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Frequently Asked Questions
This fundamental distinction is central to 50ten40 philosophy and pedagogy.
We accept that happiness naturally comes and goes, while satisfaction is steady and continuous. When we stop chasing happiness we are better able to pay attention to the essential issues that support success and meaning in life. Satisfaction is the result. While we are all powerfully motivated to seek happiness, it is impossible to intentionally maintain it. Satisfaction, on the other hand, can and is maintained through an intentional process of acquiring specific skillsets and attitudes. This leads to deeper satisfaction which enables increased learner engagement and deeper learning experiences. All our 50ten40 neuroscience-based tools support this deeper inquiry.
Neuroscience clearly shows intentional mind-body training results in the greatest benefits. 'Intentional' means the student has context or knowing why something is done in a certain way as well as the how. It is important to understand the relationship between philosophy, concepts and principles in order to clarify intentions.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge,values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group".
Concept: In metaphysics, and especially ontology, a concept is a fundamental category of existence. In contemporary philosophy, there are at least three prevailing ways to understand what a concept is:
- Concepts as mental representations, where concepts are entities that exist in the brain.
- Concepts as abilities, where concepts are abilities peculiar to cognitive agents.
- Concepts as abstract objects, where objects are the constituents of propositions that mediate between thought, language, and referents.
A Principle is a law or rule that has to be, or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored.
Examples of principles:
- a descriptive comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption,
- a normative rule or code of conduct,
- a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device.
MInd-Body training is a collection of methods and practices informed by evidence-based principles that underly mind-body interventions.
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind–body_interventions
Mind-Body Interventions in Conventional Medicine
All Mind-Body Interventions focus on the interaction between the brain, body, and behavior and are practiced with intention to use the mind to alter physical function and promote overall health and well-being.
However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) does not consider Mind-Body Interventions as within the purview of Complementary and Alternative Medicine when there is sufficient scientific evidence for the benefit of such practices along with their professional application in conventional medicine. One such practice that the NCCIH defines as a Mind-Body Intervention because it utilizes the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms, but for which there is sufficient scientific evidence and mainstream application for it to fall outside the purview of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Evidence for the Efficacy of Mind-Body Interventions
There are documented benefits of Mind-Body Interventions derived from scientific research firstly into their use in contributing to the treatment a range of conditions including headaches, coronary artery disease and chronic pain; secondly in ameliorating disease and the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and localized physical pain in patients with cancer; thirdly in increasing the perceived capacity to cope with significant problems and challenges; and fourthly in improving the reported overall quality-of-life. In addition, there is evidence supporting the brain and central nervous system's influence on the immune system and the capacity for Mind-Body Interventions to enhance immune function outcomes, including defense against and recovery from infection and disease.
Everyone who has a genuine desire to change according to evidence based practices.
50ten40 is a structured neuroscience-based training methodology. Our mind-body curriculum addresses 6 areas of self-cultivation to improve health, relationships, resilience and overall performance.
Cross-disciplinary scientific inquiry into motivation and life satisfaction has resulted in an inclusively defined discipline called the 'Science of Happiness'.
From this inquiry comes the Happiness Formula: H = S + C + V.
Happiness = biological Set point + life Conditions + Voluntary actions 
Our training methodology is named '50ten40' after the ratio of the formula components. Fifty percent of life satisfaction is genetic, ten percent life conditions and forty percent is the result of learned behavior.
(1) Lyubomirsky, et al 2005
re·sil·ience /rəˈzilyəns/ noun
- The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. "Nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience".
- The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. "The often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions"
Resilience is related to willpower, persistence, motivation and self regulation. Well-being, enduring healthy relationships and professional success all require the ability to regulate thoughts, emotions, and actions according to the highest standards in the face of significant challenge.
Our view is that willpower is an intrinsic human attribute and developed best through consistent use. Willpower is the engine that powers persistance. Some might refer to this as 'grit'. Motivation is complex and is the most difficult to nourish in traditional educational contexts.
Learning Orientations, measured by the Learning Orientations Questionnaire (LOQ), represent a learner's general approach to learning and risk. Learner risk tolerance determines the quality of engagement that results when presented with new or unfamiliar situations or activities. Learning Orientations are considered more useful than learning styles when working with online students. Unlike learning styles, Learning Orientations consider the impact of emotions, intentions, will to success, and social factors on learning (Jones & Martinez, 2001). This is a foundational concept for all 50ten40 curricula.
Methodology is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques. - Wikipedia
From the Wikipedia article.
