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Enayla
04-28-2005, 10:29 AM
My mother works with children and yesterday, she came by to my place with two boys that are really interested in drawing. They were, I guess, around six years old or something, maybe younger.

Since I work part time at the university, in a computer lab, I get to demonstrate Wacom tablet and Photoshop and digital painting to a lot of different people. There always seems to be that problem with getting them to understand how the pen works – that it’s not like a mouse ( in other words, well, you don’t ‘scroll’ with it) and that you can’t keep your eyes on the tablet when you’re painting. The older they are, the more difficult it seems to get. There are issues trying to get to the menus, there are problems with putting the nib down on the exact spot they want (such as continuing on a line that you have previously drawn). I always tell them that you learn it, that after a week using the pen it’ll be all right.

The kids though… and I’ve experienced this before, because there have been kids at my job previously… they seem to pick it up intuitively. There is no need to explain. You point and say, you paint there and it shows up there. These two boys were painting with great glee after having watched me do the same for just a few minutes. It was quite amazing to see – the open mindedness. There were no complaints about how ‘stupid’ it is to paint in one place and have it show up in another, in fact, there seemed to be no problems at all with this for them.

So I’m thinking, why do we grow so old and boring, and why do the tools get more and more difficult to learn? I’m aware that children learn more quickly and pick up new tools more easily, but I’m starting to suspect that it is in no small part due to grownups simply being adverse to new things and wanting everything to work exactly like they’re used to (in other words, either precisely like a mouse, or precisely like a normal pen). It was amazing to see these kids paint so smoothly and so instinctually, even though they were young enough that they still held the pen in a clumsy, chubby hand. One of them painted a dinosaur, or was it a crocodile, and the picture was far better than what most of the adults I show the pen to would manage on their first try. I’ve heard artists complain about the stupidness of the tool, about how inconvenient the pen is, how impossible it is to hit the same dot a second time with the nib – so why do two kids, less than six years old, learn so quickly and easily this difficult tool?

And speaking of the tools – how many times haven’t I tried to instruct adults in the use of Photoshop, and ended up with endless amounts of, “it’s impossible”, “too complicated” and people claiming the program is too difficult, yet these boys had no issues, within minutes they could pick their own colours, erase their mistakes and even smudge the lines they were painting.

On another note, wow, it was wonderful to see their excitement over the tablet, over my pictures, over the pictures in Exposé and D’artiste that I showed them. I’m thinking they are two new little artists in making. Mom is going to try to get her work place to order a graphire for the kids to use.

Art2
04-28-2005, 11:55 AM
Enayla, I have a wacom waiting for my son. :) No kidding.
There are also a lot of paint-programs especially made for young kids.

Children these days are familiar with computers at a very young age. They grow up alongside the technological advancement so to speak. It starts with interactive toys, that little piano with that flashy light going on whenever the child presses that particular button. They are not afraid or feeling insecure when they come in contact with the computer. (I've seen my share of grownups trembling at the thought of working with the computer saying: "I'm afraid to push that button...")

I also had a 9 year old playing with my Wacom. After 5 minutes she had no trouble at all working with it. I think she subconsiously understands the hand eye coordination needed for this operation. The interactivity between man and computer that was started at an early age.
Also children start playing computergames at a very early age. Again here they learn that what you see on screen can be manipulated by something not physically connected to the screen.

Kids are amazing.

MrGrinch
04-28-2005, 12:19 PM
I found the same thing when showing my little sister how to use my wacom to draw. Kids are still at that early learning stage where they're just soaking up information and not questioning why or how something works, just appreciating that it does.
Adults on the other hand have gotten used to things working a certain way, as you said, and when things fail to work in the usual way (for example, a line being drawn in a different place from where the pen is) they get confused because it's something they simply took for granted. Adults seem to slow down, if not stop, unconciously learning new things and start to rely on learned knowledge, so when something acts other than the way their brain remembers it should it can take them a bit of effort to process this new information to fit in with what they've long since known.
I've heard, and I believe it's true, that children have a far greater capacity to learn new ideas than adults which is why it's so very important to teach them as much as possible when they're very young...not wait till they're older because "oh, they wont understand, they're not ready". Apparently it sometimes is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

-Vormav-
04-28-2005, 12:30 PM
In a sense, learning to work with computers is like learning a new language. And just as new languages become more difficult to learn the older you get, so does working with a computer.
I can't imagine trying to teach my parents how to use a wacom. I spent an hour trying to explain the concept of "folders" on a computer to my mom (even going as far as to use real folders and file cabinets to put it in terms she could understand), and it ended in complete failure.
I'd also say that kids are probably more willing and enthusiastic towards experimenting with new things. But that really ties into the first explanation a lot.

tayete
04-28-2005, 12:36 PM
Well, I really got surprised when I sat my 3'5 y.o. daughter in front of my old PC and she tried the mouse. In just 5 minutes she knew how it worked!!! I remember myself struggling with that evil thingie for days until I discovered I could just pick it up and put it down again to start at a new point, once I had arrived at the end of the table with it.

Then I told her: "Do you see that small icon with an eye in it? (Adobe's ). Just click on it, click here to start a new 'paper' (she cannot read yet), here to change colours, here to do this...". She played for some minutes with it, and she left. Next day she remembered exactly how everything works!!! Isn't she the most intelligent girl in the world? :love: No, seriously, little kids have some things that make them learn so quickly about computers:

* It is just another game. They don't ought to learn it, they learn it because they want.
* They have time to spend on it.
* It has been there since they were born. Just like the refrigerator, the DVD and the radio...
* And something I find rather funny: they learn so quickly because they don't have an icon culture formed yet. I mean, when I look for the brushes, I search an icon with a brush on it. My sons don't care about that. They know by heart that an scpecific icon means "brushes" and the symbol on it doesn't mean so much but only identifies that button. I cannot explain myself well in English, but I think we have grown into a so highly "iconografic" culture, that we have lost a bit of flexibility...

I only hope in the future we have something like "Minority Report" where we can change things with our hands, even paint with our fingers digitally.

Fly3D
04-28-2005, 12:40 PM
Children by design have an intense natural curiosity of everything. I think as we grow older and experience more we become disinterested in the world around us. We become comfortable and confident in our abilities and place in life and for many adults, stepping out of that comfort zone is scary stuff. It's often easier to voice an opinion that something is "too difficult" or "not worth my time" to learn than to face the fear of being put in a situation where you feel incompetent.

One of the things that most true "geniuses" throughout history have had in common is that they never lost that childhood curiousity. They were always willing to explore new territory even if it meant failure. Their desire to learn and solve problems was more powerful than any fear they may have had of feeling stupid. I think there's a little genius in every child even if it isn't classified by superior intelect. If we as adults can humble ourselves for a minute or so and watch them explore their world, we can learn much from them.

FWIW, my four year old routinely uses my Wacom tablet to draw and paint and he also picked it up very fast (about 2 mins. vs the 2 days it took me to get used to it):)

LadyMedusa
04-28-2005, 12:58 PM
I remeber showing my mom my old wacom back when she was around 40 years old. She immediatly whanted to try it out :). She was of course a bit clumsy to start whit, but learned really fast how to use it. She was also wery exited about it. Same whit my 18 year old brother, but he learned it a bit faster tho'. He's the only one that can even use the wacom at his job, even tho' it's placed on the right-hand side of the computer and he's more left-handed.

Kids are usually more exited about things in general, while some older, or more grown up, people are more affraid to show theire exitements. Affraid to seem childish, I think. You do learn quicker when you're really eager to learn.
I also think that most grown-ups gives up easyer. Maby they think that they are too old for it, or that they wont get time for it - thus no use for learning it, when they fail a couple of times.

