AMYGDALA HIJACK

AMYGDALA HIJACK

AMYGDALA HIJACK

Have you ever waited for someone to respond to an important message and think the worst of the person if they didn’t respond in exactly the time you expected them to? Has your heart ever raced before you stepped on the stage to make a presentation? Has your heart ever skipped a beat when you saw your best friend and your worst enemy share a sneaky smile when you walked past them? Have you sensed changes like an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, shallow and rapid breathing, have you noticed a heat flush on your face, tightened neck and jaw? If yes, then you have suffered an amygdala hijack.

Conflict wreaks havoc on our brains. We are readied by evolution to protect ourselves whenever we sense a threat. In our modern context, we don’t fight like a wild buffalo with a tigress or run away like a rabbit from a fox. But our basic impulse to protect ourselves is automatic and unconscious. In Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ the amygdala is called the brain’s “smoke detector.” It’s responsible for detecting fear and preparing our bodies for emergency response. When we perceive a threat, the amygdala sounds off the alarm, releasing chemicals in the body, preparing us for fight or flight

Imagine you get locked in one of the bathrooms of your house, (without your phone in hand) the door just slams shut behind you, you have a 5 years old child at home who is home with you. Would your initial response be 1. to try to turn or yank the door handle vigorously till it falls out or 2.cry or scream or 3. to stay calm and compose yourself, breathe and then let your thinking brain give you insight into the best alternative way out, like telling your child (who by now understands instructions) to turn the handle on the door from the other side and push hard since you hadn’t really locked the door) or tell your child to call your spouse / relative / neighbor etc

You probably would respond using points 1 and 2, and of course, you will eventually move on to point 3 and see more clearly within a few minutes. Now let’s use this example and imagine what happens in your brain.

The amygdala immediately shuts the door (bathroom) to the thinking brain (master bedroom, in other words, it shuts down the neural pathway to our prefrontal cortex) so we can become disoriented in a frantic stressful situation or a heated conversation. Complex decision-making disappears, as does our access to multiple solutions or perspectives.

As our attention narrows, we find ourselves trapped in the one or two solutions that makes us feel the safest: “I’m right and you’re wrong,” (like repeatedly yanking or turning the door handle till it falls off) even though we ordinarily see more solutions or perspectives and are more objective in a normal situation. When you finally calm down and start to feel more relaxed, the amygdala opens the door to the thinking brain (master bedroom) and lets the solutions flow. Do you want to know how to get out of the ‘stuck in the bathroom’ situation? This is where mindfulness helps

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Evolve With Azvasa LMS

Evolve With Azvasa LMS

Education sector has to be an ever-evolving sector, to keep the learners prepared and ahead of time. The academic year 2020, will be earmarked in the field of education, for bringing about a change in the education system, through two major developments. The first being the pandemic that changed the mode of delivery and learning and the second being the National Education Policy -2020, which is bringing about a change in what to deliver and learn, making the education system child-friendly.

“Life throws challenges, and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it”- Amit Ray. This is exactly what we at Azvasa also strongly believe in, Converting every challenge into an opportunity.

We have developed a comprehensive Learning Management System, which has all the resources for required for content delivery, reinforcement, evaluation, analysis of student performance, continuous professional development of the educators. We proudly share that we have thought ahead of time and have developed the LMS to cater to the 21st Century teaching and learning scenario. The platform is dynamic and keeps evolving to ensure that we offer the best to educators and learners. With the NEP and CBSE guidelines working towards bringing about a shift in the education pattern, we have scaffolded our platform and have the resources prerequisite for the same, in the form of:

Competency-based questions

With an aim of preparing the students for the future, we have a rich repository of questions focusing on developing the competency of the students. Case studies are one of the best methods of developing competency skills in students. We have a rich repository of case studies from Grades 8-10. Although the CBSE recommendation of case study is from Grade 9, we believe in preparing the students ahead in time, so that they are able to adapt to the changes easily. Hence we have the case studies introduced in Grade 8 on our LMS platform. These case studies have questions based on Local, Global, and inferential. We strongly discourage rote learning and are rightly aligned with the NEP guidelines in ensuring that there is concept clarity. Competency development is possible only when the learners have an in-depth understanding of concepts. We achieve this through the vertical progression model.

Vertical Progression

The learning material on our platform is mapped to the concept tree, ensuring that the concepts are clear before proceeding further. The concept tree ensures that the students climb up the ladder, by taking one step at a time. The concepts are mapped from Grade 10 to the Primary grades which ensure that there is an in-depth understanding of the concepts. The interdisciplinary approach that we follow ensures that the students are honing their academic understanding along with skills developed and values as emphasized in the NEP guidelines.

Enhanced Learning Outcomes-

Students learn better when they are inclined to learn. As educators our opportunities to elicit change and spur creativity are endless. Our platform has self-explanatory, interactive revision modules after every chapter, with concepts reinforced through concept map, infographics, Venn diagrams. These revision modules enhance the understanding of the students and the teachers can keep a tab on their progress through the quiz, which is skill-based and of the formative pattern.

Mobile App-

 Education is now all about empowering the learner not just through style but also through access. We have a mobile app for the students, making the learning resources available at their fingertips. The mobile app can be accessed through any smartphone and makes learning seamless for the students.

We have seen a shift in student performance and teacher effectiveness in the schools that have implemented our LMS. Our services are spread across the country, and we are ever willing to extend our services to more and more schools to raise the standard of education.

