FAB1 Brainteaser Quiz

Ray Franklin, Osaka JALT Publicity Chair

The FAB1 conference was held on July 9 in Kitakyushu and again on July 10 in Kansai, with the theme of Connecting Neuroscience with EFL in Japan, and featured four plenary speakers: Robert S. Murphy (Memory & Learning), Curtis Kelly (Neuroplasticity of the Brain), Marc Helgesen (The Science of Happiness) and Tim Murphey (The Brain on Agency).
This event could be compared to an all-day music festival, with four great headlining bands and so much more, but it’s not so easy to explain later to folks who weren’t there. The smorgasbord of brain food presented at the conference has inspired this summary of some important points in a fun brainteaser quiz format rather than a standard prose article. Please enjoy it like a sports highlight clip rather than a play-by-play report.
I. Replace the X in each statement below with its correct number from the choices given in bold (some #s used twice, thus repeated here): 1-2, 2, 3, 3, 8, 8-12, 10, 12, 15, 20-30, 25, 50, 25, 75, 97
1. Give students X minutes of “Think Time” to prepare what they want to say and how to say it. (M.H.)
2. A 3-year old has X times as many neurons as an adult. (C.K.)
3. Murphy (R.M.) recommends giving students X number of options to choose from (tiered from easy to hard) for listening tasks, speaking activities, projects, HW, etc.
4. The Losada ratio of positive to negative emotions for the happiness tipping point is X:1. (M.H.)
5. Sonia Lyubomirsky initially identified X things that happy people do, such as remember good things, say “Thank You,” do kind things, forgive (self & others), and deal with problems. {Also, take time for friends & family, stay healthy, and notice good things as they happen.} (M.H.)
6. All babies are born as world citizens, and between X months become specialists in their native tongue. (C.K.)
7. X kinds of positive emotions have been identified, including interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, etc. (M.H.)
8. Critical ages: around X yrs. old the brain changes from L1 to L2. (C.K.)
9. Standing 1 minute increases blood circulation to the brain by X% , so have students stand when practicing dialogue! (M.H.)
10. In a proto-conversation exercise, Tim Murphey had us speak from 1-50, and argue between numbers X.
11. Calm, relaxed students learn up to X% more. (M.H.)
12. In experiments, dopamine levels doubled when the reward rate was cut by X% (which explains why gambling is so exciting). (T.M.)
13. If reward rate is cut to X% of the time, dopamine levels go down because there are too few wins for excitement. (T.M.)
14. At X% reward rate, dopamine also goes down because it’s too close to always winning, so no fun. (T.M.)
15. Because of Bach-Y-Rita’s iconoclastic physical therapy, his paralyzed father regained use of his arms and legs even though X% of the nerves connecting his cerebral cortex to his spinal cord were destroyed. (C.K.)
II. Match these sentences to their proper endings:
1. Memory is not book-like or computer-like; in fact, …
2. We have “gist” memory, …
3. Happiness & long-term memory are connected by …
4. Neurons that fire together, …
5. Revisiting a positive experience mentally …
6. English is not …
7. Information is …
8. University students can feel agentive (in control) by …
a. talking about their Jr. and high school English education. (T.M.)
b. overrated; Questions are at the heart of learning. Creating curiosity is crucial. (T.M.)
c. a "flow" experience for most students. (M.H.)
d. meets the happiness criteria; so we don’t need to actually do it again. (M.H.)
e. wire together. (C.K.)
f. evolution: when we find food, we become happy and so we remember the experience. (C.K.)
g. which is reconstructed each time we recall something. (R.M.)
h. there is no scientific proof of memory in the brain. (R.M.)
III. Fill-in the missing words from these choices:
Mirror, flourish, emotional, passions, challenge, novelty, reward, artificial
1. Schools are ______ environments, so neurons need to be excited. (R.M.)
2. ______ is critical to learning. (C.K.)
3. The brain likes ______. (M.H.)
4. Success is overrated; ______ is what we crave. (T.M.)
5. Allow your students to follow their ______.(R.M.)
6. Every memory has an ______ component. (C.K.)
7. Positive psychology helps students ______, whereas stress/fear overrides new learning. (M.H.)
8. ______ neurons actualize what we see: when someone falls, we say ouch. (T.M.)
Answers: The numbers in activity I are in the order given, while activities II and III are in reverse order! ;-)

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