Neuro-phenomenology and Neuro-physiology of Learning in Education
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Contemporary research on neuroscience and neuro-phenomenology opens in new and more complex models of interpretation regarding the phenomena that govern the development of knowledge and consciousness. In an interview with "Le Monde" in February 1999, Varela said, "from the age of 9 or 10, just one question nagged at me: how to understand the relationship between the body, so physical, so heavy, and the mind perceived as ephemeral, almost atmospheric". This question is still recurrent and is
... essed as a new paradigmatic model, able to explain, in terms of knowledge, the connection and the relation between the neuronal structure and the procedural knowledge; in other words, between neurophysiology and neuro-phenomenology. Which are, in this prospective, the interpretative approaches and the speculative developments? Besides, moving from these approaches, what kind of problem we will have to consider from a didactic point of view? Which relationship exists between the encephalic reality and the phenomenological living body? These considerations, that investigate about the understanding of the relational nature of neural processes which regulate the evolution of human consciousness/knowledge, find their roots and justification in the studies of J. Z. Tsien (in the neuro-physiological field) and of Varela & Thompson (in the neuro-phenomenological field). Tsien and his team, in a biomedical field and through combined and complex experiments, have developed an interesting theory on the basic mechanism by which the brain would be able to transform experience into memory. Clans of neurons involved in coding, they say, make a selection of experiences stored, giving a sense at the experience and transforming it into knowledge. From a different perspective, called Radical Embodiment, the problem of the relational nature of consciousness/knowledge is investigated by Thompson and Varela. Their position is considered as a new approach to the study of neuroscience.