Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicks dig smart...

I am currently reading the Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. I do this all the time; I buy really fat books (this one has almost 900 pages) mostly to impress my wife. Then I find myself drawn into them bit by bit. It turns out that this book has quite a bit of information that relates to stroke recovery.

I do a lot of seminars talking to therapists about stroke recovery. I generally push neuroplasticity (“brain rewiring”) as the foundation for all recovery from stroke. And the easiest way to rewire the brain is to do repetition of whatever movement the stroke survivor is trying to recover. The therapists, curious lot that they are, always ask, “How many repetitions of the movement have to happen before the brain rewires?” The problem is that this question cannot be answered with a-one-number-fits-all answer. The number of repetitions needed depends on how much movement there is to begin with, how focused the stroke survivor is in the practice, how complicated the movement is, etc. etc. The very fat book I'm reading says that there is general agreement that to become an expert in anything takes 10 years. We also know that to become a very high-level athlete, musician, or acquire a skill like carpet weaving takes more than 1 million repetitions of the movement(s).

So the question I have is, when does recovery end? After 1 million repetitions? After 10 years? If either of these is in the right ballpark, another question follows, “Why are stroke survivors discharged from therapies within a ye
ar or so of their stroke?”

1 comment:

Dean said...

The Cambridge book was referred to in The Talent Code which is probably as big as my Urantia book.

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