Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting the Eyes and Ears to Work Together

The working memory modelImage via Wikipedia
Lately, we've been doing more audio visual work in vision therapy.  So, I've been doing drills with matching beeps to flashing lights and vice verse.  As I do these drills, I am trying not to use my body to remember the stimulus.  Typically, when I try to do active listening or looking, I tap my fingers or rock my body to emphasize the key points or main idea of what I need to remember.  Or, for a list, I help cue the number of things I want to remember by pressing my fingers.  Then I repeat silently what I want to remember. 

Now, I am trying to not to use my body (kinesthetic sense) while I am learning.  I am also trying to turn off the verbalization that I do so that way audio goes directly into visual and vice verse.  When I do the visual-audial drills,  I am trying to see the dots in my minds eye and then visualize the sequence without verbally counting.  Then when the computer beeps at me, I try to match the sequence to the dot pattern on the screen.   I am trying to work out a sequence of storing sound when I do the audio-visual drill but I haven't found a method to do so yet.  I am really trying not to verbalize or use my usual compensations but I am not completely there.

I hate to say it but I am just one big MOUTH.... YAP, YAP, YAP.  I never realized how much I rely on my mouth for memory, confirmation, and learning.   I think sometimes this can be a bit annoying for the folks around me as I want to TALK, TALK, TALK when they have a nice non-verbal neural pathway that relates their eyes and their ears so that it's automatic and common sense to remember what they've just heard or seen.

Not having your eyes and ears working in sync affects how you relate to others. 
Remember, I am jumbling up the whole decoding and output process.  Where other folks have happily processed a lot of stuff nonverbally before they speak, I am talking myself (aka using verbal skills) or moving my body through the decoding process, so that the response is not always as appropriate to the situation.  Or, I am so busy decoding and confirming verbally that I have decoded the speaker's transmission that I am not getting to the interpretation portion of listening.  This isn't to say that I am deliberately ignoring the speaker as I am working pretty hard to make sure I understood him in the first place. 

Also, I am not sure that other folks realize that my body language should not be indicating that I am fidgeting (or disrespecting) the speaker.  It's just that I am using my body  to try and remember what I am being told.
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