Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learning is Complicated

This is "I'm overwhelmed with how complex learning is" Part V.

Associations and experiences change the way neurons react. And numbers of neurons. And neurotransmitters. And the numbers of receptors. And the connections between neurons.

And then I just don't know how to apply this to our dogs. It seems like all our silly training is, in many ways, just so primitive and we have such a poor understanding of what's going on and how to optimize learning.

At this point, the most I'm able to apply:

- We need lots of repetitions.
- We need correct repetitions and behaviors.

We talk about the strength of behaviors and history of reinforcement, but just as important is the strength of the neural connectors... which we get by many correct repetitions.

It's amazing. And the stuff we do know in some ways (yes, practice a lot, that's great, don't let our dog practice incorrect behaviors). But. I definitely under-appreciated the little details and how great the brain is.


That said. It's been painful but I've not sent in Blaze's entry for AKC rally next month. Over the last week he's off the wall bouncing and barking and displaying some almost play behaviors I don't think I've seen before. I'm sure that when it's the day of the trial, he'll be brilliant and I'll regret not sending this in.

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