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Mind Design™
by Rex Sikes

Mind Design™ 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 for absorption.

The Framework 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 and Musical.

Harvard University 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 reaction).

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.

Control issues: If you want to be in control, know that you cannot stay un-confused and learn. Frustration = confusion with a different interpretation on it.

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."

Patricia Durovy of ASTD "90% of all communication is unconscious and experts determine that the estimation may be low."

Harvard University's 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.

Professor Wilson 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 background

Maintaining high 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 do..."

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 parallel."
Caine, Renate Nummela and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Addison-Wesley. Boston, MA, 1994
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, 1994.

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

Students should 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: 79-86.

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 illness.
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, 1978. 308-42
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

Learning new 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 don't.
Dartigues, Jean-Francois. "Use It or Lose IT" Omni Feb. 1994:34

Happiness is 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 or stressed.
Maguire, J. Care and Feeding of the Brain. New York: Doubleday, 1990

Human beings 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 connections.
Edelman, G. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire. New York: Basic Books, 1992
Hart, Leslie. Human Brain and Human Learning. White Plains, New York: Longman Publishing, 1983

Most learning 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.

Searching for 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.

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