The fact that every one of us has own sense of reality and ability to learn are evident that we are genetically predisposed to intellectual activity. Would it possible for us to act as intelligent beings without creating our own set of false and true values? Learning is a cognitive looping and meta-cognitive processing. Discrimination of our own real (perception based) and false (imaginative) emotions is the sense of reality. Data shows that deception is the root for truth search we are all born with. The work of most prominent psychologists Freud, Piaget, Erickson, Watson, Skinner, Bandura, Vygotsky, Maslow, Rogers, Kohleberg, etc. includes many details and it covers various sides of physical, cognitive, and social development. Still, our sense of reality escaped rigorous scientific study, because until recently concept of Physioepistemology was not available. Here are some basic assumptions that might convince community to take another good look in more physical, than metaphysical approach in studying intellect and cognition. The Physioepistemology is the branch of natural science that studies processes of knowledge formation in self-organized biological systems, based on dynamism of the physiological processes and related to meta-cognitive sense of reality including unconscious and conscious components of mental reflection.
Physically, if birefringence (through double refraction) of ultra-low photon emission by neurons is responsible for cognitive processes, degree of polarization within neuronal networks will depend on concentrations of all elements circulated in cerebral fluid. If intelligence emerges as sensitivity to ultralow photon emission by network of particular neurons, it will be highly individualized and genetically predetermined.
Dynamically, learning starts from realization of differences between reality and dream as early as in pre-natal period. In this case, dream (pre-imagination) will come first prenatally as neuronal networks become available. Realization of own senses will appear with first inhale it takes full start. First breath of newborn will initiate perceptive signaling trough entire nervous system, first emotion produced, and part of this emotion is image of own existence. Increased concentration of nitrogen/oxygen in blood triggers mechanism of association of cross-linked neurons that in general can be counted as imagination. With time (individually varies) from few day to few weeks newborn learns to express senses trough emotions and by age of 6 month already able to produce full range of emotional expressions without real feeling. By age of three years most kids already trying to manipulate external environment (parents, care givers, social acquaintances) with/without tantrum and by age of six years old child should have fully operational imagination with some comprehension of very complex concepts of social hierarchy and some sense of power in social relations. The process of imagination is a basis for cognitive development, same way as physical development of receptors sensing ultralow photon emission basis for cognitive processing, and consequently, cognitive development is basis for social development. It is important to note that intellect is a social phenomenon. It is not nurture versus nature. It is nature (environment plus inherited genetics) multiplied by nurture (social influence) divided by individual creativity (imagination).
Moshman and Franks (1986) wrote: “An argument is valid if its conclusion necessarily follows from its premises, regardless of whether the premises and conclusion are empirically true or false.”
The premise of Physioepistemology is in the fact that most sense of reality is in the unconscious meta-cognitive process that has physiological need for knowledge. Let’s take for example time perception, which is a subjective feeling and complementary component of reality sense. William J. Friedman (1993) and David Eagleman studied time perception and found that different types of sensory information (auditory, tactile, visual, etc.) are processed at different speeds by different neural architectures. The brain must learn how to overcome these speed disparities to create a representation of the external world. Time perception has biological nature because it is a product of circadian and ultradian rhythms regulated by photosensitive proteins and byproducts of theirs metabolism. Coordination in different sensory modalities is unconscious. Time sense produces specious present required for qualitative conscious separation of present, past, and future, which is imaginary part of experience. That means we have unconscious expectations of our future and we have to learn how to manage it.
Acquired behavior or learning without any punishment involved and applied as to individual as to social groups is the best way to achieve an adaptive reaction to the particular environmental change. The ultimate goal in this case is to identify the variables in behavior responsible for most suitable and long-lasting sustainable socially acceptable behavioral pattern of actions. To say it from functionality point of view, society is a representation of the patterns in statistically significant number of individual behaviors engaged in tangible activities with automatic internal stimulation. The negative reinforcement does not apply to social level of communication, because the cancelation of negative emotions within the same modality. For example, criminal intent may produce fear of punishment, but reward of increased social weight in particular social group of criminals can have higher positive reinforcement.
Persuasive Manipulation (PM) is a scientific approach committed to effectiveness with direct and frequent measurements and it requires use of Neuroaccounting as a tool for implementation. This method can be used for educational purpose only and applied only for assessment of learning outcomes. The objective for application of Persuasive Manipulation is to arrange cumulative effects of constantly changing environment with purpose to control process of learning during adaptation period. It produces an array of results, from limited creative skill acquirement to profound systemic change.
Because Neuroaccounting rely on established threshold in individual neuronal network as a response to affective or effective adaptive reactions, there currently are no other more suitable tools to detect positive effects in environmental changes regarding acquisition of novel behavior or withdrawing from old one. In this part, it is similar to classical operant conditioning, but it is different in an involvement of the controlled complex environmental changes and very sophisticated accounting of responses, such as a directed new creative tool development. It is specifically designed to promote creative part of intellectual process to increase adaptability, but in some controllable way that negative behavior (criminal intent, for example) is suppressed and is not a part of the possible outcome. It worth mention that positive effect in this case means increased expression of desirable behavior, without subjective evaluation of its value.
