3) Attentiveness

In the case of the Bunge study, the 7-9-year-olds were put in a game situation that was novel and motivating. Rotating the specific games every fifteen minutes sustained novelty and activated their attentive focus with the spontaneous dopamine release. The students were in an assertive mode through the experience. That occurred because the amygdala recognized the environment as not harmful, but rather rewarding, coordinating the knowledge assimilation with the memory storage banks in the hippocampus, initiating the creation of dendrites and their synaptic connection to existing nerve axons. In a tense or boring environment, this assimilation will be bypassed as the amygdala responds in a flight or fight mode.

Attentive focus coincides, then, with the brain coordinating neuroplasticity, the growth of nervous tissue in the brain. It is accelerated when environmental cues are interpreted as rewarding or pleasurable. Dopamine is released and initiates the attentive focus. The nerve axons in the memory storage area, the hippocampus, will be stimulated and the individual's focus will produce extensions to the nerve cells called dendrites and those dendrites will make synaptic connections to the axon body.

Bunge, S., Mackey, Hill, Stone, (2011). Differential effects of reasoning and speed training in children, Developmental Science, Volume 14, Issue 3, 582–590

photo: kids-girl-pencil-drawing  Pixabay