The following post deepens understanding of timing and brain processing of incoming stimuli. Sight and sound are processed at different speeds to different parts of the brain, which must be compiled by the brain to give an understanding of what is going on around us.
Thinking takes place at about sixty miles per hour in the multi-trillion-synapse computer sitting between our two ears. Registering incoming sights and sounds takes much less time than figuring out what to do with the information.
Timing, the Brain and Hearing: Why Telephone Coaching Is So Effective. BrainStyles Timing at Work.
From an article, “Scientists study how senses help the brain fill perception gaps to give meaning to events,” Dallas Morning News, Science Section, 2001.
Timing and Hearing. “Recent experiments suggest the ears can sometimes fool the eyes. Vision is often the dominant sense in resolving discrepancies in perception. But biologists at the California Institute of Technology recently demonstrated that this is not always the case.
‘In one experiment, researchers flashed an object rapidly on a computer screen. If the flashes were close enough together – within .03 of a second – people couldn’t tell whether there was one flash or several. But if a beep sounded at the same time, the sound influenced how many flashes the viewers thought they saw. This is because
When you must choose what the truth is about what you saw vs. what you heard, you’ll pick what you saw.
When you have to choose the truth between two events that happened close together (did the blue car hit the red car first or vice versa?), hearing wins.
The ears are better at resolving things that happen close together in time,’ according to S. Shimojo, head of the lab at Cal Tech. Shimojo adds, “In the space domain, vision is better than audition, so typically dominates. But the TIME domain, just as exemplified in speech perception, hearing resolution is better than vision.” He adds that hearing may be as much as ten times better at resolving events that happen very close together in time.”
What you hear in new learning situations — explanations— trump the images. What people say at those times can override what they see.
You may have noticed that conversations by phone are far more fruitful than talking face to face when you need to get a job done or focus on a topic.
Master facilitator Linda Bush comments, “This might explain partially why telephone coaching seems to be so much more effective and efficient than in-person coaching, where the vision cues obscure the message or bring up related topics that take the receiver and the coach far a field during a coaching discussion.”
We resort to auditory clues when trying to figure out what the boss/spouse/client is “really” saying. This can happen anytime what we see gives confusing messages, say, facial expressions vs. body language.
This is our unconscious way of assessing and developing trust for another people: we look for congruence.
In new or learning situations, we will initially use what we hear as the “truth” over what we see.
What do you think? Do you find hearing is more effective than seeing in new situations? Let us know!
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One of the great things about BrainStyles is its every day application. Here, Marlane Miller explains how learning golf allowed her to realize some very valuable lessons about living and performance.
The sport I have attempted to learn over the last decade is golf. I find the sport a very apt metaphor for most of living. In this way, I believe it is a truly Zen activity. In a recent clinic to improve my game, I learned the following things which I believe translate to living and performing in the world.
- Don’t grip the club too tight. Tension prevents performance. Tension stems from expectations for outstanding performance, executing a skill equal to the image I can create, or that someone else can perform. Excellent performance actually occurs when relaxed, with an easy acceptance of my current level of skill, without judgment, and timing rather than force and effort are used to create a powerful result.
- Use the club appropriate to the situation, but keep the fundamentals the same. I have the same gifts to apply in all situations.
- Keep the focus on the future. A sports psychologist tells me that the best of the sports professionals (in golf, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, for example) use their mistakes to learn from, spend between 60 and 90 seconds thinking about what went wrong, and then focus totally on the next challenge and how well they are equipped to handle it.
- Use feedback to correct and improve, to find the core of the game that is the best game that you can play. Ultimately you are the best judge of what works for you, not the teacher.
- Keep the focus on the game, not the shot. So many times as a beginner I would be devastated by horrible shots and elated by a great shot. Golf is engaging because it is such a mental game, played against yourself. Professionals hit shots so that they can hit another thousand shots in the same day. No one shot is more precious than another, no day more special than another, all is a part of the grand game.
There are many other lessons golf can teach you. For instance, a tournament can teach you to take criticism. Golf teaches us ethics – golfers are required to complete their score cards on the Honor System. You either follow the rules or you don’t. Golf also teaches us about passion and why it is necessary for a long run, like golf.
Golf teaches us lessons that can transfer into real life, including how to congratulate and encourage our peers. Former President Gerald Ford once said, “The pat on the back, the arm around the shoulder, the praise for what was done right and the sympathetic nod for what wasn’t are as much a part of golf as life itself.”
This weekend, dust off your clubs and hit the links. Take a deep breath and accept the lessons that golf teaches us.
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