I remember that a teatcher told me I was to old for drawing when I was 16, and 3 other teatchers thought I had too mutch fantasy for my age in my essay. I was 14 when the first one said that, and 16 when the last one said so. It totally killed my mental fantasy as I diden't like to write short stories and the likes, stupid me :sad:, I'm trying to regain it now.

I remember showing photoshop to an old friend of mine, before I got the wacom. She diden't understand anything, and she seemed to even refuse to understand. After only 5 minutes she said angryly "Oh you're so damn boring, cant we do anything else? I don't need to know this geeky crap!"

Everyone else I knew were, so to say, grown up whit Photoshop and similar programs, for me it seems basic. I can't really immagine that being hard :/, but I can understand why someone find the stylus hard to understand as most of the grown ups are used to the regular pen and mouse

(sorry for my terrible english)

offbeatworlds
04-28-2005, 01:22 PM
Hmmm...well, while this is incredibly true, I think it also has something to do with how ready one is to learn the tool. When I first got my tablet, I had absolutely no experience with Photoshop or digital anything. I doodled around a little, but nothing really good came out of it (interestingly, I never had the problem of looking at the tablet instead of the screen when drawing...). But that was because I didn't know Photoshop. So I searched around on the internet for a tutorials. Found a few really bad ones, but I colored my first picture digitally with it. Then I found some better ones, and learned some more. When I finally learned about layers I was hooked on it (I'd say that was about nine months after I got my tablet, but it took about 6 months before I colored my first drawing digitally).

Then one day, while browsing around DeviantArt, I discovered digital painting. So I decided to give it a try. I did draw my linework first, and just deleted the lines after I was done, but it still came out alright: http://www.deviantart.com/view/13146297/

After that I got even braver and painted without linework, just from scratch. This was after I'd done only three digital paintings ever. I was painting two pictures simultaniously, one with a references and one without. And they both came out pretty good, especially the one with the reference (it was for my grandmother's 90th birthday). And I've been painting ever since. I think I've only been painting for half a year or so.

Anyways, my point is I think it also has to do with enthusiam and willingness to learn, not just age.

Lystmaler
04-28-2005, 01:34 PM
Children learn more becouse adults are discouraged to keep it on, beocuse they expect that other people are waiting insainly great result's in a minute, if they do not have it that fast, they are not intresting at all. So if we all learned to lought at every effort we made and failed, and if we learned to apriciate every effort everybody else did, we would be learning and teaching everything at once.

And when children try to learn something, they "play" with it with full enthusiam, becouse some people will like it nomather what it looks like, and they got no target on how good they want to be. While adult artist's normally think "I need to get as good as Leonardo Da Vinci or else I'm waisting time!" and that way of thinking is verry damagin to your motivation.

Ilikesoup
04-28-2005, 08:25 PM
I found the same thing when showing my little sister how to use my wacom to draw. Kids are still at that early learning stage where they're just soaking up information and not questioning why or how something works, just appreciating that it does.
Adults on the other hand have gotten used to things working a certain way, as you said, and when things fail to work in the usual way (for example, a line being drawn in a different place from where the pen is) they get confused because it's something they simply took for granted. Adults seem to slow down, if not stop, unconciously learning new things and start to rely on learned knowledge, so when something acts other than the way their brain remembers it should it can take them a bit of effort to process this new information to fit in with what they've long since known.
I've heard, and I believe it's true, that children have a far greater capacity to learn new ideas than adults which is why it's so very important to teach them as much as possible when they're very young...not wait till they're older because "oh, they wont understand, they're not ready". Apparently it sometimes is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Well said! :thumbsup:
For kids, it's like their O/S isn't totally formed so you can still introduce new ways for them to process information, whether it's graphic (drawing or crafts), verbal (foreign language), math (every 5 years or so theres a "new" math method) or something else. I think it's the same quirk that allows kids to believe there are monsters in the closet or that they can fly if they practice hard enough.

I think of myself as open minded, but hear myself using the phrase "that doesn't make sense" more and more often. My wife will me about a news report -- a new diet craze or congress signing a new bill -- and out pops the phrase. As adults we can't believe everything we hear. We pick the beliefs that fit together the best and they become our governing philosophy. If something doesn't fit with our belief system it's either illogical or we have to change our whole belief system. That stinks. I have a hard enough time keeping my closet organized. :rolleyes:

StealthPharaoh
04-28-2005, 08:37 PM
it's just whatever u're used to..older people new to photoshop and digital painting are just not used to it..so it will take more time to change and adapt but for kids it's just something new and fresh.
like when i play video games (Tekken baby..lol) i'm used to certain buttom conf. my mind knows where the buttoms are at and i just do it withought thinking. change the buttom conf. for me and i'll have hard time getting used to it and i won't like it even though they will have the same functions.

on a side note..why teach the kids to use wacom when they're still so young..give them real colors and papers, it's so much fun to miss out..i'm not trying to argue about digital vs traditional..i just think traditional media can be more fun specially for kids and probably more rewarding in the long run..if they start with digital stuff it will be so hard for them to change to traditional later if they wanted to. they will proabably have harder time than those who are trying to change from traditional to digital.

asongforOphelia
04-28-2005, 08:54 PM
Quoted from Tayete:
* It is just another game. They don't ought to learn it, they learn it because they want.

I definately think this is true. I remember when I was little and I was just learning how to play around on the computer. (My parents were and are complete nerds.) I used to call it "play the computer" even when I was sitting in Word Perfect typing up a story. It wasn't until 6th or 7th grade that I started to say "use the computer".

I also agree that when you grow up with computers around you and have good coordination between screen and hands, then it is much, much easier to learn. You could draw a line between typing and using a tablet, too. I see a lot of people at my high school who type with one finger or two fingers because they didn't grow up typing a lot. When they get put in the "Computer Tech" classes, forced to type the right way, they get frustrated because it uses up more brain energy.

Another interesting thing between tablets and real paper is that there's a ratio involved. A tablet's surface relates to the whole screen no matter how big it is, and I think kids, since they're versitle and learn quickly, pick up on that faster.

jmBoekestein
04-28-2005, 08:58 PM
I really have to admit that it's thelack of an adventurous nature imo. The first day that I got my wacom I caught on like that. I was actually more comfortable with it than normal pen and paper.

If they lack a thirst for new things they won't see them. I like learning new things, I explore things and places and look for the unexpected. Keeps the mind sharp and agile so to speak. I also think it's a mentality that people build in themselves, it's like feeling good enough about yourself to not change or finding things to difficult and giving up really quickly, things like that.

But I'm weird like that, I used to play football(if I did), with both legs. I occassionally find myself smoking with the other hand too.

The true wisdom is knowing that you're ignorant, only then can you learn. I think most people find themselves rather up to some scale and stop learning and grow dull. But it must also be that normal day to day jobs become so repetitive that there's no insentive to change. :shrug:There are probably many reasons for it. I find it amazing thjat people aren't amazed everyday friggin day, because I am. The only days that I'm not amazed is when I close off to the world.

cha0t1c1
04-28-2005, 09:02 PM
oh man reading this thread reminded me how much I want to get married and be a father...
:cry:

ashakarc
04-28-2005, 09:20 PM
so why do two kids, less than six years old, learn so quickly and easily this difficult tool?
Yeh, let's rephrase the question. Why do two adults, more than x years old, learn so slowly with difficulty this easy tool?

They sound like the same question...right? not exactly! As a general phenomenon, adults see boundaries to what they can achieve and learn, as they become more aware of the reality within themselves as well as the outside one. That conception by itself brings down the threashold of learning capacity to a lower level than that is within a child that is uninhibited by learning capacities, at least consciously.

