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Learning machine Essay

The author believes that like a learning machine the human brain is capable of adapting anything new regardless of the age of the person. This she deduces this from a number of arguments in the form of research done from different points of view but all leading to her conclusion. The author is not describing other peoples’ opinions. Rather she uses their arguments as the premises to end at the conclusion that she states at the beginning of her excerpt.

The author uses information on neural plasticity from presentation done by Gregg Recanzone using animals, Merzenich Michaels’ research on “shaping the machinery of our brains” using the elderly and  Alison Gopniks’ research on plasticity of the brain using children and the connection to the logic of imagination all from the University of California. Columbia University’s Walter Mischels’ discussion on the ability to control our desires based on the imaginations we put on them and Sir Michael Rutter of King’s college made a presentation of the effects of early institutional deprivation[1].

To arrive at the conclusion, the author used the data from done research as the premises to support her conclusion. Though the author does not use the solid research data to support her argument, she uses the findings of the research as her arguments. The research was done correctly. There are various experiments done where there was need for comparison.

There was physical experimenting in the case of study. The author shows only one side of the issue. The author relies on isolated researches, which makes the findings reliable. The author makes a valid conclusion form the data that was well intended for showing that indeed the plasticity and changes in the brain is a life long process.

At any time, the conclusions made should be based on concrete and sound arguments. Arguments based on facts or pre-proven researches are valid arguments. To make a conclusion, one needs to provide valid arguments that are in line with the conclusion to be made. The conclusion made should therefore be in tandem with the arguments presented to make a valid conclusion.

This is because there can be a situation where there are valid arguments but an invalid conclusion. In the excerpt, the author has used valid arguments in the form done researches to arrive at the conclusion made. The conclusion is also valid. In making a good argument, there should be no assumptions made. In the excerpt, the argument that uses the animal species of a monkey to relate to the human situation is challengeable. Real research in the human context would have been the best line of action in the case study.

The education sector in the United States today is a very good example. In the New York Times on 6th July 2010. The unions are accusing the government for “undermining public education”…. Is the conclusion right? What is the basis of their conclusion? In the National Education Association’s convention that began on Saturday, there is no one from the Obama administration is set to speak in the convection. This is despite the previous two-year addresses that the president had made to them.

They claim that they have not seen the change they hoped for from the government. “Today our members face the most anti-educator, anti-union, anti-student environment I have ever experienced,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the union, the National Education Association, told thousands of members gathered at the convention center.[2]

The angered teachers are being blamed for the prevailing situations in the public schools. There is a connection in the article and except, the teachers unions are deriving a conclusion from the arguments that I have briefly summarized among the many more in the article. The concept of using valid arguments to arrive at a conclusion is utilized here.

Like any other animal man is no exception to nature. Nature requires that the species adapt to survive. The human brain is the control system of the human body, this makes it the first to respond to the changes and hence give directive to the whole body in order to survive. As we grow, the rate of responsiveness to changes will decrease. The brain is an organ in the human body, all the body tissues are subjected to wear and tear and old age makes the body not able to replace the worn out tissues as fast as before. Therefore, the brain will have worn out tissues that will make it unable to adapt as first as before.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dillon, Sam.2010. Teachers’ Union Shuns Obama Aides at Convention. The New York Times July 6th, 2010. Retrieved on 6th July 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/education/05teachers.html?_r=1&hpw
Nelson, Leah.2006. A learning machine: Plasticity and change throughout life. Retrieved on July 6th, 2006 http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2029

[1] Leah Nelson. 2006.  A learning machine: Plasticity and change throughout life. Retrieved on 6th July 2006  http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2029

 [2] Sam Dillon. 2010. Teachers’ Union Shuns Obama Aides at Convention. The New York Times 6th, July 2010. Retrieved on 6th July 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/education/05teachers.html?_r=1&hpw


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