Brain Pattern Recognition

Remarkably, our brain continuously scans neural networks of experience to find patterns. How it does this is even more amazing.

Not only can our brain connect the dots, by way of connecting neural pathways, it can also identify commonalities, themes, and patterns along the way.

Ray Kurzweil, computer scientist and Google’s Director of Engineering, describes that our brain’s neocortex is made of over 300 million pattern recognition circuits. For example, one circuit could be responsible for recognizing the crossbar in the letter A. Multiple circuits could be used to recognize an entire written word. And the hierarchy of pattern recognition continues.

What is the learning tip? Help learners identify and use patterns to solve genuine problems. Pattern recognition can help shortcut the problem solving process, potentially saving time and money.

Say, for example, you work in a factory. You observe an undesirable pattern of non-moving subassembly parts. The parts just sit there on the floor for days until they are ready to be assembled. Think of a solution to counter this pattern in order to improve on-time delivery and inventory reduction. To begin the search for a solution, ask this ONE central question: What will keep the subassembly parts moving in a productive way, such that these parts do not ever have to sit still? As you ponder this, imagine how you can advance the manufacturing process.

About Parker Grant, PhD

Parker Grant is the founder of Instructional Design Industry, an online community for learning designers, instructional designers, and many other learning professionals (new and experienced). Parker holds a PhD in Adult Learning and a MS in Educational Technology. His consulting firm, Learning Connects, continues to offer learning design and development services.

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