Article

The Mind-Body Connection in Learning

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Abstract

Discusses how humans learn and describes the workings of the human brain and the complex connection between the mind, the body, and learning performance. (JOW)

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... Neurologists have claimed that the region of the brain that processes movement, the cerebellum, is the same region that processes the movement of thought (Strick, Dum, & Fiez, 2009; Flanagan, Vetter, Johansson, & Wolpert, 2003; Weiss, 2001). The discovery that the same brain anatomy was active during both movement and thought processing became an integral part of brain-based learning theory. ...
... Even the most elementary movement (such as walking) causes neural firing to activate in the deepest, most foundational areas of the cerebellum. Several researchers claimed that the cerebellum, which processes movement, also processes thought and pertains to memory (Katz & Steinmetz, 2002; Middleton & Strick, 2001; Weiss, 2001). In brain images, the cerebellum activates, or it shows an increase of glucose and oxygen metabolism, as a result of motion. ...
... Corbin (2008) claimed movement should be a part of the learning environment no matter the age of the participants. Exercise keeps the brain activated, and research has shown that physical movement affects thought and creates optimal learning states (Weiss, 2001; Corbin, 2008). Since the brain requires 20 percent of the body's intake of nutrition, oxygen, and blood flow, one must be cognizant of the influence of these components. ...
... In addition, through pioneering brain imaging technologies and genetic mapping, neuroscientists have learned more about the brain in the past decade than in all previous history (Quartz and Sejnowski, 2002). A new discipline known as cognitive neuroscience is beginning to make the connections between mindbody-context and how adults learn and continue learning throughout life (Weiss, 2001). The most prominent theorist to focus on the individual adult learner is Knowles (1970 Knowles ( , 1980), who proposed andragogy, " the art and science of teaching adults, " as a learning theory unique to adults. ...
This chapter describes a four-lens model for understanding adult learning theories and provides adult educators and administrators with a useful conceptual framework for working with adult learners in adult degree programs.
... Emotional and spiritual wellness can be promoted by incorporating somatic instruction and learning into aerobic classes. Weiss (2001) explained that minds and bodies work together to help people pay attention and solve problems through physiological states supporting mental efforts. Learning states can be optimized through movement and exercise. ...
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