Neurological Education and the Representation of Knowledge in Art

Cruceru CM

Published on: 2019-10-18

Abstract

The total research is based on scientific discoveries on the brain, psychology and neurology to develop theories and methods that enhance the development of learning and improve cognitive and motor skills of the individual. In this article we will only explain some aspects. The total research is bold and needs a life dedicated to study, however, my desire is to make the reader understand the importance of creating programs based on clinical studies and also how these discoveries applied in the field of art can be transferred to other disciplines. John T Bruer explains in an educational publication the objections of neuroscientists to brain-based education. When analyzing the demands of the right brain with respect to the left, one problem is people's credulity in traditional theories about the brain. Traditional theories are imprecise in their instruction and what science affirms is that it is scientifically useless to project cognitive abilities (arithmetic, spatial perception, logic, reasoning...), in one cerebral hemisphere or in another. However, this does not mean that brain-based educational theories should not be practiced; they should be used when the impact they have on student learning is demonstrated.

Keywords

Brain; Psychology; Neurology; Motor skills; Clinical studies

Introduction

This work is a summary of a research proposal in the field of applied cognitive neuroscience and artistic education, with the possibility of being applied to other areas and disciplines. It is a compilation and research work drawn from the conclusions that comprise my proposed PhD study in cognitive neuroscience. I thank the Journal of Community Medicine and Health Research for the trust and privilege that I have to work for this article. The total research is based on scientific discoveries on the brain, psychology and neurology to develop theories and methods that enhance the development of learning and improve cognitive and motor skills of the individual. In this article we will only explain some aspects. The total research is bold and needs a life dedicated to study, however, my desire is to make the reader understand the importance of creating programs based on clinical studies and also how these discoveries applied in the field of art can be transferred to other disciplines. John T Bruer explains in an educational publication the object tions of neuroscientists to brain-based education. When analyzing the demands of the right brain with respect to the left, one problem is people's credulity in traditional theories about the brain. Traditional theories are imprecise in their instruction and what science a?rms is that it is scientifically useless to project cognitive abilities (arithmetic, spatial perception, logic, reasoning...), in one cerebral hemisphere or in another. However, this does not mean that brain-based educational theories should not be practiced; they should be used when the impact they have on student learning is demonstrated [1]. Therefore, to find out how learning works I have gone to the origins, starting to study the neuronal activity when learning to be able to draw conclusions that explain brain phenomena. As the brain gains knowledge, it processes sensory impulses and encodes them in what we call knowledge, which remains a mystery. Science has not yet discovered this, we do not know if in fact it is a strict process isolated to the brain or if it is independent. Even so, this short article talks about these concerns and bases the importance and application of this knowledge in the improvement of educational processes in general and in art in particular.

Neural Activity And Knowledge

I have always been fascinated by people who can understand multiple meanings from a single signifier. This characteristic is inherent in infants, divergent thinking develops in childhood, and as time passes and adulthood is reached, linear thinking predominates. However there are some adults who have both capacities developed and can select when to use one, the other or the two combined. Da Vinci said that the whole human being was the one who could combine his reason with his feelings. It is about the perception of reality, and the modes, or neural circuits that we have developed du-ring childhood and that form a model of perception. The manifestation of what we know by how we speak, gesticulate or write has its origin in the neuronal models. As an art teacher I have been able to observe the discrepancies between students around the same work. The experiment is always the same, I put a glass in front of everyone, which is very simple to draw, because it is a perforated axial cylinder. Then I tell them to draw what they see. The results are always the same, some students finish the exercise in a minute and they don't draw the glass I gave them but they produce their own idea of a glass. That is to say, although they see the object itself, they cannot represent it. Because there are people who achieve and others who fail to develop their perception and faithfully reproduce reality, we can investigate methods and causes to enhance and improve neural interface systems. Throughout the history of art it is observed that the development of the perceptive abilities of the artist has been one of the key elements in the creation of the works, in their distinction and transcendence in the universal art history. It is interesting for this study the origin of the creation in the brain and the representation of knowledge. Representation is the product of neural activity, so if we analyze this outcome we can see the patterns of neural activity related to knowledge and perception. We do not know exactly how this discovery can be applied in other areas to improve brain performance, however there is no doubt that it is a potential field of study. Now this idea of research is only the beginning because in many cases no matter how much the neural activity is increased as a method of brain stimulation through exercises the student does not absorb more knowledge or improvement in the execution. We can observe some neuronal "behaviors" if we analyze the learning patterns. On the other hand we can analyze if the reason of the increase of knowledge, the learning process is caused by the increase of the neuronal activity. However, due to the ambiguous results we must recognize that knowledge is not strictly linked to neuronal activity, therefore it may be that knowledge is the product of an independent system.

