destinyBrain training for  surgical prowess, peak performance and cognitive rehabilitation is in the news. Real training is hard work but it is minimally invasive with no adverse prescription side effects  The best programs are targeted inspiring and doable because they are based on neuroscience, medicine and psychology. Great brain training in the hands of a qualified professional  can deliver what is promised without overselling results.

The brain training is best when combined and designed as a personal, challenging and targeted intervention. Automated machine based algorithms without professional diagnostics and intervention lack the sensitivity for significant change that transfers across tasks. Some parts of the brain are amenable to rehab while others are not, a professional can guide your recovery realistically without wasting the precious resources, of time, motivation and hope.

In our practice we have rejoiced as people return to work, improve in school and get back to life with friends by using computer based rehabilitation . It is an investment worth making to overcome the ravages of chemotherapy, trauma, and the brain fog associated with surgeries, chronic pain  and neuro-degenerative disease.

The computer based cognitive learning tools equip older adults to empower destiny with the language of success. With tablets and Windows 8 many therapies can be touch based  making it easier for those that have motor challenges. Beyond the plateau is the location where learning excels. Creative ideas produce seeds for concepts which deliver contributions. The life of the seed is within itself.  The future is shaped by a seed’s response to forces that surround it. Training with a positivity bias and in self regulation can transcend negative circumstances because response becomes the servant instead of the master. This is where expert learning begins.

Learning lives in layers. A task once learned through repetition attains automaticity to make way for new input.  Repetition alone minimizes danger but does not maximize reward and so presents an impoverished route to learning. We get best results using materials with a positive view and which utilize positive feedback. Training with a positivity basis provides a time and situation specific brain chemical boost which enhances learning and provides built in motivation.

Although positivity can be as simple as a genuine smile or the enlarged pupils that signify engagement, research reveals that even positive photographs or happy sounds can signal the brain to release reward chemicals to trigger motivation and learning.

Novelty followed by reward enables learners to sustain engagement, building learning layers to strengthen and increase neuronal connections. Without novelty or challenge the mind defaults to an automaticity mode and fewer brain resources are available for reward which decreases learning optimization. Rewards benefit from being genuine, time specific and measurable. Older adults and children respond best to targeted feedback such as what you like about a contribution and why you feel this way rather than through generalized positive feedback. Learners constantly develop categorization as a skill so being specific reinforce their actions and gives them the added satisfaction of successfully cataloguing your input in order to measure it against future performance. In contrast generic tokens can work with video games because the video win reward is applied in a time sensitive way to the target and produces a goal orientated reward response.  The process at work between our conscious and below conscious response can be seen below in the INTEGRATE model developed by Gordon, Williams et al.

Integrate modelSelf regulation is a key component in learning as it reduces stress and strengthens attention, speed of processing and decision making skills thereby positioning students to become expert learners. Preliminary studies using Captain’s Log, MyBrainSolutions and MyCalmBeat, Brain HQ and others  indicate self regulation skills enable individuals to better filter extraneous neural noise and so assists category forming efficiency.

Self regulation offers individuals autonomy in their inner worlds. Even infants offered a choice between a mobile they could move themselves or an automated model over which they had no input showed interest in the one they could move themselves. Every encounter in life alters brain dynamics in positive or negative ways. These learning tools increase self regulation, empower positivity and nurture consolidation.

Art can be combined with self regulation and positivity bias training to increase goal centered vision and learning potential. Art and physical training develop procedural and conceptual memory and in so doing can magnify a learners sense of self and enhance their ability to negotiate the boundaries of the world that surrounds them. Art allows children and adults to express passion, conflict and joy for which words are insufficient with dignity and privacy. Positioning learners for inner success equips them to back themselves. Transformation comes from the inside out by empowering learners to celebrate their destinies.



Amy Price

About Amy Price

Amy Price is a research graduate student at Oxford University. working on ThinkWellTM with her supervisor Professor Amanda Burls.. Through ThinkWell and my project PLOT (Public- Led Online Trials) we help people learn about clinical trials and research by doing research together with the public using citizen science projects. We believe health research should try to address the questions that are most important to ordinary people and patients. Research needs to be done well to minimize bias. ThinkWellTM turns health research on its head by enabling the public to lead health research (with support from health researchers and professionals to ensure that the research is valid and reliable) instead of health researchers and professionals setting the research agenda and patients and the public simply being the subjects of, or participants in, this research. “Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I will remember. Involve me and I will learn.” Using all the senses engraves understanding in the brain and allows us to process information at multiple levels. ThinkWellTM will change the understanding of health science and make this science accessible for all.