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Intention, Motivation & The Learning Brain

Conversations with Dr. Maggie Martinez concerning ongoing unpublished brain research have focused on the following key points.

  1. There is a brain cocktail that is required for the brain to best make new synaptic connections, aka Learning
  2. This cocktail is affected by emotional states. Stressors inhibit the cocktail from having the correct balance and learning cannot occur.
  3. The button that is pushed releasing this cocktail is under volitional control.
  4. This control is learned during early infancy, so early in infancy that awareness of the button is not conscious at later developmental stages. One aspect of meditative practice is recognizing that we do have conscious control of that button.
  5. Play, fun and pleasure all contribute to the formation and persistence of the cocktail.

Resources:
New Research Stresses the Responses to Stress
Just For Fun - Buddha on the Brain - Wired magazine
US Dept of Education on Competency-Based or Personalized Learning