As an artist, writer, and educator, I am able to observe the progress of personal and societal creative evolution on a daily basis. I see human minds, often replete with great collections of relatively isolated facts, gain insight, not so much by learning new facts, but more by forging connections between the facts they already know. This process of creating connections between items of information is the natural intelligence of evolution at work.
We become more educated by becoming more aware of the vast networks of interconnection which exist and bind things together. Consciousness improves by the process of self-consciousness and awareness is multiplied by self-awareness.
Learning occurs as a feedback process. We learn by observing the interconnectedness of our inner experience and the outside world. Feedback is both an educational and therapeutic process. Not surprisingly, it is an essential component of cybernetics and artificial intelligence.
A recent study published by researchers at the University of British Columbia demonstrates the positive value of self-awareness by indicating that people can improve their thinking by observing their brainwaves.
Using fMRI technology, participants who observed images of their brain activity during the successful execution of cognitive tasks performed better than those who performed the tasks without the visual feedback.
This basic demonstration of the evolutionary significance of self-awareness reveals the potential of biofeedback and neurofeedback modalities, which are increasingly becoming an important component of educational and theraputic practice. My work with mindfulness technologies includes research, experimentation, art, and writing on biofeedback and neurofeedback. The links below lead to recent ARTology blog entries on these subjects:
Note: This section is in process of being reconstructed from archives.
Me and My Brainwaves – ARTology – 04/02/10
This is My Mind, Part 1 – ARTology – 04/10/2010
Brainwaves and Thoughts for a Better World – ARTology – 08/21/10
Brainwaves, Part 1 – ARTology – 03/08/11
Brainwaves, Part 2: What is Neurofeedback? – ARTology – 03/10/11
Brainwaves, Part 3: Brain Training and Entrainment – 03/18/11
Image 1: “MindWaves 2011” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011
Image 2: The rostrolateral prefrontal cortex region of the brain. The brain-training location employed in the UBC study