle cells.
Brain structure is shaped partly by genes, but largely by experience. Only relatively recently it was discovered that new brain cells are being born throughout our lives – a process called neurogenesis. The brain has bursts of growth and then periods of consolidation, when excess connections are pruned. The most notable bursts are in the first two or three years of life, during puberty, and also a final burst in young adulthood.
How a brain ages also depends on genes and lifestyle too. Exercising the brain and giving it the right diet can be just as important as it is for the rest of the body.
The neurons in our brains communicate in a variety of ways. Signals pass between them by the release and capture of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator chemicals, such as glutamate, dopamine, acetylcholine, noradrenalin, serotonin and endorphins.
Some neurochemicals work in the synapse, passing specific messages from release sites to collection sites, called receptors. Others also spread their influence more widely, like a radio signal, making whole brain regions more or less sensitive.
These neurochemicals are so important that deficiencies in them are linked to certain diseases. For example, a loss of dopamine in the basal ganglia, which control movements, leads to Parkinson’s disease. It can also increase susceptibility to addiction because it mediates our sensations of reward and pleasure.
Similarly, a deficiency in serotonin, used by regions involved in emotion, can be linked to depression or mood disorders, and the loss of acetylcholine in the cerebral cortex is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Within individual neurons, signals are formed by electrochemical pulses. Collectively, this electrical activity can be detected outside the scalp by an electroencephalogram (EEG).
These signals have wave-like patterns, which scientists classify from alpha (common while we are relaxing or sleeping), through to gamma (active thought). When this activity goes awry, it is called a seizure. Some researchers think that synchronising the activity in different brain regions is important in perception.
Other ways of imaging brain activity are indirect. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) monitor blood flow. MRI scans, computed tomography (CT) scans and diffusion tensor images (DTI) use the magnetic signatures of different tissues, X-ray absorption, or the movement of water molecules in those tissues, to image the brain.
These scanning techniques have revealed which parts of the brain are associated with which functions. Examples include activity related to sensations, movement, libido, choices, regrets, motivations and even racism. However, some experts argue that we put too much trust in these results and that they raise privacy issues.
Before scanning techniques were common, researchers relied on patients with brain damage caused by strokes, head injuries or illnesses, to determine which brain areas are required for certain functions. This approach exposed the regions connected to emotions, dreams, memory, language and perception and to even more enigmatic events, such as religious or “paranormal” experiences.
One famous example was the case of Phineas Gage, a 19th century railroad worker who lost part of the front of his brain when a 1-metre-long iron pole was blasted through his head during an explosion. He recovered physically, but was left with permanent changes to his personality, showing for the first time that specific brain regions are linked to different processes.
Structure in mind
The most obvious anatomical feature of our brains is the undulating surfac of the cerebrum – the deep clefts are known as sulci and its folds are gyri. The cerebrum is the largest part of our brain and is largely made up of the two cerebral hemispheres. It is the most evolutionarily recent brain structure, dealing with more complex cognitive brain activities.
It is often said that the right hemisphere is more creative and emotional and the left deals with logic, but the reality is more complex. Nonetheless, the sides do have some specialisations, with the left dealing with speech and language, the right with spatial and body awareness.
Further anatomical divisions of the cerebral hemispheres are the occipital lobe at the back, devoted to vision, and the parietal lobe above that, dealing with movement, position, orientation and calculation.
Behind the ears and temples lie the temporal lobes, dealing with sound and speech comprehension and some aspects of memory. And to the fore are the frontal and prefrontal lobes, often considered the most highly developed and most “human” of regions, dealing with the most complex thought, decision making, planning, conceptualising, attention control and working memory. They also deal with complex social emotions such as regret, morality and empathy.
Another way to classify the regions is as sensory cortex and motor cortex, controlling incoming information, and outgoing behaviour respectively.
Below the cerebral hemispheres, but still referred to as part of the forebrain, is the cingulate cortex, which deals with directing behaviour and pain. And beneath this lies the corpus callosum, which connects the two sides of the brain. Other important areas of the forebrain are the basal ganglia, responsible for movement, motivation and reward.
Urges and appetites
Beneath the forebrain lie more primitive brain regions. The limbic system, common to all mammals, deals with urges and appetites. Emotions are most closely linked with structures called the amygdala, caudate nucleus and putamen. Also in the limbic brain are the hippocampus – vital for forming new memories; the thalamus – a kind of sensory relay station; and the hypothalamus, which regulates bodily functions via hormone release from the pituitary gland.
The back of the brain has a highly convoluted and folded swelling called the cerebellum, which stores patterns of movement, habits and repeated tasks – things we can do without thinking about them.
The most primitive parts, the midbrain and brain stem, control the bodily functions we have no conscious control of, such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, and so on. They also control signals that pass between the brain and the rest of the body, through the spinal cord.
Though we have discovered an enormous amount about the brain, huge and crucial mysteries remain. One of the most important is how does the brain produces our conscious experiences?
The vast majority of the brain’s activity is subconscious. But our conscious thoughts, sensations and perceptions – what define us as humans – cannot yet be explained in terms of brain activity.
After a discussion about study methods on one of the Afrikaans blogs, I’ve decided to add this info here as it relates to your brain too. This is a study method I taught 12 year old children. This is only one method of many others. A popular method is mindmaps too. All depends on the individual and the style he prefers.
P Q R S T
(I originally found this method in Atkinson, R. L., Atkinson, R. C., Smith, E. E., & Bem, D. J. (1993). Introduction to Psychology. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, although that may not be the original source.)
Skim the headings of the entire chapter. Your most important goal is to find out how the chapter is organized.
If the major terms in the headings are unfamiliar – look them up
The same material could be organized more than one way. If the way it is organized helps you to remember the main topics, then use that organization. If you notice some other way it could have been organized that makes more sense to you, then use that method.
Turn the subheadings under the major headings into questions that you expect to be answered in that part of the text.
Try to see if the questions you anticipated are answered. Reflect on what you read; put it in your own words. Try to connect what you are reading to things you already know. Don’t mark or highlight words or passages as you come to them the first time. Wait until you have reached the end of a small section, maybe a paragraph or two and look back to decide if there is anything there that you probably wouldn’t remember without highlighting it. Try to learn through trial and error how much marking is the minimum you need to do to remember all the material.
This is the most critical part.
After reading a small section, perhaps a page or two CLOSE THE BOOK and try to write down the main ideas and as many details as you can, and then check yourself.
Put the main ideas and details in your own words; don’t just memorize the exact words in the text.
When you check, look for important things you omitted or got wrong.
Do it again. Do it as many times as you need to until you can close the book and reproduce the material accurately, but meaningfully, not just by rote.
Once you can do that immediately after closing the book, then start trying to do it after being away from the book for a while. First short gaps, like an hour, then longer gaps, like a day or two.
This is hard work. You might start by first trying to be able to make just a skeletal outline and build up the ability to fill in details.
Develop your own mnemonics for memorizing major points, or any details that you find confusing.
After some time has passed, try to reproduce the material as you did above. The key here is that you must give yourself enough time to forget some of the material so that you are forced to really re-generate the material. Re-generate means that you use your mnemonics and connections from the easier-to-remember main ideas to pull up the details.
Research has shown that reflection, spacing your study, and organizing all improve learning significantly.