Visual Perception

Much has been speculated that perception is a subjective field, and the idea that the perception and creation of art is also subjective is very vague. This idea is the reason why many people who wish to approach art do not understand what they see. This happens because we perceive art by relating it to ideas, without exploring it through the senses [2]. The concept or idea of the work of art appears dissociated from what we perceive, and it is reasoned through abstractions of what we suppose the  work means [3]. A profound way of learning to see, for example, the world of Michelangelo, means perceiving the particularities, lights, shadows, nuances, the expressions in his creations and the message that all this communicates, through the immediacy of the senses [4]. The important thing is to give time to the brain to perceive the details to be able to understand the work as a whole afterwards. But how do we improve our perception? How do we stimulate the neurons? Well, the functioning of the neuron is widely researched, and also how to represent the neuronal activity to produce information or knowledge. There are studies that show that there is a third element between the neuron and the execution of what the neuron learns [5,6]. Neurons are seen as specialized cells for communication with other neurons or cell types. Biological neuronal communication is done through synapses, which are electrical or electrochemical signal junctions. Therefore at some point it makes sense to reason that through neuronal stimulation cognitive and motor skills increase [7]. This is valid but only for some people. Neurons form networks, forming structures that operate functions in the brain. It can be seen how neurons are grouped into a set of regions called nodes, which are linked to other nodes or regions in order to perform operations [8]. Networks are coupled together to form other network systems depending on the type of node forming stratified layers containing the same type of edge [9]. There are also studies that show how networks that contain the same link structure and other networks that contain the same content structure are merged [10]. We could say by making an analogy that the link structure operates the motor skill of execution during the production of images when drawing. While the structure of the content operates by collecting visual information as we observe what we draw. This is an analogy for understanding the di?erence between structures. Data that has been fixed over time creates grouping sequences to which new data is added, in this case the new visual stimuli when drawing. These visual stimuli reach the neural nodes in- flouncing the behavior of the nodes to transmit the information they receive in relation to the influence and similarity with what they previously learned [11]. This leads us to suspect that then if it is true that the more an individual contemplates an object he wants to draw, or a work of art, the more visual impulses on the same subject he will have and as a consequence, his neural nodes will run the information in a similar mode of perception, and will store this information depending on the impact, frequency, or content of the impute produced. Even so, because a single object has multiple details, shape, size, thousands of shades, lights, shadows, it is necessary to give the brain time to process all this information.

Neuronal Function

Neuronal, optical and electrophysiological study techniques record the activity of neurons, but it is not possible to study a large number of neurons at once. It is only possible to study a restricted number of neurons as neurons behave by observing the elective activity between them. When measuring electrical activity, two factors must be taken into account: space and time. Studies show how there is neuronal activity that extends from milliseconds to months, and the area of the neuronal network being studied, can be from a few microns to centimeters [12]. It is di?cult to understand the reasons for how visual stimulation is distributed and how it is fixed at the neuronal level. This is because the time of synapses is very fast, and in vitro neuronal reconstruction techniques are limited, and so far is the only technique used to be tested for the study. Even so, deciphering neuronal behaviors is a mystery, what has been discovered so far positions us so to speak only the beginning. However, all the processes of neuronal behavior described give us some ideas to be able to understand a series of behaviors that are repeated in the activity of drawing, either in adults or in children. If we apply these theories to the discipline of art, we could propose di?erent didactic methods for di?erent purposes, such as the improvement of cognitive and motor skills, perceptive skills. An example of exercises during the research we have carried out at the National University of Art in Austria was to carry out in short times of thirty seconds repetitions of drawing of the same object, sometimes with closed eyes, drawing from memory or with the left hand, among other tests [13]. These exercises showed some interesting and unknown data about short-term perception, emotions, even distortion of reality under extreme conditions. The development of these skills can serve as a basis for other fields of study not only in education or medicine. If we understand our functioning at the cellular, neuronal and biological level we observe how these functions restrict us to function and think in a certain way [14]. This without taking into account the genetic predisposition and the environmental factors. At this point it is important to recognize that the limitations of the technique in terms of neuronal measurements, only to have the possibility of in vitro study, based on neuronal reconstructions and other problems lead us to continue investigating through more traditional ways so to speak. In addition to the biological evidence being discovered, cognitive neurology studies these learning processes as a global brain unit. Taking into account the solid psychological theories that can be applied to the field of art such as gestalt, theories on visual perception or other discoveries that were adapted to create, for example, the didactic method of the “Modality R“ . Also relevant are other studies on anomalies of perception or how distorted perception caused by addictive behaviors influences the perception. The distorted perception of reality a?ects the behavior, because the neural circuits are a?ected and do not perceive clearly. This is why it is not possible to expect maximum performance or learning in some students or patients. The results of these analogous drawings are then used as an empirical basis in Order to draw conclusions about neuronal "behavior". Afterwards it is possible to speculate and construct new methods or correct existing ones.

Conclusion

There are more methods of research but we have only limited ourselves to a few because they have passed the test of time proving to be reliable and also because they were used as a theoretical basis for experimentation during research. An important note is to emphasize that a large part of the psychological studies that are applied in schools are based on the brain as a whole unit. Also we should not leave aside the psychology studies that explain the learning processes that take place in the brain as a global unit. Finally we must be aware that it is not exclusively the task of science to solve the problems linked to learning and education. It must also be the concern of each of us, whether we are teachers, fathers, sons and daughters, friends, to teach by exemplifying dignified and honest behavior to all those around us, giving stability, confidence, hope and education. This is the most powerful weapon with which we can build a healthy identity, a family, a society, a culture, a nation.

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