Test Your Brain: Education Worksheet

Video highlights from Brain Games

Junior and Senior Secondary

Test Your Brain Education Worksheet

EPISODES IN THIS SERIES
Pay Attention, You Won’t Believe Your Eyes, Memory

EDUCATION SHEET EPISODE
Pay Attention

SCHOOL LEVEL
Junior and Senior Secondary


EDUCATION DESCRIPTION: Pay Attention
David Copperfield, arguably the world’s most successful magician, presents this marvellous, ground-breaking series about the human brain. Although the human brain has been studied for centuries, scientists are still nowhere near understanding its incredible complexities. Prepare to test your powers of attention, sensory perception and memory. Interactive experiments and tricks show how our brains create the illusion of a seamless reality. These exciting and revealing experiments provide a fascinating window into the inner-workings of the brain, while some of the world’s leading experts explain how and why they work. David Copperfield, whose stock in trade is manipulating his audience's attention to produce amazing illusions, shows how our minds can be so distracted, that a gorilla can walk through the room right in front of our eyes and we won't even see it.  


TEACHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In making sense of a busy world, the human brain’s most powerful tool is its ability to focus, or pay attention. Interestingly, the leading experts on attention are magicians and illusionists, who elegantly control their audience’s minds by manipulating their ability to focus. There are many ways to manipulate attention, as ably demonstrated by the show’s host, David Copperfield, and Las Vegas sleight of hand maestro, Apollo Robbins.

For those who consider themselves adept at multitasking, it may come as a shock to learn that the human brain can only focus on one thing at a time. In fact, our brains are hardwired with countless shortcuts in order to essentialise the world. We focus only on what counts. Professor David Strayer demonstrates this fact by testing a “supertasker” CEO, tracking how much his performance suffers for each of the tasks he undertakes simultaneously.

Learn about neurological phenomena, such as inattentional blindness and the Stroop effect, and how they affect us. Neuroscientist, Professor Amir Raz, demonstrates the power of hypnosis and how it can be used to fine-tune attention by shutting down automatic signals. According to results from the latest research, it seems that through practices such as hypnosis and meditation, we can begin to rewire the brain and increase our ability to focus, thereby boosting performance of everyday tasks.

True to its name, Brain Games is sprinkled with a series of games that test the viewer’s attention. Combining magic tricks and contemporary research, the program illustrates some of the brain’s most fascinating functions that affect us every day, and shares easy-to-digest scientific explanations of those functions.


CURRICULUM POINTERS

Junior Secondary Curriculum
Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale


Senior Secondary Curriculum
Building on students' science knowledge and skills acquired up to Year 10, the senior secondary Biology curriculum examines the development and latest applications of biological knowledge in ways which are relevant to students' everyday lives, and which enable them to solve problems and make evidence-based decisions related to present and future challenges. Biology encompasses many specialisations and interdisciplinary fields to explore how life exists, evolves and survives.
Australian Biology Curriculum 2010: Rationale



CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Junior Secondary
In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will:

•    Develop an interest in science and a curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions and speculate about the changing world in which they live
•    Develop an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs
•    Develop an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science
while taking into account moral, ethical and social implications.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims


Senior Secondary
In undertaking these tasks, students of Biology will:

•    Engage in communication of and about biology, value evidence and scepticism, and evaluate critically the scientific claims made by others
•    Solve problems, and make informed, responsible and ethical decisions when considering local and global issues and applications of biological concepts, techniques and technologies in daily life
•    Appreciate biology as both an independent and a collaborative human endeavour
•    Develop in-depth knowledge, understanding, skills and scientific values relating to biology
•    Appreciate the changing and expanding body of contemporary knowledge in biology.
Australian Earth and Environmental Science Curriculum 2010: Aims


STUDENT LEARNING TASKS

Junior Secondary

Task 1
Draw a diagram of the human brain, label the following parts, and for each of those parts, write a sentence to give one example of a task that it performs:
•    Frontal lobe
•    Parietal lobe
•    Occipital lobe
•    Temporal lobe
•    Cerebellum

You may like to check this website for help with your answer:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/brain-article/

Task 2
Write 100 words to explain how magicians use misdirection to manipulate their audience’s attention. Then describe a magic trick that uses this technique.

Task 3
In 150 words, define what is meant by multitasking and explain why 98% of humans are not good at it. In your answer, describe what happens in the brain when people try to text while driving a car, and how this affects performance.

Task 4
Write 50 words to explain the meaning of inattentional blindness. Then write 50 words to explain the Stroop Effect. Give an example of each.

Task 5
Hypnosis is a controversial form of therapy. Write a couple of sentences to explain how hypnosis works, then draw two columns and list five advantages and five disadvantages of hypnosis.


STUDENT LEARNING TASKS

Senior Secondary

Task 1
Draw a diagram of the human brain, label the following parts, and for each of those parts, write a sentence to give one example of a task that it performs:
•    Frontal lobe
•    Parietal lobe
•    Occipital lobe
•    Temporal lobe
•    Cerebellum
•    Cortex
•    Stem

You may like to check this website for help with your answer:
science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/brain-article/

Task 2
As magicians well know, there are two basic types of attention: decision-making attention and surprise attention. In 150 words, describe the two different types of attention, explain which part of the brain is used for each of them, and give examples of how a magician could use each of them to deceive an audience.

Task 3
Describe in 200 words an experiment to demonstrate how multitasking affects the brain. In your answer, mention the range of people you should test, including such factors as gender, age, occupation, socio-economic background, and why these factors might be important.

Task 4
Differentiate between the following concepts, writing a sentence or two for each one and giving an example:

•    Change blindness
•    Inattentional blindness
•    Cognitive blind spot
•    Stroop Effect

Task 5
Do some Internet research to help answer the following questions about hypnosis:
•    What is hypnosis?
•    How does it work?
•    What area/s of the brain are involved, how do they normally function and what happens to them under hypnosis?
•    Are some people more susceptible to being hypnotised than others? Explain your answer.
•    Who first used hypnosis and why?
•    Would you like to be hypnotised? Why or why not?
•    Why is hypnosis a controversial form of therapy?
 

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