by Rex Sikes
is about learning to learn. The classes involve accelerated
learning (Brain-based learning) methods resulting from the culmination
of research into learning conducted by Rex Steven Sikes. All
IDEA Seminars' training programs are run through the Mind Design
method to get students to transfer the skills more dramatically
and successfully to their everyday lives. To learn how to learn
and to continue to learn and experience "ah- ha's"
after the formal part of the training is completed.
We learn about a
city from being there, not from a map or guide book. We learned
to walk and talk without reading instructions or following recipes.
I encourage you to JUMP IN with all your energy and you will
learn more. Learning is doing something, then getting rid of
the unwanted parasitic movements (extra, un-needed movements).
Parasitic movements are reduced through practice and time as
your learning streamlines. And have a lot of fun and laughs
while you learn. Keeping a positive state is very important
of Mind Design
Luck is the crossroads
where opportunity and preparedness meet.
Notice it, Own it,
Play with it, Stay with it (NOPS)
Howard Gardner talks
about our 7 intelligence's - Linguistic, Mathematical (Logical),
Kinesthetic (Bodily), Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Spatial
did a study using Polarized glass (glasses which invert the
images we see). After a few hours of wear, the subjects could
see normally. The brain compensated for the inverted image.
They removed the glasses and the real world images were inverted.
90% of seeing occurs behind the eye.
JUMP IN with all
your energy and you will learn more. Learning is a doing something,
then getting rid of the unwanted parasitic movements (extra,
un-needed movements). Parasitic movements are reduced through
practice and time.
Dr. George Solomon
of California State University demonstrated that the hypothalamus
(limbic system) effects the immune system. Incisions cut into
the hypothalamus suppressed the immune system. The hypothalamus
effects endocrine production in our body. (Hypothalamus/limbic
systems identified as the seat of emotions and subconscious
The Ground rules:
play, participate, experience.
Brain 37% of oxygen
-- so when learning remember to breath deeply and drink lots
of water. When you don't breath, you release adrenaline and
go into fight/flight response.
If you want to be in control, know that you cannot stay un-confused
and learn. Frustration = confusion with a different interpretation
Brain is a muscle
- must exercise it or it won't develop more than what is needed.
Your mind is like
a tree that grows -- it is not like a jar to be filled.
Mark Twain "I
never let my schooling interfere with my education."
Glen Dowman "The
brain has infinite capacity. The more you put into it the more
it will hold. The human brain grows the way biceps do. Every
time we use visualization, the ability to visualize expands."
of ASTD "90% of all communication is unconscious and experts
determine that the estimation may be low."
Dr. Becher research pain and placebo. He found morphine worked
in 52% of the cases and the placebo worked in 40% of the cases.
Thus the placebo was 75% as effective as morphine.
Key "An individual who wants to utilize a greater part
of his brain-stored information must simply learn how to move
information from the unconscious into the conscious level of
cognition." The key to using our natural capacity must
be to "circumvent the conscious control systems that we
erect during our formal schooling and allow the greater subconscious
capacities to be used."
Some of the theoretical
expectations of the student's potential is important because
the brain has a near infinite capacity for neural connections.
Professor Peter Kouzmich Anokhin of Moscow University says that
the brain is composed of ten billion neurons. He says that each
neuron can make nearly infinite connections (one with twenty-eight
noughts after it). "If a single neuron has this quality
of potential, we can hardly imagine what the whole brain can
A linear, sequential,
"chunked-down", piece-by-piece presentation is actually
boring to the brain. Instead, the brain prefers multiple
inputs. According to Caine and Caine, the brain is a multi-processor
and designed specifically to receive multiple inputs at once.
Botella and Eriksen confirm this notion of parallel processing.
"All people learn through random, personalized, complex
real life patterns that defy description except in the most
reductionist terms." Francis Crick, the Nobel prize winning
scientist who co-discovered the DNA's double helix formation,
suggests that the brain functions "are usually massively
Caine, Renate Nummela and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections:
Teaching and the Human Brain. Addison-Wesley. Boston, MA,
Botella, J. and C. W. Eriksen. "Filtering Versus Parallel
Processing in RSVP Tasks." Perception and Psychophysics
51.4 (1992): 334-43
Crick, Francis. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific
Search for the Soul. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons,
Learning is inhibited
and diminished by tightly, logically planned presentations,
maintains Leslie Hart. Students need real life environments
and real life challenges.
Hart, Leslie. How the Brain Works: A New Understanding of
Human Learning. New York: Basic Books, 1975
Hart, Leslie. Human Brain and Human Learning. White Plains,
New York: Longman Publishing, 1983
physically move - dance, exercise, cross-crawling -- as part
of their learning experience. Kandel and Hawkins report
that manipulating the digits resulted in increased brain size
and increased connections in the brains of monkeys.
Kandel, E. and R. Hawkins "The Biological Basis of learning
and Individuality." Scientific American Sept. 1992:
Richard Restak says
"For the first time in human history, we will be in
a position to design our own brain".
A climate of
fun and laughter effects learning and memory positively.
