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Re: [xmca] font chax vs word meaning (update on Mum's brain progress!)
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] font chax vs word meaning (update on Mum's brain progress!)
- From: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 19:40:45 -0700
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Seems like the "use it or lose it" dictum has a lot to it.
Sorry to be slow in responding. We are undergoing email blues at ucsd
and i am trying to recover from a cold caught in new york. Love being
On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 12:51 AM, Helen Grimmett <
> Dear Mike,
> My Mum is tickled pink that you are interested in her brain training!
> She bought the DS and game about 8 weeks ago and has been using it quite
> frequently while they have been away on holiday over this time. She says
> that the first time she took the brain age test she was given a brain age of
> 78 (Her real age is 74), but now she is down to a brain age of 64. She did
> admit though that sometimes she skips the stroop test because she gets
> frustrated that the DS often can't recognise when she is saying black or red
> and marks her wrong even when she isn't!!! (Must be our Aussie accent)
> As for generalisation to other tasks - like Olivia Newton John on the
> Nintendo DS ad, she does think that she feels a bit 'sharper' on the days
> she has done her 'brain training' - but there is certainly nothing very
> scientifically reliable about this hunch!
> Is there some skill in particular you were interested in?
> Helen Grimmett
> > Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 17:28:42 -0700
> > From: Mike Cole <email@example.com>
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: When does an action begin and end?: font
> > characteristics vsword meaning
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Message-ID:
> > <email@example.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> > Helen, Steve, et al---
> > The introduction of the stroop test in this context is very interesting
> > with
> > lots of potential connections.
> > Helen -- Could you perhaps provide us with more, or periodic,
> > descriptions
> > of your mom's progress on the various brainiac activities?
> > What is particularly interesting are hints around that the effects of
> > such
> > activity can have effects that generalize beyond the tasks themselves.
> > So far as i know, no one in the cultural historical tradition has gotten
> > into this line of activity, but perhaps others will enlighten me.
> > mike
> > On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 10:21 PM, Duvall, Emily <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >> Hi Helen,
> >> You are certainly correct. Understanding the written symbols certainly
> >> interferes and has an impact on attention. By the way, the link below
> >> allows you to take the stroop test yourself. You can find other
> >> variations at http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/words.html and
> >> Chudler does speak to the ability to read for meaning as interference.
> >> There is also a link to the Nova page and to interference.
> >> I suspect that your mother is experiencing some habituation as she
> >> repeats the activity, however I would guess that the cognitive purpose
> >> is to promote the (re)development of control and attention...
> >> affectively... it's a good time!
> >> ~em
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org]
> >> On Behalf Of Helen Grimmett
> >> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 7:33 PM
> >> To: email@example.com
> >> Subject: [xmca] Re: When does an action begin and end?: font
> >> characteristics vsword meaning
> >> Hi Emily,
> >> Wouldn't young children find the Stroop test easier because their
> >> reading skills are not sufficiently developed to recognise the words
> >> at
> >> sight and therefore decoding the words demands far greater attention
> >> from them than it does for older children or adults. For these
> >> children
> >> it is much easier to ignore the symbolic content of the word because
> >> working that out is harder than recognising the colour of the font.
> >> However for 'sight readers' the symbolic content automatically pops
> >> into
> >> your head and is much more difficult to ignore.
> >> My 74 year old mother has just bought a Nintendo DS and Brain training
> >> game which includes this test. She found it quite difficult at first
> >> but
> >> has improved with practice. I'll have to borrow it and try it out on
> >> my
> >> seven yr old son. He can certainly read the colour words but I wonder
> >> how hard he still has to work to decode the print rather than
> >> recognise
> >> them at sight, and therefore how much easier it is for him to ignore
> >> the
> >> symbolic content and just pay attention to the colour?
> >> Cheers,
> >> Helen Grimmett
> >> > Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:20:17 -0700
> >> > From: "Duvall, Emily" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >> > Subject: RE: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?: font
> >> > characteristics vsword meaning
> >> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
> >> > Message-ID:
> >> > <3B19033D3E2EC34C97DF364119A79A61EBB7F1@EXVS1.its.uidaho.edu>
> >> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >> >
> >> > Hi Steve,
> >> > This is the classic Stroop test. I had some of my grad students in
> >> > psycholinguistics use it this summer - there is a bit more to it,
> >> > but
> >> > essentially we found that younger children have less difficulty
> >> > (grade 2
> >> > and below for example) than older children and that adults have the
> >> > mostdifficulty. This was more of a fun experiment in understanding
> >> > the ways
> >> > the brain lays down its neural pathways such that, while plastic,
> >> > the
> >> > brain lays down some pretty formidable dendritic connections with
> >> > regardto attention.
> >> > http://www.snre.umich.edu/eplab/demos/st0/stroopdesc.html
> >> >
> >> > The left-brain right brain stuff feeds into neuromyths on the
> >> > workings
> >> > of the brain, by the way.
> >> > ~em
> >> >
> >> > -----Original Message-----
> >> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> > [mailto:email@example.com]
> >> > On Behalf Of Steve Gabosch
> >> > Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 3:07 AM
> >> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> > Subject: Re: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?: font
> >> > characteristics vsword meaning
> >> >
> >> > Attached below is a chart I found on the internet some time ago that
> >> > seems relevant to the problem discussed the other week of
> >> > understandingLeontiev's claim that the physical characteristics of
> >> > a text font can be
> >> > relatively unconscious to a reader unless something calls specific
> >> > attention to them.
> >> >
> >> > In this chart, color words like YELLOW, BLUE, RED are printed on a
> >> > chartusing font colors that are different from the word. The
> >> > challenge is to
> >> > look at each word in the chart and say the **color**
> >> > of the font, and ignore the color **word** that the letters form.
> >> > Compare this challenge with doing the opposite, saying the word
> >> > being
> >> > formed, and ignoring the font color. The latter will probably seem
> >> > easier.
> >> >
> >> > This appears to demonstrate that, for some or perhaps many, it is
> >> > easierto read the words and ignore the font color than it is to
> >> > notice the
> >> > color of the font and ignore the word meaning. To do the
> >> > latter seems to take special concentration. Persons affected by
> >> > this
> >> > chart in this manner seem to need . Perhaps this could be seen as a
> >> > demonstration of Leontiev's point. In some ways, it seems to go
> >> > even
> >> > further.
> >> >
> >> > In any case, it is surprising to observe how the meaning of a
> >> > **word**
> >> > can disrupt and least some people's ability to immediately and
> >> > consistently correctly notice and state the color of the **font**
> >> > (whatLeontiev calls the "outward aspect of the text"). The
> >> > symbolic content
> >> > of the words seems to overshadow the physical characteristics of the
> >> > font unless the reader makes a special effort to focus on these
> >> > physicalcharacteristics specifically. The use of color in this
> >> > situation seems
> >> > to exaggerate this general phenomenon.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
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