Adults who see that inhibiting conception and fight it, become creative and open to learning until the day they expire. Convictions, beliefs, faiths, etc.. are all great things to organize the ordinary within self. Doubts, skepticism, and risks are great things to disorganize the ordinary and let the extraordinary prevails. Not really off topic if you think about it,

. blink . blink .
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard.Shaw

MrGrinch
04-28-2005, 10:41 PM
Another thought that people have brought up, children are mostly of the mentality that "I can do anything"...rather like the idea that they can fly if they just flap their arms hard enough. They enter into things with this enthusiasm and belief that they can do it, and so they can. A lot (not all) of adults will try new things with the idea "this is going to be really hard" and "I wont be able to do this very well when I first start"...and so that attitude restricts them. A quote I rather like is "argue for your limitations, and they're yours"

yonna
04-28-2005, 11:02 PM
yea adults are often stuck in their own made up framework of patterns. All their ideas, knowledge and opinions are related in that way of thinking. We all do that automatically to understand things and filter irrelevant information. But the older you get the more firmly you stick to your ways of thinking. Children are far more intuitive. They discover the world with a 'clean' sheet without having prejudges about something. Im not quite sure but i thought it was Zen-buddhism where you can train yourself to detach of everything you have learned or had opinions about. Of course, you cannot return to childhood but its at least a way to approach things with a 'fresh' mind. Im sorry if im talking rubbish.

Gord-MacDonald
04-29-2005, 12:03 AM
IMO - Kids have wonderful flexible suptle minds, and absolutley no fear of new experiences - they thrive on the new. My daughter is quite young, and is as enthusiastic about photoshop, as most kids are about computer games. Actually, I think she approaches PS as if it were a video game. She is exploring so many features of this program, and finding her way around it so adeptly, that I am constantly amazed. If my daughter asks me to look at something she is working on I drop whatever I am doing, and spend time with her, sharing in her latest adventure. I think natural curiousity and parental approval are both very important forces. For me it is very important to be encouraging, but not judgemental (no stage parenting!).

I think the shift comes when the individual encountering the new experience, begins to place a premium on the new experience, in terms of return value - you know the "OK and just what am I going to get out of this?" routine.

During university (way back when) one of my professors - also a prominent Canadian artist - coined (or at least exposed us students), to a wonderful phrase to describe the things done for no other purpose than our enrichment: "totally useless mind expanding things".

I think as long as we can make room in our lives to do "totally useless mind expanding things" without feeling guilty about wasting time, we can thrive creatively, perhaps part of childrens success in this regard, is that they have not yet been conditioned to continually look over ones shoulder at the clock - they can live in the moment.

Gord

jebas
04-29-2005, 03:15 AM
I've been reading through all of the previous messages, and I think we have missed part of the reason.

The first part, as several people have said, is that children have very little to compare to, so they are willing to try every option, but they stop when they should have continued to the differences an adult.

It is my belief that children learn faster than adults because they have fewer to experiences to compare. It is difficult to give a child's example of this, but I can give an adult example. I use to do telephone technical support for end user software. If anyone remembers PhotoFinish, that was the product that I supported. Well I would occasionally get the grandmother or grandfather who just purchased their first computer and really had not idea how to operate the system. When I told one nice, old lady to click the mouse on the program icon. I heard a few clinks in the background, and then she told me nothing happened. After a little brief conversation I found out that she had picked up the mouse as was tapping the screen with it.

Now several of you are laughing right now, but if you stop and think, you'll realize that she did exactly what I told her to do. She picked up that thing that was marked as a mouse, moved it over to the picture, and tried to make a clicking sound by tapping it on the screen. She knew how to move the mouse, and she knew what a click was, unfortunately everything she knew did not apply to the computer.

I was able to help her, but I had to train her over the phone. The easiest method was to take her to something she did know, and show her how it was the same. For example, I got her to move the mouse be having her move it like an iron, and then have her look at the screen. She was very quick to catch on, and she wrote the nicest letter to my boss at that time.

My point is that as you get older, you have more things to compare. You know these things work because they have worked for you before, therefore they should work for you here, but they don't. How quickly you can go through that list, and reach the I don't know stage is how fast you learn.

The second part of the equation is how aware you are of time. When you are young you have all the time in the world, quite literally. Prior to school, you can work as long as you like on any specific task you choose. You watch the ants build a hill, you swim in the pool, you kick the ball into the side of the house until you get bored, or decide there is something else that you want to do instead. I was told that I could be kept quiet for hours be simply handing me a pencil and a stack of paper.

Then came school, and my glimmer of a deadline. Things had to be done at a certain time. Assignments had to be completed. I had to learn to manage my time, and one of the first things that had to be learned was what to give up. Did I need to watch the ants build the hill? Was there something else that I could be doing besides kicking the ball? Okay, swimming was still important, but I am sure that all of you understand. What person out there was has not said, “Why am I doing _____, when I could painting?” This is the same thing that the friend said when someone tried to show them all of this geek stuff. It wasn't important enough for them to use their time on it.

To sum up I'm going to use the metaphor of a painting. When we are born, our minds are like blank pieces of paper with the bare hint of lines that will be our final image. As we grow, more lines appear in almost a random pattern that eventually begins to hint at what we are to become. We test, we play, and we learn. Then we practice what we learn, and some of the lines become darker, and true shapes take form. We grow older, and begin to learn to manage our time and learn what is important to us. Our mind begins to form details around the important focus of the picture. Background information is hinted at because it is less important. When something new comes along, your mind does one of a three different things. If it adds to the painting, it is quickly learned and remembered. If it changes the focus of the painting, it is left without detail so it does not detract. If it destroys the painting, it is rejected entirely. As we get older, the painting gets nearer to completion. For some, it is completed early on, and they find themselves stuck in their ways. For others, they start over every few years. Personally I don't think that anyone ever stops learning, but what we are willing to learn is based on how willing we are to repaint ourselves.




(Okay, I'm done with the soap box. Who wants it next?)

Ordibble-Plop
04-29-2005, 03:34 AM
The first part, as several people have said, is that children have very little to compare to,

The second part of the equation is how aware you are of time. When you are young you have all the time in the world, quite literally.

This is what I was going to say, albeit in a highly compressed form, but I did literally have a deadline to meet so I put it off :)

Two things that make adults sometimes reluctant learners are the weight of learned experience and prejudices and an ever growing awareness of their own mortality whereas kids are uncritical and immortal. That's what I was going to say.

I do think though that the brain is like any other part of the body and if you don't exercise it, it will get flabby.

And don't forget, it was ADULTS who invented the Wacom.

Gord-MacDonald
04-29-2005, 03:51 AM
And don't forget, it was ADULTS who invented the Wacom.

Hmmm - or maybe big kids!

JulianHo
04-29-2005, 06:03 AM
I've been really depressed about the direction where my career has been going for more than a year now.

Perhaps I should start listening to my inner child more often and start playing again. :)

Thank you for your insights, my friends.

jebas
04-29-2005, 04:55 PM
Thanks Ordibble, that's a perfect summary.

I admit that I will prattle. I've been that way ever since I found out you get payed by the word.

sininen
04-29-2005, 07:36 PM
I think that the first part of jebas's post (that children have very little to compare to) can apply to adults, too. My mom has used a computer for a few months only, can barely send email, and has never used a drawing program before. When I showed her my new graphire, she instinctively knew how to draw with it. In fact, she had less trouble than some younger people who use computers a lot. I believe it's because her mouse handling doesn't yet come "from the spine", and thus doesn't interfere with pen handling.

jmBoekestein
04-29-2005, 08:25 PM
jebas(sorry was looking at the wrong name), you are wrong. Basically kids are very aware of time, most of them will try a lot of tricks to make their parents forget to send them to bed. I did it all the time and so did my sister. I'm guessing that when your mind encounters something it can't get to grips with right away, it says to itself that it could be doing a gazillion other things that it won't have to waste time on learning. You've been prioritaiaing your existence according to standards that are put on you, like having to make money and other status things. You have learned to make the best of what you allready could do little bit and now don't learn other things. That's basically how I see it. Take it or leave it.:)

Ilikesoup
04-29-2005, 09:13 PM
jebas(sorry was looking at the wrong name), you are wrong.

