Personal meaning - your golden key to memory
The brain contains a meaning network of neurones. They need to be activated to create a long term memory. - There you know it all now!
There has been a vast amount of study that highlights the value of meaning in survival and creating a memory that will last over time.
The science of learning
Science is by definition looking at what is, to better understand it. It does not necessarily create something, it just observes it in a frame of reference. The scientist will look at a subject that is meaningful to that individual, him or her. Their behaviour demonstrates that we will only learn things that are meaningful to us. Their topic of interest means that they learned a huge amount about that subject.
The “mastermind” TV shows are a demonstration of this phenomenon. The contestant will be displaying a level of knowledge on a subject that is not of interest to us, so we are amazed by what they know. If by chance their topic is also of interest to us, we may think that we could also answer all those “tricky questions”.
You're shouting the answers at the TV!
So what has science shown us?
Science has observed that without meaning, the brain will NOT create new memories!
When we look at the body, biology, neuroscience and genetics, we can see that learning and meaning are siblings “joined at the hip”.
The biology of learning tells us that we each have a group of neurologic structures that form a network in the brain that MUST be stimulated by incoming information before we can form a long term memory. When this network is stimulated, we unlock this area of the brain and the memory pathways are stimulated or activated. This stimulation causes more neurotransmitters and neurons to be produced so that the learning network and the memory tissue can be built. This will make space for the memory.
We now understand that if the individual does not find meaning, then all the teaching effort “falls on deaf ears”. Common turns of phrase have identified the brain that has locked itself. The brain won’t accept new information because there is no meaning trigger to unlock the neurologic structures that will allow a memory to be created. How interesting!!
The magic key to learning is in your hand
Meaningful information leads to a neurochemical cascade that is central to memory formation and a personal sense of fulfilment and relevance. This is why finding our personal meaning is a central key to a flow state of personal fulfilment and flow.