A Learned Behaviour

A Learned Behaviour

So here is a Story – Once upon a time, there was baby Gabbar Singh, who grew up to be exploitative and a criminal. Yes, I know, you have read so much about Nature versus the Nurture principle and figured, that we need a mix of both to be ‘Who We Are!’ So, let me take you through the probable causes of why ‘Baby Singh’ became ‘Gabbar Singh’. And this is my theory completely. Ready

So when Baby Singh was born, he was born as a blank slate, with genes that supported a lot of his physical characteristics that made him similar to his parents, other species of our kind (people) and to Orangutans (as per the research explained in the previous articles). Baby Singh had no knowledge and no skills at this point, however, Baby Singh had genes that would support his learning and develop his interest to learn. Learn what, you may ask and from whom or what? Do you remember the 1% genes that underlie differences in people’s personalities, our characteristics, our traits, our experiences, our practices (from the previous article)? Yes, that is the gene that I am referring to. Now let us shift our focus from my theory to scientifically proven theories

A paper is written by Dr Kevin M. Beaver from Florida State University and Dr Brian B. Boutwell at Sam Houston State University on Criminology, focussed on whether genes could likely cause a person to become a life-course-persistent offender which is characterised by anti-social behaviour during childhood that could later progress to violent or serious criminal acts later in life. Brian said there is no gene for criminal behaviour. He said crime is a learned behaviour.

“But there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands, of genes that will incrementally increase your likelihood of being involved in a crime even if it only intensifies that probability by 1 percent,” he said. “It still is a genetic effect. And it’s still important.” The link between genes and crime is a divisive issue in the criminology discipline, which has primarily focused on environmental and social factors that cause or influence deviant behaviour. So, Baby Gabbar Singh learned deviant behavior from his environment through observation!

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Prospective Personality

PROSPECTIVE PERSONALITY

Last week we read there is no gene for criminal behaviour. Crime is learned, just like every other learned and observed behavior. And since baby Gabbar Singh learned from observation, what if he were put in an environment filled with love, compassion, trust, and kindness, what would have been the result of his upbringing?

Let us dwell deeper, by first understanding what are these environmental factors that impact the development of a child. It usually fits into many categories, but we will focus on 3 categories:

  • Physical environment, the child’s home, the family, the bonding, the affection, neighborhood, the state.
  • Emotional environment, which is how well families meet the child’s relational needs at home, the conversations, the emotional moments they share with their family and/or friends.
  • Social environment, which is the child’s relationships, friendships with other children and people

Let us go step by step

We will begin with the effect of the Physical environment on a child’s development, which includes the physical surroundings they are raised in. If the living environment is cramped, noisy and filled with aggression and hurtful comments, our child’s personality will adjust to this aggressive environment and be affected accordingly. If the attention towards the child is divided (s)he may seek out alternative forms of attention which can lead to an emotional distance between the child and us. Similarly, unpleasant surroundings often cause children to block out or bury negativity, making them more introverted

One of the most important influencing factors on a child’s development is Us, ‘the child’s Family’. Irrespective of who is a child’s primary caregiver, the bonding ‘We’ provide at home helps nurture and protect our children both physically and emotionally.

Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence. Remember, our children are watching, observing, learning, what we say, and what we do, they also understand when we lie and when we are fake and then the best thing happens… They PRACTICE what they have Observed and Learnt from their environment……

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Building Environment

BUILDING ENVIRONMENT

“Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence” This is where we left off last week, so I am going to pick it up from here, I had suggested that we need to build the base of our environment. So here are a few strategies to help you create an ENVIRONMENT.

“Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence” This is where we left off last week, so I am going to pick it up from here, I had suggested that we need to build the base of our environment. So here are a few strategies to help you create an ENVIRONMENT.

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99% Same and 1% Different

99% SAME AND 1% DIFFERENT

Did You Know?

Among all the great apes, Orangutans are humans’ most distant cousins. The researchers found that the Human and Orangutan genomes are 97 percent identical. No wonder, we are always so jumpy, restless, playful, sometimes solitary, and attached to our young. Humans share at least 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans but only 2 with chimps and 7 with gorillas. For instance, thickly enamelled molar teeth with flat surfaces, greater asymmetries between the left and right side of the brain, an increased cartilage-to-bone ratio in the forearm, and similarly shaped shoulder blades. So the next time, we see an orangutan, let’s be Respectful!

Well, last week, I initiated the Nature-Nurture angle to understanding who we are, shall we drill a little further to see where it leads us? John Watson, the founder of Behaviourism, said that if we gave him a dozen healthy babies, he could take any one of them at random and train him or her to become any type of person—that he could mould people’s interests, motivations, emotions, abilities, and traits into whatever he chose. The idea that people are born more or less as a blank slate, and gain their personalities through experience and learning, from the environment dominated the early studies, but fizzled out soon…Wondering why?

Let me put it this way. It’s like asking what factors are important in baking a cake—the ingredients, or how the ingredients are prepared (nature) and the process of baking (nurture). You can’t have a cake without both ingredients and a high temperature, and you can’t have a personality without both genetic factors and personal experiences that occur within certain environments. So what have we learned so 

far, more than 99% of every person’s genes are identical to those of every other person and us also share about 97% of our genes with Orangutans, but that 1% of our genes are the genes that make each of us look and act differently from other people. Those genes underlie differences in people’s personalities, our characteristics, our traits, our experiences, our practices and that is where the story of Character Development begins!

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