I think Jebas is right, but it's not so black and white as all that. First, it depends greatly on the age of the child involved. Second, there's a difference between knowing 8 o'clock means bedtime and estimating how long it will take to finish your homework. I learned how to tell time when I was a kid, but 30 years later I'm still trying to learn how to manage what the time I have. :rolleyes:

nobodee
04-30-2005, 01:54 AM
Well, I'm not entirely sure about this.. I guess it's the open-mindness.
I got my tablet for my 16th birthday (last year, that is). I only read about it before, but most of the artists complained how hard it is to get used to looking UP, at the screen, and not DOWN. I dunno, it was just easy for me to look up and not down.. and I got used to the pen pressures and sensitivity quite fast - all it takes is to just.. play around with brushes, no? =/ It *could* be because I've been messing around with graphics and such for a few years, though.
I let a few people try out my tablet and yeah, they had trouble with not looking at the tablet.

After all, sometimes I think I've never really grown.. I still feel like a child.

jmBoekestein
04-30-2005, 08:20 AM
This is silly, it simply doesn't take ages to learn how to use a wacom just like it doesn't take ages to try out a computer game. I was going to elaborate awy more but it's basically this.

Kids need and want to learn, their attitude is often more of amazement and glee. Adults have seen it all, and will take any opportunity to boast their experience. Even if it's utterly cynical. It's not the clotting of the brain or time. It's their attitude, they still absorb knowledge and still take time to do their hobbies etc., I admit there is a truth to being reprogrammed by society, parents and what not. But that is not the actual problem because you can re-enter a different mindset and learn ten times as fast. I'm 100% certain of it.

lotaH
04-30-2005, 02:50 PM
Hi,
My wife is an educator. And we talked a lot about that.

When we learned how to use a machine, our brain it transforms her in an extension of our body, the machine becomes an arm, or leg...etc

To do that our brain it creates group of special neurons, as those servants for the legs and arms. The more new the person, easier to create neurons. It is that the explanation.

The fact of seeing a computer everyday (but not to play it) he doesn't make the child to learn, but in few minutes working with a computer, she already knows as doing.

Good books on that, are the one of the teacher Robert J Sternberg of the USA. Especially " Cognitive psychology "

[]'s

ps.: sorry, but i dont read all mensages, perhaps somebody speak this. :)

jebas
04-30-2005, 02:51 PM
I'm sorry that I did not make myself clearer. Like Ilikesoup points out, I was talking about the children extremely young, those that are not going to school yet. (And I am not referring to those that have been in daycare since 6 months age either.) Also your example of delaying bedtime does not really apply either. Delaying bedtime does not start until a parent goes, “Okay, it's time for bed.” Then the delaying tactics start. It's a reaction to a external stimuli. (I have a one and a three year old, so I am well aware of the tricks and when they occur.)

I was talking about forethought. Again, as Ilikesoup pointed out, there is a difference between reacting to something, and thinking, “If I do this now, I can do that later.” Children simply react to everything that is going on around them. If it interests them, they follow it. If it does not, they go find something else. It's rare that a child will think much beyond the immediate.

Maybe a better way of stating the difference is that adults understand the concept of a todo list. It's not so much the passage of time that adults understand better, but the concept that if I spend my time doing this, I will not have the time to something else. Therefore adults will generally prioritize their learning to things that they wish to achieve.

The reason for my long diatribe was to explain to Enyala why I thought that children seemed to be more willing to learn than adults. I did not state that children could learn more than adults. In fact I had ended my argument with the statement that I believed that everyone continues to learn. I was just trying to state that adults are more selective about what they want to learn, and how much time they are willing to put into it.

chrisWhite
04-30-2005, 05:20 PM
I wonder if it could possible have anything to do with video games and the popularity of such with even very young kids. It's funny to watch an adult who's new to video games lean into things or turn their body as they turn in the game, but kids always seem to it right off the bat. They may pick up a wacom faster because they are used to doing things in their hands and seeing them on the screen. Not to say that they aren't adept at it without video games, I'm sure ability to pick up both skills so quickly come from the same place. But they may also play off each other so the child improves at both. Just some ideas.

jmBoekestein
04-30-2005, 07:06 PM
Maybe a better way of stating the difference is that adults understand the concept of a todo list. It's not so much the passage of time that adults understand better, but the concept that if I spend my time doing this, I will not have the time to something else. Therefore adults will generally prioritize their learning to things that they wish to achieve.

The reason for my long diatribe was to explain to Enyala why I thought that children seemed to be more willing to learn than adults. I did not state that children could learn more than adults. In fact I had ended my argument with the statement that I believed that everyone continues to learn. I was just trying to state that adults are more selective about what they want to learn, and how much time they are willing to put into it.

May seem nice at first glance, but it seems that adults wanting to learn and having the time still pick up things way more slowly. And the thing about children not having any forethought on anything is simply insulting. I was solving puzzles and learning things actively at a very young age. They call it exploring, you know staring around untill you've had "enough" of it. You're oversimplifying my comments, now I'll just have to be blatently obvious. You're implying that adults get frustrated about using new software by choice. That just seems silly to me. You clearly say that adults mean to spend their time differently but the issue was that kids simply pick it up while adults keep busting their heads on the walls, get my point. Their attitudes have changed and most are affected by it to such an extent that they don't learn as fast.

Ordibble-Plop
04-30-2005, 11:23 PM
They call it exploring, ...

Perhaps that is another avenue to go down. Children explore, yes, but do they actively ask questions about what they find and place them into an organised system?

Perhaps children learn more easily because they don't become confused as easily. In my own experience, confusion doesn't result from a lack of understanding but from an incomplete picture of the whole. As I learn something, rather than just taking it for granted and getting on with it, I am constantly thinking about connections to other things and how it might apply in different contexts. Because development is a continuum and not a sudden change, it would be silly to say that children don't also do this, but I don't think they do it to the same extent; in fact they can't do simply because they don't have the range of experience and accumulated knowledge of adults. That is why we don't have children doing scientific research.

As far as learning goes, becoming comfortable with a Wacom and figuring out a few simple moves in PS is really quite trivial. I'm sure that a dedicated adult, although they might start out slower, would learn the whole of PS faster than most children and understand complexities that many children wouldn't be able to grasp for some time.

Ilikesoup
05-01-2005, 03:32 AM
This is silly, it simply doesn't take ages to learn how to use a wacom just like it doesn't take ages to try out a computer game. I was going to elaborate awy more but it's basically this.

Kids need and want to learn, their attitude is often more of amazement and glee. Adults have seen it all, and will take any opportunity to boast their experience. Even if it's utterly cynical. It's not the clotting of the brain or time. It's their attitude, they still absorb knowledge and still take time to do their hobbies etc., I admit there is a truth to being reprogrammed by society, parents and what not. But that is not the actual problem because you can re-enter a different mindset and learn ten times as fast. I'm 100% certain of it.

You are a frustrating man, Monsieur Boekestein. Hopefully you realize that when you say that you are 100% certain of yourself that open discussion becomes impossible. You're certainly entitled to your own opinion but what makes you think that others will openly consider your point of view when you refuse to do the same? I'm not trying to start a flame war, but I think that the human brain is complex enough that factors besides "attitude" are involved in the learning process. Since even scientists who study the brain disagree about how the brain processes and stores information, it makes for good hypothetical, open ended discussion.

Art2
05-01-2005, 09:00 AM
I agree with the bear :)

I think there may lie some truth in each view of this subject.
Most complement mine very well I think, since it's so complex you can't be certain one view is the absolute truth. And of course it's not possible to look in people's mind, in your own perhaps, but not in others.