When people laugh and have fun, they release chemicals in the
brain that affect learning in a positive way. According to the
research of McNamara and Skelton, there is a specific neurochemical
basis for learning and memory. Stanford researcher, Bandura
notes that there is a biochemical difference in the body when
a person is confident and optimistic. The presenter's job is
to assist students in deliberately releasing those chemicals
thought emotional release, physical movement and a positive
attitude. In other words, the teacher's job is not to teach,
but to provide an environment that is conducive to learning.
Paul MacLean says that our hormones, feelings and emotions affect
our learning. O'Keefe and Nadel were instrumental in establishing
the role of the hippocampus in emotions and learning and suggested
that positive emotions allow the brain to manufacture better
cognitive maps. In other words, when we feel good we can learn
better and enhance our memory. Hooper and Teresi documented
the work of Dr. James McGaugh who says, "Arousal causes
all these chemical cocktails--norepinephine, adrenaline, enkephalin,
vasopressin, ACTH to sprits out. We think these chemicals are
memory fixatives... they signal the brain, This is important,
keep this!'." Dr. William Fry from Stanford University
discovered that an increase in white blood cell activity and
changes in the chemical balance of the blood is associated with
laughter. He further asserts that this blood activity may be
there to boost the body's production of neurotransmitters needed
for alertness and memory. Something Dr. Norman Cousins has been
saying for years is that laughter is the best medicine against
Restak, R. The Brain. New York: Warner Books, 1988.
McNamara, R. K. and R. W. Skelton. "The Neuropharmalogical
and Neurochemical Basis of Place Learning in the Morris Water
Maze." Brain Research Reviews 18.1 (1993): 33-49
Bandura, A. Social Foundations of Thought and Action: a social
cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1986
MacLean, Paul. "A Mind of Three Minds: Educating the Triune
Brain." 77th Yearbook of the National Society for the
Study of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
O'Keefe, J., and L. Nadel. The Hippocampus as a Cognitive
Map. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978
Hooper J., and D. Teresi. The Three Pound Universe: The Brain
from Chemistry of the Mind to New Frontiers of the Soul.
New York: Dell Publishing, 1986.
Dr. Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness.
A student's attitude
toward learning is the most important predictor for a successful
learning outcome. If the student considers learning fun
and exciting, the outcome will be positive. Travis Air Force
Base did a study of 152 cancer patients and their treatments
and they demonstrated that "attitude toward treatment was
a better predictor of response to treatment than was the severity
of the disease."
Mastery of language
patterns and positive encouragement are the keys for successful
training. Kotulak and Dr. Lewis Baxter have shown that words
can be just as powerful as prescription drugs - that carefully
chosen words can actually engage the healing system.
Kotulak, Ronal. "Unraveling Hidden Mysteries of the Brain."
Chicago Tribune 11-16 April 1993
things causes you to stay young and live a more healthy life.
In his studies, Jean-Francois Dartigues states that those most
likely to remain young and mentally facile were NOT those who
had that highest formal education, but those who had the most
intellectually stimulating careers. In other words -- use your
brain or lose it. In fact, research suggests that those who
continue to learn new behaviors, accept challenges and solve
puzzles remain younger and more facile longer than those who
Dartigues, Jean-Francois. "Use It or Lose IT" Omni
a left brain function. When you feel good and think positively,
it is a left brain function. (Maybe this is why many people
who have over-developed right brains like artists and creative
people are often prone to depression.) Yale researchers, in
1987 (reported by McGuire), demonstrate that when the subject
was feeling optimistic about life, the PET scans of the left
hemisphere showed the most activity. The right side of the brain
"lit up" when the subjects felt depressed, negative
Maguire, J. Care and Feeding of the Brain. New York:
learn by making connections amidst confusion. Confusion is a
valuable learning tool. Leslie Hart states that learning
is the extraction of meaningful patterns from the confusion.
Hart says that one of the abilities of the neocortex is to detect
patterns and create patterns. Furthermore, the brain recognizes
patterns in a gestalt format, NOT in a digital (1+1=2) format.
G. Edelman supports this by saying, "learning in any species
results from the operation of neural linkages between global
mappings and value centers." In other words, we learn by
figuring things out, detecting patterns, and finally - making
Edelman, G. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire. New York: Basic
Hart, Leslie. Human Brain and Human Learning. White Plains,
New York: Longman Publishing, 1983
occurs unconsciously. Dr. Emile Donchin of the University
of Illinois states that 99% of all learning is non-conscious.
In addition, Pfurtscheller and Berghold discovered that your
brain has already signaled parts of your body to respond two
seconds before an actual activity. This means that most of the
time, we act before we think (consciously). Thus, the environment
is the most important area of concern for a teacher/trainer.
Setting up an environment that is conducive for learning rather
than a planned rigid format will allow the students to learn
quickly and comfortably.
Pfurtscheller, G. and A. Berghold. "Patterns of Cortical
Activation During Planning of Voluntary Movement." Electroencephalography
and Clinical Neurophysiology. 72 (1989): 250-58.
reasons is not the best way to produce the results you want.
Michael Gazzagnia asserts that there is literally a "reason
center" of the brain and it's job is just to come up with
reasons for things. The reasons it produces are not necessarily
accurate, it is a part of the brain function.