Can Self-Talk Implement Success or Failure?
Can Self-Talk Implement Success or Failure?
When you were a little kid, you probably talked out loud to yourself.
Maybe you had an invisible playmate. Perfectly normal. Today you
hold internal dialogues, but they are silent.
A survey of scientists indicates it is common to ask questions and discuss
possibilities between yourself, you, and your shadow. We test our ideas internally,
even before make written or word processing notes.
Problem/Solution is a standard format. Later we take the best results and hold dialogue with others to test our ideas.
If you are in first-grade and just learned to read sentences or have a PhD
and write textbooks, you hear every word you read on the page, in your mind.
Specifically, internal dialogue occurs in our Primary Auditory Cortex.
It is like you have a homunculus (little man) Sports announcer in your brain reading the sentences on the page to you.
Oh yeah, auditory reinforcement, hearing the words as you read or write them,
improves your concentration and your long-term memory.
The secret is Congress never passed a law that you had to hear each-and-every-word you read. You do not have to hear each syllable or word pronounced
slowly and articulately.
Listen please - you can slide across them quickly, and depend on your eyes to remember the shape of the words - not the sounds. Why? Mentally pronouncing
each syllable of a word slows you down to a snail. It aint necessary for learning and
memory to take place.
Listening to our Inner Speech (internal dialogue) is an auditory cue (trigger) for the
comprehension of complex ideas. It makes learning easier - at the cost of slowing down to a crawl.
Second reason for self-talk is to improve memory. Aging affects memory for most
of us (not SpeedLearners). When we engage in an internal conversation about the
steps of doing something - put the letter in your pocket, go to the mailbox, and
double-check the address, and drop it in - is a little story that improves memory.
If you absolutely want to remember where you parked the car or placed the house
keys - you need to be little creative beyond just telling yourself - do it.
Cognition and long-term memory works when our brain recognizes the
memory-trick as unique, novel, and even weird.
Picture the owl that delivers letters in the Harry Potter movies and books.
See him mentally sitting on your left shoulder. Guaranteed you will remember
to mail your own letter.
Make a short mental movie of a six-foot pickle reading a letter - Out-of-Proportion.
Any exaggeration, ridiculous appearance, or funny (humorous) idea causes our mind to take note and remember. Associate the thing you want to remember with
the jerky mental picture and you own it.
Recording Electrical Brain Activity
MIT released brain research December 16, 2006 (published in Nature Neuroscience,
authored by D. Ji et al.) explaining the purpose for electrical bursts of noise in the brain. The researchers could replay the actual dialogue recorded.
Get this: there is an ongoing dialogue between the hippocampus and neocortex
in our brain. The hippocampus lays down initial memories occurring through our
During non-dreaming sleep our neocortex (thinking, organizing, and analyzing brain structure) communicates with the hippocampus and decides what to retain for long-term memory (important), and what to delete (junk mail).
The neocortex consists of the neurons on the outer surface of brain organizing conscious thought and long-term memories.
Four Kinds of Learning Styles
We all use all four, but favor one over the other three.
a) Visual/Verbal - they absorb information best by reading. Their brain
learns quickest by using the written language format. What else?
Power-Point, textbooks, and outlines. Think in terms of words.
b) Visual/Non-Verbal - these folks learn best by seeing Visual Aids.
Show them a DVD, maps, tables, charts, pictures, and icons. Use
symbols to communicate best with their brain.
c) Kinesthetic/Tactile - these learners favor math, engineering, and
science. They love hands-on learning. Procedural memory includes
learning to ride a bike, drive a car, use computer and Internet, and
typing. They favor the sense of touch, and live demonstrations.
d) Auditory learners - they learn by listening to a droning professor
and remember the rhythm of his speech. These folks do very well in
team (group) learning. They capture the sound of words, together
with the ideas behind the spoken word.
Auditory learns love CDs and MP3s, and practically memorize them.
They even learn from hearing their own presentations.
Coda: when you are communicating with a group, include something
for each of these four learning styles - cover the bases. Each of use uses all four styles, but one is dominant. Auditory is favored by 30%,
Visual - both verbal and non-verbal is used by about 51%. The balance, around 20% is Tactile/Kinesthetic dominant.
The latest research indicates that lifelong learning improves longevity - some
neuroscientist belief up to 10-15 years. Dr. Yaacov Stern, Columbia University
Medical Center writes we can lower the risk of Alzheimer and other forms of
dementia by lifelong learning.
Would you have a major competitive career benefit by the skill of reading three
books, articles, and reports in the time your peers can hardly finish one?
We suggest you 3x your reading and 2x your long-term memory - it is health improving, and contributes to your longevity. Ask us how - now.
copyright 2009 H. Bernard Wechsler