Awakening of Intelligence 05Nature's model imperativeTheme:model imperative, brain developmentSummaryDiscussionTranscriptRelated Insights
Here Joe describes in great detail how the unfolding of intelligence, from the most basic to the most complex demands contact and interaction with the environment, what we now call epigenetics, It is the model-environment the determines how development unfolds.Coming
The next part of it I would like to discuss is the model, what I call nature's model imperative. Now that's a nice sounding phrase, the model imperative. The question is what is it that triggers a neural structure of the brain to translate from a field of potential. Without exception, and there are no exceptions, that requires a model or an event or a thing in the environment. This physical world given by this most ancient system coming in through that one an environment that contains that experience ability or possibility in its expressed form.
Let me boil it down to an example right quick. Howard Gardner lists linguistics intelligence as a great big No. 1. He puts it first on his list. Linguistic intelligence, meaning that intelligence from which all languages spring. So we get into language development. When does it start? It starts in the 7th month in the mother's womb from the 5th month on the work of Kellog and Sontag back in the 40's found that the infant in the womb moved every time there was sound. Every time they heard something from the environment they would move and they can hear anything immediately adjacent to the mother. Every time the mother spoke they would move.
But from -- now this is a generic movement or response in the brain, a sensory motor response to a sensation coming in. Here comes a sound wave in and the response of the body is to do what, the response of the brain system is to make a motor movement. That's what we call sensory motor learning. Got it? Okay. Now the environmental sound is the sense coming in, the motor response is the response of the brain system. From the 7th month on, it becomes highly specific that which is general always then becomes specific after a certain period. And you'll find that from the 7th month until the child is born in the world each phoneme of the mother's language, the words she's using elicits a precise muscular response from the infant. It becomes very specific. Now what's a phoneme? A phoneme is the smallest part of a word that can go together to make up words. Here's model, we'll say ma and da, da, two phonemes. Now you follow this game all right. Inm - par - a - tive, so on it goes.
There are about 50 phonemes, about 50, 52 phonemes out of which all human languages spring. You find no human languages, there are tens of thousands of them on earth and they're all drawing on those 50 phonemes. Some use more phonemes than others but this phoneme pool is inherent within our structure and begins to fire in. Let's say the phoneme pool is a field of potential, non-localized. But that field of non-localized potential, which has all conceivable languages inherent in it, an infinite number of languages can be built up out of 50 phonemes. Then the 7th month on, when the mama uses a word each phoneme of that word is a specific stimulus which is responded by the infant with a specific muscle. If she has a language and she uses 50 phonemes there will be 50 muscles that respond. The same muscle for the same phoneme in every case. Every child has a completely different of repertoire of muscular movements. Every muscle of your body that responded in utero is going to be responding even when you are reading words, thinking words or anything else dealing with words. The whole body responds to language. Don’t forget that.
Language starts in utero. What does that prove? It proves that language is innate. It's an innate intelligence. Or when Chomsky at MIT claimed years ago that language was far too complex to ever be learned that it had to be innate he was right although a lot of his reasoning was wrong and now we know the reason for it is because it's built in. In fact we have pre-wired structures in the brain to respond to language. If the mama is a speaking mama and those signals come in that is going to happen and you'll have the sensory motor foundation for all language established at the time a child is born into the world.
Now what happens if mama is a deaf mute? Then there is no environment, because the mother is the environment of the child for the first long time. There is no environment there is no model, there is no stimulus of wave form coming in to bring about the response of the brain and the child is born into the world with no muscular response to the language at all. As a result it's impossible for them to learn to speak language until what? Until they are in direct contact, in a close enough environment of language at some point within the first 7 or eight years, that's the (that is the stage specific time) or they will never learn.
Now then they will learn to speak language but they have to go through all these procedures. First of all building up the muscular response to the phoneme and then the emotional period in which they learn to perceive the emotions behind language long before they understand the specific words, and then finally words structures itself its begin to appear.
So from this we can draw several conclusions and that is nature’s model imperative for all development, of any sort. If the model is not there, no development takes place.So from this there are two things we can decide. One is in nature’s model imperative if the model is not given that intelligence capacity or learning cannot unfold. Never kid yourself that the system can self spontaneously create its own model. It won't do it. You've got to have it coming in from the environment to activate that. The second thing is, French mama, speaking child, the character and nature and quality of the model determines the character and nature and quality of the developing intelligence to an indeterminable extent. Now in is to me the most frightening aspect of the whole thing, as the father of five and grandfather of 12.
The character and nature of the model profoundly influences and even totally determines, in certain cases, the character and nature of the language that unfolds. And the same thing with all the other intelligences. The character and nature of the model will determine the character and nature of that particular kind of system. So the natures model imperative means -- I don't know of any other way to put this than to say, children cannot become who we tell them to be. Unfortunately they can only become some expression of who we are. Which means that we must be who we want our children to become, and I don't like that at all.
I can remember as a father of all these little children that from the time they could first use language on I began there good fatherly fashion to prescribe for them their proper behavior. I did this with a lot of reflecting on my own improper behavior. I didn't want them to make the same errors I made. So from the minute they could speak and understand language, I began using very abstract language with them it's a profound error. Their language is concrete, and we'll talk about what that means. And tell them how to behave in order to avoid the errors I've made.
Now unfortunately by the time they were two years old I began to see them reflecting back to me every nasty little habit I had and tried to cover up. They were simply a mirror. And nothing enrages a parent so much as to see their own faults reflected in their children. It sends us up the wall. We've beat many of our children to death over just that one simple thing. No, we can’t become who we are told to be. We can only become what our models are, to some extent.
Now a child can't rise above the level of their models. Now I've people who just go up the wall because they say it's flat out wrong. We find children who come from the most hopeless backgrounds with the most I am impoverished backgrounds and who have overcome that and risen to great heights. Why? You will finds in doing analysis, and they've done profiles on great people who have come from very humble origins, and they'll find that inevitability, though they were abused as children and did he privileged and had all these terrible things happen, their attitudes were all bad, and they met one significant person at some point in their growing up who completely turned them around, who opened up a new world to them.
One model, who, in one encounter, can change a whole child's life, and this is true. The power of this model imperative and so we find that we rise above our models given in the early years as we meet great models later on.