"Brain fitness is the capacity of a person to meet the various cognitive demands of life. It is evident in an ability to assimilate information, comprehend relationships, and develop reasonable conclusions and plans. Brain fitness can be developed by formal education, being actively mentally engaged in life, continuing to learn, and exercises designed to challenge cognitive skills. Healthy lifestyle habits including mental stimulation, physical exercise, good nutrition, stress management, and sleep can improve brain fitness. On the other hand, chronic stress, anxiety, depression, aging, decreasing estrogen, excess oxytocin, and prolonged cortisol can decrease brain fitness as well as general health.
Brain fitness can be measured physically at the cellular level by neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons, and increased functional connections of synapses and dendrites between neurons. It can also be evaluated by behavioral performance as seen in cognitive reserve, improved memory, attention, concentration, executive functions, decision-making, mental flexibility, and other core capabilities.
Like physical fitness, brain fitness can be improved by various challenging activities such as playing chess or bridge, dancing regularly, practicing yoga and tai chi and also by engaging in more structured computer based workouts. Some research shows that brain stimulation can help prevent age-related cognitive decline, reverse behavioral assessment declines in dementia and Alzheimer’s, and can also improve normally functioning minds. In experiments, comparing some computer based brain boosting exercises to other computer based activities, brain exercises were found to improve attention and memory in people over age 60. . Other studies have evaluated other brain boosting exercises and not found improvements. A study of 67 schoolchildren aged 10 compared 7 week Nintendo brain training to engaging in pen and paper puzzles. The study found that the brain training group suffered a 17 per cent decrease in memory tests after the seven week course, while the pen and paper group saw an increase of 33 per cent. Many experts are skeptical with regard to the real value of different commercial brain boosting products. For example, a panel of experts gathered by Which? Magazine have concluded that ‘Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training’ for the Nintendo DS will not enhance brainpower at all." 
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When a deep, immersive calm is achieved and stressors are reduced, the brain can produce the neurochemical cocktail that enables formation of new neuronal connections. The brain and body are not separate. We have one nervous system, not two. The specific kind of concentration to achieve a deep, immersive calm requires the same level of effort as when learning a new language.
50ten40 curriculum engages your awareness using a physical tools. Using the physical to train the mental produces better results. Real change is difficult and unexpected. Prepare to be suprised.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
By Mark Roth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Scientists used to think that the structure of the human brain didn't change much after infancy. But in the past 20 years, there has been an explosion of studies showing just how adaptable and malleable the human brain is, and one of the most intriguing was published today by Carnegie Mellon University scientists. Writing in the journal Neuron, brain researchers Marcel Just and Timothy Keller said that after just six months of intensive remedial reading instruction, children who had been poor readers were not only able to improve their skills, but grew new white-matter connections in their brains.
Neuroscience cleary indicates that personalized presentation of curriculae results in measurable improvements in student performance over a standardized approach.
There are three basic learning orientations or learner types posited by recent brain research; transforming, performing and conforming. source
Transforming Learners are generally highly motivated, passionate, often persistent even in the face of failure, and highly comitted learners. They most often place great importance on learning ability, committed effort, independence, vision, and intrinsic resources.
Performing Learners are generally self-motivated in learning situations that particularly interest them, otherwise they may seek extrinsic rewards for accomplishing objectives that appear to have less value or benefit to them.
Conforming Learners like routine, structure, supportive relationships, and stability. They generally are more compliant and will more passively accept knowledge, store it, and reproduce it to conform, complete assigned tasks (if they can) and often please and help others. These learners typically prefer to leave the holistic, critical, or analytical thinking to others.
It may be apparent from this brief overview that what works for one learner type is exactly the opposite of what works for another learner.
Conversations with Dr. Maggie Martinez concerning ongoing unpublished brain research have focused on the following key points.
- There is a brain cocktail that is required for the brain to best make new synaptic connections, aka Learning
- This cocktail is affected by emotional states. Stressors inhibit the cocktail from having the correct balance and learning cannot occur.
- The switch to learning due to the release of this cocktail is under volitional control.
- This control is learned during early infancy, so early in infancy that awareness of the switch is not conscious at later developmental stages. One aspect of meditative practice is recognizing that we do have conscious control of the switch.
- Play, fun and pleasure all contribute to the release of the learning cocktail.
Metalearning & Neuromodulation (a little dated but well written)
New Research Stresses the Responses to Stress
Learning Types - Detailed Comparison - Section B: Design Guidelines for Personalized Learning
Just For Fun - Buddha on the Brain - Wired magazine
See our research page.