MrGrinch
05-01-2005, 10:22 AM
Some people have gone on about the fact that adults having a positive attitude towards learning can increase their capacity to learn. This is quite true. However, as IotaH pointed out, our ability to learn is greatly affected by age. Our capacity to learn and the speed with which we learn is greatest when we're very young and decreases as we age. Children are simply physically/mentally able to learn more easily than adults. Adults with the right mindset can open themselves up to learning like a child, but they dont have the same inbuilt abilities as a child naturally does and they have to actually try to learn, where as a child does it without thinking.

jmBoekestein
05-01-2005, 04:34 PM
Well I'm convinced that science won't catch up with the brain for some considerable time. There's no point in asking "those" scientists, if they're just studying subjects strapped in a chair watching slideshows, it's not real. Instead you have to go to real world situations and deduce. The stupid ogre cliche springs to mind among others on this. But that's that, I am quite certain of it.:shrug:You can start a flame war if you like, I feel quite ready to defend my point of view. Even philosophers of great days gone have stated that the real purpose to every argument (in actuality) is for the argumenter to come out on top, as the winner. So I might have let slip some openmindedness after that, because of all the air castles being constructed. I am actually always out to learn new things, if you can prove me wrong do so, or don't if it amuses you. Why would I deny a perfectly sound theory, just because someone doesn't understand?

As for complexities, there would be several reasons for it, the children could easily find more pressing matters to learn. If they aren't shown the possibilities of the software they won't know where to go, same as with never having seen a masterpiece. Language would be a big barrier too. But I think the fact that some childprodigies have gotten into college at ages of 8 or a little older is proof enough that it isn't the developmental stage of the brain inhibiting us.
Then it must be in the fact that all these varying reasons must be approached in the right way in order to learn the fastest. That's what I'd call the right attitude.

jmBoekestein
05-01-2005, 11:37 PM
I would like to add on a less insolant but equally arrogant tone that I've found my POV underlined in other ways than reason.
Allow me, The bible says to approach the world with the mind and eyes of a child, the bible strives for you to learn things about life regardless all the mysteries around it is a book intended for you to learn to live better. imo it points out how to best deal with things and make the best of life ie. learn to live.

Tryn
05-02-2005, 02:48 AM
The way I understand it, its all about free memory (to put it crudely and geekily). Now bear with me, 'cos I'm no neurosurgeon; The human brain is in flux during childhood years, and becoming more and more 'hardwired' as you age - though never completely set in stone (how's that for mixing metaphors, whoo..), even in old age. A child can pick up new things faster because neural pathways are still being solidified, whereas an adult, particularly those past their middle years have to struggle, because they're basically rewiring previous paths.

As an example, my father's an architect, who made the move to CAD a few years ago. Now let me tell you...that was painful for me. I had to learn the software, and teach it back to him, over and over again. He'd forget a concept I told him the day before...and the next day, and the day after that....but eventually he got it. It wasn't cynicism that he knew a better way, and he truly was eager to learn because he recognised that ultimately it would be a more efficient way to work. And it is, now; I haven't had to teach him anything in months.

jebas
05-02-2005, 11:10 PM
I tend to agree with Ordibble and Tryn that part of the problem is brain usage. I originally described the problem as internal knowledge lists, but another way to describe it is to unlearn something. As we get older, we've learned how so many things work that we start making comparisons to what we know to what we don't understand. When the comparison is useful, we make a discovery and something is learned quickly. When the comparisons are not useful, we run into a problem.

If it is truly unique, we have no reference, and we are much like the children we once were. However, if it is very similar to something that we already know, we run into a problem. Out of habits developed earlier we keep repeating the failing procedures because they use to work for us. A personal example of this is that I keep forgetting to use layers as I create digital paintings. All of my previous works used pencils, pens, oils, or colored pencils. Therefore I learned to everything in a single layer. I find myself stopping in the middle to of the painting process to break the image into various layers just because it is the way that I have always done it before, but it is now wrong.




jmBoekestein: You and I approach these forums very differently. The only thing that I am ever certain of is that I don't know very much. I don't enter these forums to convince everyone else that I am right. I enter them because I hope that I might learn something new, or get a new perspective on something I already knew. When I contribute, it is because I think I have something to add to the conversation. To me these forums are places of conversations, not arguments. Please keep that in mind the next time you address me.

Scarlet
05-03-2005, 01:43 PM
Hmmm...well, while this is incredibly true, I think it also has something to do with how ready one is to learn the tool. When I first got my tablet, I had absolutely no experience with Photoshop or digital anything. I doodled around a little, but nothing really good came out of it (interestingly, I never had the problem of looking at the tablet instead of the screen when drawing...). But that was because I didn't know Photoshop. So I searched around on the internet for a tutorials. Found a few really bad ones, but I colored my first picture digitally with it. Then I found some better ones, and learned some more. When I finally learned about layers I was hooked on it (I'd say that was about nine months after I got my tablet, but it took about 6 months before I colored my first drawing digitally).

Then one day, while browsing around DeviantArt, I discovered digital painting. So I decided to give it a try. I did draw my linework first, and just deleted the lines after I was done, but it still came out alright: http://www.deviantart.com/view/13146297/

After that I got even braver and painted without linework, just from scratch. This was after I'd done only three digital paintings ever. I was painting two pictures simultaniously, one with a references and one without. And they both came out pretty good, especially the one with the reference (it was for my grandmother's 90th birthday). And I've been painting ever since. I think I've only been painting for half a year or so.

Anyways, my point is I think it also has to do with enthusiam and willingness to learn, not just age.


agrees completely...its really about willingness ...kids are willing to try many new things and explore constantly alot of adults unfortunetely lose this drive once caught up in the everyday routine that is called life...myself being 32 yrs old I find alot of times my life is routine...but myself I love to learn new things I have had my computer for about 6 yrs now originally it was bought for my daughter to learn on....then my hubby brought home some online based games...from there I started to explore this new world and found digital art ...and fell in love this was about 1 yr ago...since then I have been diligetently teaching myself photoshop and trying to learn to draw ...which BTW is completely new to me as I never took art in school...I dont have a tablet yet but hopefully soon as I hate drawing with a mouse and have resorted to scanning pencil drawings now ...I have yet to try and do a drawing in photoshop but I have drawn on oekaki boards....I think you are never too old to learn as long as you are willing.....

my 1st ever oekaki drawing LOL I guess you could say 1st ever any as I was never an art student ...dont laugh LOL..only Im allowed to do that ..it was suppose to be a replicat of a piece I saw somewheres ...if you know the original author lol Im sorry for the butchering

http://www.coksquad.com/nuke/users/RedWolfe/girl.png

jmBoekestein
05-03-2005, 02:26 PM
jmBoekestein: You and I approach these forums very differently. The only thing that I am ever certain of is that I don't know very much. I don't enter these forums to convince everyone else that I am right. I enter them because I hope that I might learn something new, or get a new perspective on something I already knew. When I contribute, it is because I think I have something to add to the conversation. To me these forums are places of conversations, not arguments. Please keep that in mind the next time you address me.

Well dear sir,
I am having a conversation with you and am quite clearly argumenting my case here. My tone might come across somewhat insulting to you. For that I am sorry if true.
Otherwise I say that I stand with my arguments however you see it. And the fact that I used the word insolent in my post doesn't at all give you any permissions to judge me here. Whatever you do here has consequences, and I accept whatever is coming to me.

