Tag Archives: research

Questing My Dream

Although I choose to go solo on my inquiry project, I will take what I have learned from others’ projects and bring them together in my own project.

I want to research what types of technology have significant influences on brain function. I want to see what man himself has created that can change his own brain chemistry. I also would like to see the proof behind brain games created to rejuvenate and even improve brain function, leading to that same man made creation rehabilitating our brains.

My project differs from others because I want to combine biology and technology together to see how they effect each other. I prefer to do this alone just because of my own time constraints.

Augmenting Human Intellect Nugget

“In other words, the human mind neither learns nor acts by large leaps, but by steps organized or structured so that each one depends upon previous steps.”

This nugget stuck out to me because it sounds a lot like how technology has been building upon itself. We didn’t go from the telegraph straight to the smartphone. It takes time and it takes a learning process to go from good to better to best. Our brains work the exact same way, slowly building upon foundations, step by step, improving itself.
This ties back into my inquiry project by way of brain games mentioned in previous posts. These games are designed to steadily increase brain function and are improving the mind the best way it is able to – “by steps organized or structured so that each one depends upon previous steps.” These activities measure and gauge the level you’re at and make stepping stones to reach goals you can achieve. If technology can take you down a notch, it can certainly help bring you back up a couple.
This simple observation of the way the brain learns is important because it is essential to the rehabilitation of the overworked or under worked brain. Overuse of technology can stress our brains out, while use of mechanical aids such as calculators can render our brains inadequate in times of need where we do not have access to the necessary technology.

EDIT: I feel as though Jamie’s post related a lot back to mine. The paragraph she chose mentioned how “…break down a large problem in such a way that the human being can walk through it with his little steps, and it is the structure or organization of these little steps or actions that we discuss as process hierarchies.” I think this almost directly coincides with the human brain needing to learn step by step, as a gradual process. Jamie mentioned how the same process works for the creation of online games that use humans to create human images and their movements on the screen. Slowly but surely, game designers and engineers put together the duo of visual and keyboard/joystick movements, once again thanks to man-machine components used to recreate virtual humans.
Lina’s post also relates back to mind because she breaks down the learning or building process into more narrowed terms using her nugget. Engelbart describes four augmentation classes, an Lina puts them together to describe how we create new ideas and turn them into inventions. Without artifacts, language, methodology and training to guide these processes, I do not think we would be where we are at today.
Perez’s post brought her back to Pandora. What if music, man, and machine could be one? Well, in order for this to ever happen, we must go back to the beginning and realize that this will not happen as quick as we may want it too. It requires patience and diligence and gradual baby steps, just as my nugget recommends.

Dreamers Unite

This article from the Huffington Post will give anyone a good idea of how and why technology is facilitating brain decline. In my Interpretation of Dreams post, I mentioned how multitasking through all our different technologies can impact brain function negatively. Our brain was meant to use as a whole, splitting its attention only reduces how much it could be doing at 100%.
The Department of Psychology at UCLA advises strongly against multi-tasking since it adversely affects the brain’s learning systems.
The Huffington Post has also done an article on how the internet, a product of technology, has a role in rewiring our brains.
The series Your Brain on Computers by the New York Times illustrate how technology effects the brain at the cognitive level which then translates into the real world.
Brain training is where we can get our brains back into shape and away from this technology overload.

brain-training

People should want to join me in this research project because it is a very real possibility for all of us who have come up in the generation of advancing computers and calculators. To see the impact your cell phone, iPad, laptop, GPS, calculator, all affecting your brain function is something I think would be of some importance to this generation.

Extending My Dream

Well, here goes nothing:

#cognitivescience
#neuroscience
#brainfunction
#decline
#technology
#improvement
#braingames
#luminostiy
#mental
#intellectual
#machinery
#appliedscience
#man-machine

Could #technology be the reason for #mental #decline as well as provide a way to #improve #brainfunction?

Can #cognitivescience and #neuroscience prove that #braingames such as #luminosity can #improve our #intellectual #machinery using #technological #machinery?

Could the drastic increase of only #technology use in the future be considered an #appliedscience or will we become #man-machine cyborgs?

I believe these are some of the better terms to research because they bring large, broad ideas to a head. Everything from the brain, to science, to computers all leads back to the same point which can bring different perspectives, ideas, and attitudes to the project.

The Interpretation of Dreams

There are many people I know that can relate to this same scenario:

Someone has asked you to solve a simple math problem, probably throwing in a negative, all without a calculator. You stall, you take some time to make sure you did it just right because you can’t remember if two negatives make them positive or if you carry the one or if you can actually divide decimals the old fashioned way or not. You eventually come to an answer, praying its correct since you’re already red from embarrassment for taking longer than you think it should have taken you to solve the problem. And that’s when you wish you had an invisible calculator you could control with your mind. But you do. It is your mind, and maybe it needs to have some play time to rejuvenate its incredible, built-in qualities.

