If the new information fits easily with the old

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Unformatted text preview: neuron until there is a pattern or network of neuronal connections firing together. This sequence is initiated in response to the thousands of stimuli we experience every moment of our lives. Our neurons stay in a state of readiness for hours or even days after one of these firing events, but if the pattern is not stimulated again, the neuronal network will decay so that our brain does not get cluttered with useless information. If the pattern is repeated while the neurons are in a state of readiness and the pattern of neurons fires together again, the network of connections becomes more permanent. 2 Crossroads: Popular Music in America (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 Each of the approximately 100 billion neurons and its thousands of neighbors intertwine to form an extraordinarily complex, integrated network of about 100 trillion constantly changing connections. Through repetition, these patterns of connections are strengthened and we “learn” and “remember.” On the other hand, if the connections are never or seldom repeated, the associated network dissolves and we “forget.” The axon is the primary mechanism for sending the information (teach), the dendrites are the primary way by which our neurons receive information (learn), and everything that we know and understand is preserved in the networks created by this exchange of information. You are an adult, so when you learn, you are building upon or modifying networks you created earlier in your life. If the new information fits easily with the old information, the existing network is strengthened and the information is said to be “assimilated.” If the new information challenges the existing information sufficiently that the existing structure needs to be revised, it is said to be “accommodated.” The more dendrites you have on which to hang or attach new information, the easier it is to learn and retain new information. This is why it is so difficult to learn information about something for which we have absolutely no background, and much easier to add new information in areas about which we are already quite knowledgeable. Furthermore, on a general basis, the greater number of basic neuronal networks you have, the easier it is to form more...
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