Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fear and Learning part 2

I had some great questions about the post below regarding fear and learning. Still working on finding someone to video the presentations and may be able to round up some other presenters.

If you or anyone you know can shoot a DVD for a reasonable price, drop a note in the comments or email me directly at michaelTnelson AT yahoo DOT com.

See this post below for background:

Erasing Human Fear Response? New Study

Here is a condensed, bare bones outline.

Higher tension = greaer potential for higher threat (fear)= increased amygdala response, so more "fear mediated" learning.

Fear mediated learning works, but at a high cost (more collateral damage)

Extreme case is post traumatic stress disorder. Can we block "collateral damage" with beta blockers? The study referenced in the blog post above says yes.

Perhaps decreased heart rate (HR) could have a similar effect? Is the combination of increased HR and adrenaline the mechanism to "burn it in"?

Less threat (fear) + positive cues= more dopamine= increased neuro chunking = better motor learning (cool study showing that dopamine was required for chunking, blocked it with drugs and no chunking)

For those that don't know--chunking is the ability to combine more "primitive" motor movements into a more complicated task; so it is critical for motor learning.

Effects on Pain?
Being in chronic pain tends to mediate more fear based learning.

You need to be able to move without pain and then not to EXPECT pain with movements.

Thoughts? Make any sense?
Rock on
Mike T Nelson