Another important point in use of Neuroaccounting is that complex multimodal environmental stimuli produce individual responses that may differ in an array of behavioral specifics, such as time of response or force of the emotions. It is very useful in determination of the degree of the extinction-induced response variability as a particular application and as for a functional assessment in general.
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Computing all neuronal processes within its complexity in relation to behavior and intelligence is an objective for computational neuroethology. Neuroaccounting is a methodological approach for measurement of sensory pre-processing, biomechanical properties, processing (analyzing), and integration of models that represent brain, body, and environment as it sensing and acting during active perception.
Basic Principles of Neuroaccounting:
-Neuroaccounting cannot be used to predict human behavior – it only can be used to study complex neuronal interconnections and associations for future adjustment (change) through learning;
-Neuroaccounting cannot be used to establish developmental, mental, or other disorders – it only can be used for educational purposes and learning assessments;
-Social interactions in human communities defined as deterministic chaotic dynamics and responsible for environmental changes;
– Humans defined as a self-organizing deterministic systems displaying sensitivity to initial conditions in the environment and follow arrow of time;
– Humans can exhibit an almost infinite number of behaviors in different environments;
– Humans can employ, manipulate, and create infinite number of tools for different actions;
-Humans have constantly pass qualitatively different physical, emotional, and mental stages to exhibit more complex behavior in same environment;
-Human behavior objected by current modality, subjected by emotional response to environmental change, and affected by specific tools used during adaptation period;
– Neural plasticity responsible for motor control and learning. It characterized by long-term depression of inactive associated neuronal networks;
-Mechanisms for intrinsic physiological control of complex interacting networks within fluctuating environment include unconscious and conscious components;
-Individual subjectivism can be established and recorded only based on difference for particular community in response to the variety of learning techniques and multitude of learning parameters/rates;
-Strength of neuronal signaling between interacting networks should pass established threshold to be accounted as affecting or effecting and could not change the overall balance if modality of the communicating networks is different;
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As computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics advance, it becomes necessary to introduce new methodology that should help better understand and effectively apply acquired knowledge in educational field. Most of neuroscience currently is exploring in areas of neurocomputations and synchronizations in different neuronal networks, while completely different models are available for application. Based on emergent nature of intelligence, Neuroaccounting employs integrative model of self organizing systems. While exploring objective evidence, Neuroaccounting defined by indication of subjective thresholds required for computational process to take place during unconscious and conscious intellectual activities.
It is essential to use Neuroaccounting in implementation of Persuasive Manipulation for Assessment (PM Assessment). While it might have some risk of abuse, such risk is not greater than any influence from social interactions. Ericksonians use some elements of Neuroaccounting for inducing during therapy sessions. Most distinctive commonality there is indirect and accommodating approach with possibility of some confusion techniques involved. The key is a learning experience on both sides of the communication. That places Persuasive Manipulation on the list very effective educational methods.
Neuroaccounting is the measurement, processing, and communication of information about ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions and solve problems or understand solutions for identical issues and learn the ways of self-adjustments. It is important to distinct emotional responses, rational (analytic) mental processes, creative potential, and socially acquired (adopted) stereotypical ways to respond to different changes in the environment as a separate entities during PM Assessment.
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By definition Persuasion and Manipulation differ in intent. In case of pure persuasion, both parties benefit, on contrary manipulator is sole beneficiary. In case of the Persuasive Manipulation, the target person(s) receives benefit of adjustment, because result of factual rearrangements leads to creative enrichment. While PM inducer can reap some temporary advantage, in long term, flexibility in associative neuro-connections produces major educational effect. The mental faculty of deliberate choices (will) gets trained and volition of future actions becomes more decisive upon a course of future actions.
Because of neuro-psychological nature (as neural correlate of consciousness and as neural correlate of a content of experience) of the Persuasive Manipulation, it can be used as educational method. By mastering ability of evoking particular type of attention, educators can increase productivity and efficacy of the educational process.
Clinical model of differential approach in identification of cognitive processes and activities offers five types of attention that could be categorized as:
-Focused attention (ability to respond discretely to specific stimuli);
-Sustained attention (vigilance- ability to maintain a consistent behavioral response during continuous and repetitive activity);
– Selective attention (ability to maintain a behavioral or cognitive set in the presence of competing stimuli);
– Alternating attention (ability to shift their focus of attention and move between tasks having different cognitive requirements);
– Divided attention (ability to respond simultaneously to multiple tasks or multiple task demands).
The successful education relies on all types of attention and by doing so, it delivers highest rate of comprehension and memorization offered information by recipient.
The objectives for effective process of managing attention in Persuasive Manipulation must be identified as:
– Quick identification of the most important item in a complex environment;
– Sustained attention on to related information and ignoring other stimuli;
– Access memories that aren’t currently active, but that could be relevant to the current focus;
– Shift attention to new information as it arrives.