I have the profound idea that the poster behind you has a similar view to mine on the subject. Willingness, attitude. the way it's put in that post is quite similar to what I'm saying. And for the sake of discussion and actually learning anything I'll keep on discussing the subject and argumenting with the things I see are true, and valid arguments by others ofcourse are always welcome.
I find your and Ordipples comments superficial and topical at best. Calling children mindless morons and simplifying the machine into it's parts. I would appreciate a more insightful approach into these matters which are rather complex and have never been explained by biochemistry or biomechanics. For instance: I clearly recall putting finer questions on things by the age of three, and I was methodically exploring my environment for answers by the age of five. Are you implying that I'm a liar? If so I'd like you to consider your tone of voice as well. Get my drift?
And I'm not saying shhut up and listen. I am just profoundly disagreeing with you, but I do however invite you to argument your thoughts on these matters. ie if you could explain your view more clearly I would be very grateful. For instance, how is it that the memories present in a brain can inhibit it from functioning nominally, is it because they are processed wrongly. This would only be the case in psychological context wouldn't it? The either a change of feeling/approach/attitude would be preferred, or serious therapy :).

But if you're calling me a know-it-all, I'd dare say look to your own post for an answer:

When I contribute, it is because I think I have something to add to the conversation. To me these forums are places of conversations, not arguments.

You might contribute, but if you don't argument your view (enough or clearly or at all) there is no point to listen to. If I don't know, then you'll have to show me right. So, if the source of the problem is in memory routines of the brain and not psychological in nature please explain.

Ordibble-Plop
05-04-2005, 02:24 AM
I find your and Ordipples comments superficial and topical at best. Calling children mindless morons and simplifying the machine into it's parts. I would appreciate a more insightful approach into these matters which are rather complex and have never been explained by biochemistry or biomechanics.

Come now, this whole thread is a bunch of generalisations and truisms based on an assumption and backed up by anecdotal evidence.

As for the rest, to me it seems you have assumed that the ideas I have put forth are an attempt at a unified theory of why children appear to learn more easily than adults. They aren't and are instead suggestions at other possible ingredients in the recipe. I have understood and never denied what others have said regarding possible social and psychological factors involved. I think it is a given that the overall reason has to do with attitude, but that is not very useful without considering not just what causes attitude to change with age but also how and why those causes affect attitude.

What I don't like though, is that you appear to have distorted my view and put words in my mouth.

I have never proposed a physiological reason in this thread but rather an epistemological one. In essence, that an average adult's framework of knowledge is broader and more complex than an average child's and when they meet something new they bring it to bear with more force than children. I also never said that children were mindless morons. I didn't even say that children aren't capable of analytical thought; what I did say is that I don't think the average child has the same power of analytical thought as the average adult. I am not so attached to this idea, however, that I wouldn't change it if someone provided a convincing argument that it isn't the case, but on the other hand I really don't see why it should be considered offensive.

Of course you have every right to forcibly argue your case if you choose to do so, but I personally consider it unethical to misrepresent or exagerate another person's words. Doing so might add more force to an argument but it does not make it any more valid.



So I am having a bad day and gave my ego a little outing - but at least I think I kept it on the leash.

jebas
05-04-2005, 04:46 AM
JmBoekestein:

You're right. I did take offense, and perhaps I should not have. I have gone through and reread all the posts in this thread including my own, and you are also right in that some of my argument is not clear. I apologize for my lack of decorum. Next time I feel insulted, I'll hold my reply 24 hours, and then reread the post again before I reply.




Now starting fresh, hopefully can clarify my argument. As I stated before, I believe that there are two factors that make children seem to learn more quickly than adults. The first part was biological (adults have to unlearn), and the second psychological (Do I have time for this?).

Because I two very young daughters, and one of those daughters has been diagnosed with aspbergers, I have been reading a lot of material on brain development. From that reading, I've picked up some interesting trivia about the brain. For example, between birth and five years of age, the brain will double in size. Also a volunteer group allowed themselves to be cat scanned at different stages of their lives. The results showed that radical changes occurred in the brain even through the teenage years; however these changes began to slow down about the same time that puberty starts. It also showed that these changes went from being radical to subtle by the age of twenty five. This is about the time that the long bones finally seal at the end, and most people have gained their full height.

A theory from the results of this experiment was that the brain is developing structures for handling tasks, and those structures are fully developed around the age of twenty five. A newborns first task is to learn how to make his body work. How do I open and close my eyes? Can I get them pointing in the same direction? What was that thing with the five other things sticking out of it? How do I make the Mommy person come get me? And for a newborn, that is more than enough to do.

Now I am not stating that children are a blank slates here. Even before birth, children start showing signs of preferences. My youngest daughter would bounce like a jumping bean if I sang into my wife's belly, but she would get really quiet if my wife sang. If anyone else sang, they would get one of these two reactions, but not to the extreme. Therefore she had learned to recognize Amanda's and my voices, and had a chosen reaction for each one. She's almost one and a half now, and she still dances to my voice, and cuddles to Amanda's.

Now as the baby grows, the baby goes from trying to get all of the individual parts to move, to how do they all move, to how to I move two or more at the same time, to finally creating some basic coordination. At the same time, the brain is increasing in size, and all of these new brain cells are being put to these new tasks. One of the first coordinated tasks a child does is reach out and grab something. This involves getting both eyes to focus on an object, the brain to estimate the position and depth, to move the hand to the general location of the object, and finally to wrap the fingers around the object. This learned task is helped by the fact that new neurons are being made available.

By the time we are twenty five, most of the neurons are being used in some existing structure. Changes are still occurring, but it requires altering an existing set to form a new pattern. The example I gave of this was learning to use layers in the digital media. When I learned to draw, it was with pencil and paper. I have almost 40 years of drawing experience with pencil and paper. I always start with a light scribble, and slowly darken the lines that look right. If I get halfway into a drawing, and determine that the composition is better if I move the characters together, my choices are start over, erase part of the drawing, or alter the background to make them appear they are closer. That's the way I have been doing this for last forty years, and it has always worked. But it is not the only way if you are using a digital media. I still have to stop myself and think through the process of layers and how I want to use them. I have to remind myself there are differences in the way that things work, and that they are available to me. It is not that I am incapable of learning something new; it's that I have to quit thinking of my stylus as a pencil. All of the structures that my brain has setup to cover the nearly forty years of drawing experience have to be altered to include the new information about using a stylus. A lot of that restructuring is figuring out how the old experience works with the new medium.

The second half of my argument was that people make a conscious choice on whether they wish to spend the time learning something. When we are children, and we have all of those new structures being built, there is very little cost to learning something new. We have all of this new storage space for information, our deadlines are minor, and our concerns are child like. As adults however, all of that has changed. Learning requires altering already learned concepts, our deadlines can affect our survival, and our concerns are complex and involved. Most children are not worried about getting the car repaired, paying the mortgage, or what do I need to learn to stay employed. These complexities are part of the adult world. As an example, I could easily get my skill level with digital painting up to my drawing level, if a spent 8 hours a day painting in the media for two weeks. Unfortunately, this would mean l would lose my present job, and the benefits that I need for the previously mentioned child. Not an outcome that a child has to consider. Therefore a child can react to an impulse and learn something new, while most adults will stop weight the cost of learning before they commit to the task.

At this point, I'm going to stop writing. It is getting late, and I am beginning to meander. I hope that this is more clearly stated than my previous posts.

Tryn
05-04-2005, 08:46 AM
jebas: Nice post, in agreement over here. But I'm mainly posting to mention that my younger brother (and older, to a lesser degree) has asperger's also. I suspect I was lucky enough to get the genes from the other side of the family. The younger brother is 16, now, and we've known since he was 4 or so. He was really late in developing speech, which was mainly how we discovered the condition. He's a fascinating kid; in his own imaginary worlds most of the time, little to no sense of embarassment. He has no mind for abstract concepts like math, but he's a brilliant young actor, and has literally hours of film dialogue memorized.

