George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Importance of Emotions in Learning and the Relationship with ADHD

The Importance of Emotions in Learning and the Relationship with ADHD

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Neuro education is a new discipline in which converge the knowledge generated by the neuroscience, education and psychology that we can provide meaningful information on the teaching and learning process.

The Neuro education leverages the knowledge about how the brain works integrated with the psychology, sociology and medicine, in an attempt to improve and enhance both the learning processes of the students, such as education on the part of the teachers.

The Neuro education is based on the principle that the emotion and cognition are processes that go together and that are interrelated to give as a final result the conduct of the subject.

When a subject is located in an environment to stimulate, all information is sensorial, and is processed by the limbic system or emotional brain, before being processed by the cerebral cortex in their areas of association and front, (mental processes, cognitive, strategic). This makes the thoughts and the cognitive functions and intellectuals (ideas, thoughts, attention, memory, planning, direction of the conduct) are "contaminated" by the emotions (memories, fears, wishes, interests).

So that the cognitive processing, for which you are creating the thought, is already being done with these basic elements (abstract) that have a meaning, pleasure or pain, of good or evil, of attraction or rejection. Hence the intrinsic emotion throughout rational process, which entails learning.

This defines the status of the rights, as emotional beings primarily and in a second term rational beings.

The actions that we understand as rational or planned depend on the emotional pollution subject (previous experiences, traumatic situations or pleasurable, personal satisfaction or anguish) and the socio-emotional environment where it operates the subject, i.e. the emotional response. All this determines our cognitive processes and learning.

The significant learning in the learning process of a subject, which opens the door to learning is the emotion. This awakens in people, curiosity, the interest and therefore the focus of attention.

The attention is born of something that can mean reward (pleasure) or punishment (danger) and which therefore have to do, I say once more, with the survival of the individual.

Look at what interests us because it gives us a positive reward or because we avoided a reward negative. What is not significant for us, does not give rise to our attention.

The positive rewards in the case of children depend of course of the age and the context. What is significant and attractive for a preschooler, it is not for one of primary or secondary school. This implies that the significance of the learning varies depending on the person before us to learn or to teach. This makes the process of learning something personal and intrinsic to the emotion and characteristics of the subject.

In the case of pupils with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) this has a greater significance, since their reward mechanisms are altered by the very presence of the disorder, preventing further the focusing of attention on the stimulus.

The attentional effort in the ADHD is directly related with the interest or motivation that raises a task, stimulus, or person. This explains how students with ADHD get best results, learn from optimally the contents, obtain better scores and qualifiers more positive those teachers with that empathizing, take into consideration their needs offer them support, or they reinforce and encourage the work and effort.

And on the other hand have worse results in those areas or subjects where there is no stimulates both the excitement and the autorrefuerzo, support, the presentation of the contents is monotonous and linear, non-integrates with programming or related experiences and the student does not take an active role in the learning process.

Children and adolescents attend, learn and memorize more and better those things that have been interesting, which has led them to recall personal things, where have been identified, which has given rise to a positive emotion or negative, i.e. those programming obtained or lived in their own experience.

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