To focus attention to relevant information is a challenging and relies on CNS ability to ignore stimuli unrelated to the educational process. Acquisition and processing information is physiologically possible for multiple noncompeting stimuli, if those originate from different sources dimensionally but within the same modality. Such ability allows overcoming neuronal refractory period and proper use of selective, alternating and sustained attention tremendously increases volume of educational material during single session. Simultaneously divided attention is age defined and requires extensive training. Focused attention is essential phenomena for formation of short-term memories, which based on level of emotional response, become stored as long-term memories.
For successful tutelage the knowledge of differences in individual circadian rhythms could be very useful. But most important is to accompany visual-audio presentations of educational material with other sensual stimuli that could be associated with strong emotional response during such presentation. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) drown form this particular phenomena and success of its practical applications is convincing.
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Physioepistemology Centered Evidence-based Education – Placing neuroplasticity in the center of newly developed educational methodologies require use of the insights from the studying of the brain functions and cognitive processes to investigate educationally inspired questions. More importantly, it changes direction of the neuroscientific approach in education to totally opposite direction: from extracting information from the brain, to delivering information to the brain and assisting in formations of tools this information processed. In contemporary speed of new knowledge discovery, traditional methods of education falling behind in delivery updated increased amount of information. The assessment of acquired knowledge during the educational process becomes available for outsourcing to new technologies, which might exclude human bias it all. Most time consuming part of educational process is time spend on learning new skills. New high effect-size methods are related to effective way to deliver higher level of complex information with decreased time of skill development.
Kinetic changes in willfully induced brain are not necessarily qualitative changes, at same time, quantitative cognitive reattribution of particular areas in the brain not necessarily change quality of conscious experience. Even more, attentional re-contextualization of processed thoughts achieved by training and education can systematically alter neural circuitry associated with a variety of mental and physical states. The ultimate goal of proper educational technique is to initiate the mental acts of clear-minded introspection and observation, variously known as mindfulness, mindful awareness, bare attention, the impartial spectator, etc. in participants. Empirically, the only available tool at this moment to achieve this goal is to direct students to observe and modulate one’s own emotional states. The new quantum paradigm in understanding and controlling educational processes as on individual, as on social levels emerged in recent years. It creates opportunity to study and have practical use of quantitative magnitude of quantum effects in the brain.
Creative force of imagination through integration of practical, analytical and artistic abilities could be quantified and used in development of new educational methods and devices (gadgets), allowing to increase individual abilities of students.
Persuasive manipulation is defined as exploitative, abusive, devious and deceptive method to change perception targeted individual or group of individuals and achieve emotional response in the form of expected behavior. Context and motivations of underlying such methods determine direction and goals of influencing agent. There is wide variety of different techniques to achieve the goal of misperception and form disoriented view on reality. Two major distinctions in those techniques are in the number of influenced agents (individual vs. aggregative influences) and direction of guidance (physiological dissociation vs. social-peer pressure). All techniques historically applied and used are complex actions involving multiple subsequent steps and could include one or both distinctive characteristics. In any particular situation, recognition of application of persuasive manipulation by targeted individual is beneficial, because it allowed avoiding possible abuse or exploitation and could be used as highly effective form of education.
Social influence is a conformity of physical phenomena that characterized by responsive reaction to social event by any individual. Such response can be expressed by forming some specific or complex of emotions, formation of opinion, or actions based on a reciprocal behavior. Since social influence was defined as a presentation in a form of a variety of identification, compliance, or internalization examples by society members, scientifically developed technologies to manipulate of individual perception of reality through social events began to emerge. Systemization of studies related to all forms of social influence, started form the investigation of “animal magnetism” practiced by Mesmer. The result of it, imagination as an intellectual function involved in influence becomes connected to “magnetic sleep”, which almost seventy years later becomes known as hypnosis. Hypnosis is one of the methods of manipulation and will be reviewed as such below. Therapeutical use of this technique leads to development of psychoanalysis, which is still practiced in many psychological interventions. With development of behavior technologies, use of social influence in positive context becomes ethically acceptable and widely used in different social environments. Alone with attempts to develop methods useful in medical practice, technology of influencing society through different means had development as well. With advance of informational technology relation and symbiosis of both directions becomes evident. The advancement of social media predisposed application of techniques of intellectual manipulation and elements of cognitive therapies outside for achieving objectives different from political or therapeutical purposes, but for education in any area of science or art.
F. Dostoevsky once wrought: “Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind.” (“Notes from Underground”, 1864).
Based on the phenomenon of self-prohibition derived concept of the Ruderal Ambience: as more we lock associated connections in self-prohibited area we are becoming less creative, meaning that process of creating mental blocks in whatever area of social life it could be, lowers imagination and creativity. Those areas of the brain are the Ruderal Ambience. Cummulutaveley, it is the area that excluded from mental processing retrospectively.
Surprisingly, it leads to conclusion that creative part of intellect depends on all topographical areas of the brain and bring part of unconscious parts of mental processing to the table for more detailed exploration.