Pardon the OT post, but I had to when you mentioned your daughter :)

jmBoekestein
05-04-2005, 09:42 AM
Ordibble P. Lop, yeah you're right, I'm sorry. It came across as such though. I get what you're saying though. I would overlap your remak with jebas's post and argue though that within their limits their capacity might very well be the same but more trained to other matters. I think people seem to become smarter because they can make more informed decisions and statements at later ages because of simply having more correllating evidence. I do apologise.

Jebas, thanks for taking the time and being so patient.
That really does make your point clear hopefully. I learnt a lot at least. Very interesting story, I'm not familiar with the disorder or syndrom, don't really nkow what it is. But I was always under the impression that the brain grew at that age to create "circuitry" that just deals with things, ie. what becomes the learner then stays the learner throughout until it actually dies in the brain. So say if someone trains his ability to understand complex physical processes because he/she is curious about them his brain keeps looking at thatand creates a sort of memory pathway for the particular subjects linked to whatever part of the brain is doing that. And there have been occasions where the brain would augment itself in an unexpected way, creating new pathways between cells to compensate. There are even instances of people coming out of a state of paralysis because of that. If that is the case I would that the brain can dynamically adapt to whatever the needs to it are.

But indeed it does seem that sooner or later, if left unchanged, the brain will have difficulty adapting to a new "environment". And with that probably picking up new ways of doing things ccould be more difficult in the end. I'm 25 right now, but I don't think I pick up things more slowly though, don't know why. But I do see that I simply don't try and learn some things because I choose to do something else. But I'm very curious about what's really going on, things like science and I keep thinking about subjects that might even have the slightest thing to do with my interest. It could very well be that constantly looking for new ways and a solution to problems keeps my brain in a learner state, simply because it serves a purpose still. Quite the subject, the learning ability. I think it can be trained and "reset to learn". I'll have to think on getting some links for what I think happens, the exception makes the rule in these occasions, and they might be very rare.
Thanks for sharing your situation, sounds like a fun daughter if I might say so! I'm wondering whether some of these syndromes aren't just extremes of a very natural/normal state, and we then feel we have to diagnose them. Well they must be in a lot of cases.

Ordibble-Plop
05-04-2005, 11:40 AM
Thanks Jan-Mark, though now I feel a little silly. I'm afraid real life crud is making me take things far too seriously at the moment.

But indeed it does seem that sooner or later, if left unchanged, the brain will have difficulty adapting to a new "environment". And with that probably picking up new ways of doing things ccould be more difficult in the end.

This could be a hurdle for immigrants to a very different culture. It would be interesting to compare the experiences of adults to children in these cases, though I'm sure that many anthropologists have already looked into this.


Quite the subject, the learning ability. I think it can be trained and "reset to learn". I'll have to think on getting some links for what I think happens, the exception makes the rule in these occasions, and they might be very rare.

One of my favourite books on the mind is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (the guy the film Awakenings was based on). It's a beautiful book for its humanity alone. Here is an example (http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/sacks461-des-.html) from it of a guy who had to relearn how to deal with the world.

(If you were interested in consciousness from a scientific and philosophical viewpoint I'd also recommend the books of Antonio Damasio, a neurologist.)


I'm wondering whether some of these syndromes aren't just extremes of a very natural/normal state, and we then feel we have to diagnose them. Well they must be in a lot of cases.

In a lot of cases I think so too - how else can one generate a market for cosmetic neuropharmaceuticals (smacks of conspiracy I know, but I've seen the rubbish pharmaceutical companies put into their supposedly educational literature, so I'm allowed to say it :P )

jmBoekestein
05-04-2005, 02:16 PM
Thanks Jan-Mark, though now I feel a little silly. I'm afraid real life crud is making me take things far too seriously at the moment.

Well, same here actually. I seem to always get myself into trouble when I can't use it, I'm sure that's perfectly natural though. Just unhealthy, :).



This could be a hurdle for immigrants to a very different culture. It would be interesting to compare the experiences of adults to children in these cases, though I'm sure that many anthropologists have already looked into this.

As a matter of fact, we have a lot of immigrant families here in holland, in the big cities they outnumber the native ones sometimes. And of late the second generation have been desperately trying to achieve as natives, because they feel that they are just Dutch. Allthough in most cases their parents never really left their old cultures behind. Allthough they nearly always learn the language, the accent stays, obviously, predominant even in the second generation kids. It definitely matters a lot what happens when you are young, it sticks with you the rest of your life for sure.
On tv I've seen different documentaries on the subject and also some journalistic reports. It seems that when the children are accepted into the new community and get enough support from their parents, they adapt remarkably well. Their parents however I see looking for the likes of themselves, it is definitely a factor, thie age of a person.




One of my favourite books on the mind is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (the guy the film Awakenings was based on). It's a beautiful book for its humanity alone. Here is an example (http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/sacks461-des-.html) from it of a guy who had to relearn how to deal with the world.

(If you were interested in consciousness from a scientific and philosophical viewpoint I'd also recommend the books of Antonio Damasio, a neurologist.)

Thanks for the tips, I've actually been quite keen on learning more of the inner workings of my fellow humans. One way or another I always manage to bring something to a philosophically oriented point, oddly. The story is wonderful I must say, it's exactyl what I meant, but I meant even more physical in nature. I think extraordinary things are happening all around us if I'd only open my eyes a little wider, hahah.

jebas
05-04-2005, 05:47 PM
jmBoekestein: (Off Topic)

Aspbergers has been jokingly called “Nerd's Syndrome,” and is part of the autism spectrum of disorders. People affected by this tend to be very bright, but have extremely poor social skills. (They can rewire an appliance to make it work better, but misses the subtle clues that it is time to end a party.) Fine motor skills tend to be above average, but very poor gross motor skills. (They can play the piano, but trip over their own shadow.) Often there is poor body awareness. (A gentle pat becomes a slap, and they are not aware of the difference.)

In my daughter, these symptoms show up as poor speech development (I get more usable information from the one and a half year old than I do the child who is almost four.), difficulty with transitions and changes (Unless you give a warning changing from one task to another will cause a meltdown. This is a tricky one to watch for because there are times when she is unprepared for the change, and there are times when she just does not want to do something. Knowing the difference is occasionally a challenge.), poor body awareness (We have to watch her so that she does not hurt the pets or her sister. It will also show up as her crashing into something, and not realizing that she hurt herself.) and clumsiness (Until very recently, she could not run any distance without falling over.)

The only way of dealing with this is training. As you said, the brain is an amazing organ that seems to be able to redefine itself when needed. The mental muscles are there for her, but they are extremely underdeveloped. Her therapies are a series of exercises to work those muscles so that when she is an adult, the differences in her brain do not debilitate her.

Part of the reason for my unlearn half of the theory has to do with remediation time. We got Charlotte diagnosed at the age or two and a half. Several of the therapist and doctors told us how lucky we were to have caught it so early. The general consensus is that she will be mostly remediated by the time she reaches kindergarten at age five. However, if we had waited until kindergarten, remediation would continue well into the teen years. That small difference in age makes a huge difference therapy needed.

As an aside I agree with you about the brain working differently from normal. There is a wonderful thread a while back about disabilities that help you with your art. It was amazing how often dyslexia was mentioned. However you should remember that these symptoms have a range. From the above description, you could include everything from the poorly dressed programmer to the idiot savant that can give you every prime number in a hundred billion but cannot order a hot dog from a vendor. At one end of the spectrum, it aids the person by making it easier to gain a useful skill at the cost of some social niceties. (Many successful engineers and programmers have been diagnosed with aspbergers.) At the other end of the spectrum it gives the person an amazing but useless ability, and they require permanent care and assistance. It boils down to the question, “Is this useful or debilitating?”




jmBoekestein: (On Topic)

I forgot to add an additional example of the cost of unlearning. There was a study done of idiot savants in mid fifties and their abilities. It was interesting, but the doctors were just amazed at what these people could and could not do. There was one individual who could give you every prime number that ever existed, but when given some change and told to get a hot dog, he could not do it. It was impossible for him to associate the money in his hand as having an equal value as the hot dog.

