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Brain Candy 23 Signal Clarity Allows Plasticity

I'm reading The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D., and for this moment it's my essential source for understanding brain plasticity. Dr. Doidge examines the research of Michael Merzenich and how brain plasticity went from rogue science to accepted fact, followed by the main localizationists apologizing to Merz. That's just the background to an important practical bit of information, that the clarity of the signal from stimulus to response plays a huge role in plasticity. Coaches, teachers and parents are best guided to be very clear and simple in their instructions. Learners need to give full attention to the incoming signal. When we reduce internal noise, like our negative self talk, paralysis by analysis, etc., we can allow for more clarity. This brings to mind Tim Gallwey's formula: Performance = Potential - Interference. If potential is the maximum amount of what we can learn, our interference is the only limiting factor. Dr. Merzenich has found that the greater clarity of the incoming signal along with the clarity internally of the person to receive the information creates the greater gains in brain growth. In regard to yesterday's lessons, T was not there, his family left on a trip. Z and I greatly simplified the message on volleys to simply seeing the ball out of the frame. S also worked on volleys, but our main objective was to have her say "There is so much time" to help her slow down to gain a more clear view of what is actually happening.

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