The reason for this sweat inducing drama is the fact that we haven’t put down calculators since we were first taught to use them. The beautiful, number crunching, all answer giving device has played a large part in decline of brain function in that area. I want to research how to get our brains back up to speed, and how we can further improve them after that. Through the website Luminosity, your brain can play games that will help improve areas such as memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving, all while tracking your progress.

The brain and technology as a synonymous object of study is something not only of interest, but also of importance. Day by day, more and more technology is being spit out and more and more of it is to reduce mental strain to allow us to multitask “efficiently.” That’s funny because the brain does not work efficiently when multitasking. Therefore, to see the effect that our awesome and cool techy gear has on brain function is something that should be looked into when creating new awesome and cool techy gear. Another person could study this by seeing what types of technology can create mental deficits and if other types of technology could remedy it as well. I think this project could be looked at from all different perspectives, agreeing or disagreeing or proving or disproving and I think it would be great to see those who believe in brain training and those who believe this new technology is only the next step through ‘evolution’ of the brain into man-machine among other skeptics and advocates.

Texting My Dream

In previous posts, no one has been able to really decipher what my inquiry project is or apparently what I am even saying so here’s the gist:

-Mechanical aids are useful for both mental and physical tasks
-Could they be hindering our mental capabilities?
-If so, can some mechanical aids turn around and actually help deteriorating brain function?

Which then brings me to a great Brain Training program on the web called Luminosity. If after this post you are still confused about what I am writing or my inquiry project, please feel free to use this program.

Luminosity is a web site specifically designed with one thing in mind – your mind. It builds a personalized brain training program fit for each person. Luminosity tests memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving through games geared towards sharpening those parts of the mind. It engages the mind while reinforcing weakened bridges. Luminosity digs deeper by giving specific options the user may choose within the categories. For example, the memory category has four in depth “workouts” which the user may or may not choose to put into their program.
Now take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The internet, used through various mechanical aids, could be argued that it is making us stupid (Google). This program provided through the same pathway is here to help mental function.
I want to use this as my primary text because it is completely hands on and interactive and I can share my own progress through research of my own mind. It’s not stagnant and mind numbing research, it’s something I can branch out from and break numbers out of and create statistics from. It’s very interesting to see the role technology has on our “modern” brain function in present day.
I think others need to see that mechanical aids do indeed have an effect on brain function every single day and my conceptualization of it is possibly a new age, first world problem that may need to be fixed – seemingly with the same mechanical aids and technology.

Concept Experience Connections

Lina’s concept experience gave me a different way to research something. She started at a website geared to provide information on her subject in the broadest manner, which she then took to Google and narrowed down to specifics. The research she conducted continued to simplify to specific hip hop artists. I believe her process will continue to be beneficial for the inquiry project, and has given a different direction to my project
Jamie’s concept experience was very, very thorough. Jamie also tied together various points of the research and related them to one another. My post was not as thorough because of limited answers, nor did it branch out like Jamie’s, which was truly an experience.
Sarah’s concept experience post was very relatable. Her research began with a specific question which led her to other questions that all related back to her main question. I believe our posts were the most similar with a starting question and the basic use of Google that led to other aspects of the research topic.

Looking back at my nugget post and my concept experience post, I believe I could have asked a better question. Relating back to my nugget, I think the types of questions I should be asking should narrow down to the man-machine concept and how our present day personalities and life structure would differ without our daily mechanical aids. I think it’s an interesting research project I could work with.

Concept Experience

Analyzing the Obvious

Mechanical aids may and should be used for efficiency of repetitive thought processes of the mind.

Research of mechanical aids led me to objects that did not necessarily pertain to just mental help. Repetition is all around us, especially in our jobs. Most mechanical aids act as double aids, combining physical and mental for maximum efficiency. This is the most important aspect of almost any job, but best associated with blue collar jobs.

Mechanical aids range anywhere from simple, almost unnecessary items, to complex time or life saving machines. Most all mechanical aids are for efficiency and/or improvement of the mind and the task at hand. A different question to ask would be if all this pressure to think and solve is put on a machine, then how is the brain staying sharp?

Most of my research came to the consequences of not using a mechanical aid at all. In this day and age, we happen to be quite dependent of our mechanical aids. The thing is that most of the mechanical aids we are dependent on are for physical means, not mental. Think about the calculator versus a jackhammer. I can see where a calculator can become detrimental to mental health, but using a jackhammer to fix roads has no impact on brain function.

My history tells me what I already know – how dry my research was. It was a basic question of how mechanical aids really help us and the hits were endless. Because of rapidly changing and growing advancements in technology, mechanical aids are a daily part of each and every persons life.

As for human-computer interaction, I typed in words into the search engine using my keyboard and out popped answers. It was incredible, fascinating. As my history filled up with every page click my knowledge grew on what it is to have mechanical aids such as laptop computers. Honestly, I think my close interaction during this assignment brought me even closer to my computer. Through the web pages and the did you means I feel a connection to my computer that is almost as strong as my wifi. We are now practically inseparable. Except I’m pretty horrified of man-machine fusions (refer to previous post) so it is a good thing I am female. What a roller coaster ride this assignment was. Exhilarating research and mechanical aid use.