In the mid nineties, some people returned to the continue the study to see how age affected their ability. The person mentioned earlier was now holding a job as a janitor, and was able to walk out to the street vendor and order lunch. He was rather proud of the fact that he knew how much to hand to the man, and what selections he could make with the money he had available. However, when asked to start listing prime numbers, he had made a mistake before he got to 17. This was something that he would not have done in his younger days. It appears that he had finally learned to function in society, but at the cost of his amazing ability. There were other stories like this, but his was the most extreme.




Tryn:

We were amazingly lucky with her. Amanda had been a preschool teacher, and had realized that Charlotte's speech development was off for a two year old. Originally we thought the problem was a hearing problem, but her ears tested fine. The doctor did recognize something and recommended a different doctor. From there, we were able find out what was wrong, and begin getting her treated.

One of the most amazing treatments that we found was called Sensory Learning. The idea behind it was to over stimulate the sections of the brain steam that controlled information flow into the rest of the brain in one hour sessions over a two week period.. Six months after the therapy was complete, her diagnosis went from mildly autistic to aspbergers. For that, we are grateful.

Tryn
05-04-2005, 09:29 PM
Jebas: well, good on you for catching it so early, it'll help a great deal. It's interesting, actually, that after he was diagnosed, and we'd lived with it for a few years, we started noticing similar behavioral quirks in other members of the family. We think we have the root of it traced back to - and I realise how far-fetched this sounds - when my grandfather was exposed to radiation during WW2. Obviously I'm not talking mutated brain cells or anything like that, but certainly damaged chromosomes.

Its also a surprisingly common syndrome; as many as 1 in 500 have it to some degree.

jmBoekestein
05-04-2005, 10:58 PM
Jebas,

Thanks for telling me that. I had no clue. Good luck with your daughter, it sounds like it will turn out ok. She seems an eccentric allright, she's got that working for her allready:).

Kind of odd to hear about the idiots savant, different branches of math but no correlation for the guy. That's rather weird. Well anyway it's a lot of info, I'll have to sit on it for a while. Thanks again.:thumbsup:

jebas
05-07-2005, 02:53 PM
I just recently learned something new about autism that may explain why there is a difference in the two forms of math. The autistic brain has an overly developed visual center, but an under developed language center. Cat scans have shown that autistic brains have shown that they work harder to process language information than they do for visual information.

Now determining prime numbers can be described very visually. You have a pile of balls. If it is possible to divide the balls into piles with an equal number of balls, the number is not prime. If the piles remain unequal, no matter how you divide the balls, the number is prime. As an example, I will use 6 and 7. 6 can be quickly eliminated because you can create two piles of three balls each. 7, however, will never give you an equal pile of balls. Piles of two balls will have one left over, piles of three balls will leave you one left over, and piles of four balls left you three left over. All of this is very easy to picture.

Now we go to the concept of exchanging money. This involves symbolic thinking which is usually linked to the language areas to the brain. First you have to grasp th concept that money is nothing more than a yard stick used to measure value. Secondly, that value is not a constant. The price of a hot dog in one area is not the same as it is in another. Also the same coins that are used to buy the hot dog could also be used to purchase candy, napkins, or a cheap watch. It is very difficult to explain these things in the form or pictures, but it is easy to explain as symbols. Symbols are the domain of the language part of the brain that make the letters b, i, r, and d represent all feathered animals with beaks and wings.

This part of the reason why autistic people tend to excel in applied mathematics (physics, engineering, programming, and such), but be a failure with abstract mathematics like algebra. Einstein, which you had said was one of your heroes, shows this basic problem. He is known for having failed mathematics at college, but had conceived the properties of light by dropping balls in an imagined elevator. An autistic person would have difficulty grasping the abstract concept that x, y, and z represent number values, but can easily see the projectile fired from a cannon with the wind blowing to the east. It all depends on whether the problem can be described as a picture.

jmBoekestein
05-09-2005, 10:30 PM
I've sat on it a while now and what strikes me now is that autists are supposedly caught in their own world. If that's somehow true, that their focus is not on the immediate and more obvious reality we seem to believe in. Then it could as well not be the fact of visual simulation, that could be a mere by product of their minds using the more accurate perceptual systems in their brain to test as good as possible their ideas after having perceived them in "trained brain":) logic. This leaving other areas more "barren" then some. But more accurately it's normal to them to experience those experiments to that, it's the best way. How far can the brain be reset, if it's "fully aware" of reality and can relativate? Again this might be subject to differences from form of autism to form of autism, but they all seem to excel at something. And their focus changes, so to some extent the brain is ours but not entirely, because of the risk in that maybe. Almost sounds like I'm talking to myself but what the hey.

jebas
05-10-2005, 07:12 PM
Living in your own separate world is a different problem called psychosis, and many children that were later diagnosed with autism were initially misdiagnosed with psychosis because they did not respond properly to outside stimulus. Autistics, however, are very aware of their environment, perhaps overly aware. Changes in the environment or the routine will usually set them off.

A better analogy might be that you are person that can only speak English, your hands and arms are strapped to a chair so you cannot use, and everyone around you is speaking Japanese. You cannot communicate, or make simple hand gestures. Anything that they tell you is gibberish. The only hope is that they can train you with enough words that you are eventually able to express your wants and needs.




Enayla: I'm sorry about hijacking your initial topic and turning it into a discussion about autism.

jmBoekestein
05-10-2005, 07:18 PM
Well I'm not so sorry I guess, I'm finding this rather interesting actually. Can't undo the past anyway...:wise:

The latter description is what I meant actually, but I meant it in the context of figuring out how the brain learns. Just by studying or somewhat observing the exceptions to the rule.

Looks like we're somewhat on topic again.:D

Do you object to this Linda? Feel free to but in at any time. This is not going to save the world anyway.:)

ThePatches
05-10-2005, 08:20 PM
It was my grandfather who discovered me drawing a duck one day and ran out to the local hardware store to buy me some artists pastels. I worked with those for a few years and my mother said it was getting to be a bit expensive to buy an 8 year old art supplies.

That christmas she gave me one of those "digital painters" for the television. It was this huge, hokey wacom-style tablet with a pallette on the side. I sat for hours and hours in front of the television animating and drawing.

When we finally got a home computer at the age of 17 (It was an old acer with windows 95) I admired beautiful digital art and wished i had the technology it do it too.

Since then i have gone into animation and graphic design and alot of the stuff I am doing now is just advanced takes on what i did with my little hokey tablet. I would not blink twice to get a child into digital illustration but I would not neglet to show them traditional mediums too.

I am the moderator of an oekaki board thats made up mainly of young girls 8-17. Sometimes they amaze me with what they can do. I find myself wishing I could do that when I was ther age lol. A few of them are as good as many professionals in the field. It's wonderful to have seen some of them grow with their abilities over the years.

Tryn
05-10-2005, 09:48 PM
The thing about autists living in their own world is kind of misleading. I can only really speak of my own experience in watching my younger brother grow up. He has a highly developed imagination, but still very sensitive to the real world. Bright lights and loud noises are really uncomfortable - he really hates lightning storms. Despite that he IS in his own imagination a lot of the time, doing the sort of 'roleplay' that young kids do with others or alone (lightsaber battles, running around the house making exploding noises...), except that he's still doing that at 16...and not the slightest bit embarassed about acting wierd in public situations. Toys and other props are rarely used - its all in his head. Bits of movies and books he's read get incorporated into his fantasies, and sometimes it seems like he's rewriting entire films in his head.

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