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La Educación
Número: (134-135) I,II
Año: 2000

The Brain Cell

We think with images. My method of learning and teaching is based on how the brain re-creates the external image. How we see with the brain. The neuron is the element of the cognitive process. The image of the word “education” in this paper enters the eye, stimulates the retina, becomes electrical impulse. The impulse travels to the brain’s posterior area, the occipital lobe. In the brain the impulse pursues the journey until deep in the temporal lobe it is reassembled into the image of the word. The image is detected, the word recognized. The information is transmitted to other centers in the parietal and frontal lobes. The word,“education”; evokes memories, might generate an idea.

We have seen the word with the brain. We have thought. The thought might precipitate an emotion. We might act. We might continue reading this paper.

The minute pieces of information, from the instant the lines of the word have touched the retina, to the instant the brain forges the thought, to the instant the muscles direct the eyes to look at the next word and continue reading, have traveled from neuron to neuron. We have one hundred billion neurons. In the journey, the information has advanced from neuron to neuron passing interconnecting bridges, the synapses. In the synapse, electrical and chemical neurotransmitters carry the information. Each neuron commands one thousand, but some five, even six thousand synapses. As we read, as the eyes cruise the paper line by line, the process will be repeated word by word. It is instantaneous. We are not even conscious of it.

Reading is critical to education. From abstract lines we forge thoughts. But reading is seeing with the brain. Exposed to education some students acquire the skill, others do not.