Brain Specialization

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  • 1. Dr. Paul A. Rodriguez Brain Specialization and Learning
  • 2. Brain Lateralization
    • The brain is able to perform unique functions particular to one hemisphere. In complex tasks, both hemispheres are engaged.
    • Left hemisphere processes external stimuli such as: speech , interprets words and evaluates material.
    • Right hemisphere processes internal messages by gathering information and looking for patterns.
  • 3. Hemispheric Preference
    • Left Hemisphere Functions
    • Right Hemisphere Functions
    • Connected to right side of the body
    • Processes input in a sequential and analytical manner
    • Time-sensitive
    • Generates spoke n language
    • Does invariable and arithmetic operations
    • Specializes in recognizing words and numbers
    • Connected to the left side of the body
    • Processes input more holistically and abstractly
    • Space –sensitive
    • Interprets language through gestures, facial movements, emotions, and body language
    • Does relational and mathematical operations
    • Specializes in recognizing faces, places, objects, and music
  • 4. The Gender Connection
    • Males
    • Females
    • Less gray matter than females , with more in left hemisphere than right .
    • Higher white matter than females, with the same in both hemispheres.
    • Cerebral spinal fluid is higher than in males.
    • Corpus callosum is smaller and thinner in females.
    • Language areas is located almost exclusively in left hemisphere.
    • Amygdala grows faster in teenage boys.
    • Hippocampus grows slower in teenage boys than in girls.
    • Gray matter is the same in both hemispheres.
    • Lower percentage of white matter than males.
    • Cerebral spinal fluid is lower than men.
    • Corpus callosum is larger and thicker than in males.
    • Language areas are in the left hemisphere.
    • Amygdala grows slower in teenage girls than in boys.
    • Hippocampus grows faster in teenage girls than in boys.
  • 5. Possible Causes of Gender Differences
    • The Effects of Hormones influence brain development differently in the sexes. Example with testosterone and boys.
    • The Effects of Natural Selection have fostered structural changes in the brain that are specific to each gender.
    • The Impact of the Environment studies indicate that boys’ and girls’ acuity of senses do not develop identically in both genders.
    • The Empathizing Female and Systemizing Male according to Simon Baron-Cohen (2003) proposes that female brains are wired for empathy, and that male brains are wired for systemizing.
  • 6. Schools and Hemispheric Preference
    • Left-Hemisphere Schools
    • -Structured environments that run according to time schedules, favor facts and rules over patterns, and offer verbal instruction
    • Impact on Mathematics and Science
    • -Male and female brains deal differently with numbers and computation. Both boys and girls are on a level playing field.
  • 7. Spoken Language Specialization
    • Learning Sounds Called Phonemes
    • Learning Grammar
    • The total number of phonemes in the world languages is around 90, which represents the maximum number of sounds that the human voice apparatus can create (Beatty, 2001).
    • Practice in speaking and adult correction helps children decode the mysteries of grammar’s irregularities. Prolonged television watching can impair the growth of young brains (Zimmerman & Christakis, 2005).
  • 8. Learning Spoken Language
    • Language Delay to two years is inherited, and thus represents a distinct disorder not easily remedied by environmental interventions (Dale et al.,1998).
    • Implications are that the brain’s ability to acquire spoken language is at its peak in the early years, students benefit from a create a rich environment that includes lots of communication activities
  • 9. Learning To Read
    • Is Reading a Natural Ability?
    • -No areas of the brain specializes in reading.
    • -Learning to read requires three neural systems:
    • -Understanding
    • -Auditory Processing
    • -Visual Processing
    • Skills Involved in Reading
    • -Phonological and phonemic awareness
    • -Alphabetic principle and phonics
    • -Vocabulary
    • -Fluency
    • -Text comprehension
  • 10. Problems in Learning to Read
    • Linguistic Causes
    • Nonlinguistic Causes
    • -Phonological deficits
    • -Differences in auditory and visual processing speeds
    • -Structural differences in the brain
    • -Phonological memory deficits
    • -Genetics and gender
    • -Brain lesions in the word processing areas
    • -Word-blindness
    • -Perception of sequential sounds
    • -Sound-frequency discrimination
    • -Detection of target sounds in noise
    • -Motor coordination and the cerebellum
    • -Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • 11. Reference
    • How the Brain Learns
    • by
    • David A. Sousa