Dream suite: Why do humans share commonly experienced dreams, and why do we remember these dreams? Look through the peepholes opposite the dream couches at the six archetypal dream themes. Have you had these dreams? Consider why, of all the dreams experienced over a person’s lifetime, these six are so easy to recall. Are they recurring? Are they associated with a certain psychological state – stress, anxiety? When are you more likely to dream during the night?
Start here: Dream peep holes opposite the dream couches (blue section). You will find information related to emotional states, dream analysis and memory formation throughout the gallery.
Memory formation and storage. Explore the information in the gallery around memory – how are memories formed and what types of memory’s do we form? Consider the memory game on the wall of the Ames Room – what tricks/mnemonics do people use to remember. Can we improve our memory? How?
Start here: Information panels and visual memory game outside the Ames room (yellow section).
What is memory’s role in learning? Try learning something new by playing the screen memory game at ‘Can I improve my memory?’ What senses are involved here? Do you think a person can improve their speed at this game through repetition – design a short experiment and record the results. Explore the notion that different people favour different senses when learning. What is happening at the neurological level when you as explore the activities?
Start here: Learning panel (black section) and aural memory game (yellow section). Test your skills at the language interactive.
Reward for our behaviour: Locate the Skinner Box and consider it’s function. What has been learnt using such experimental methods and animal models? Do you learn better if there is a ‘reward’ at the end? Explore some examples where people learn or work best if their behaviour is positively reinforced– you may find these in the gallery, broader museum or from your own experience. How does this differ to being negatively reinforced?
Start here: Skinner box (near the Ames room) (yellow section)
The role of punishment: Consider behavioural conditioning through ‘punishment’. Examine historical treatments which attempted to change behaviours in human subjects in the gallery. How do you feel about these? Explore ethical implications, and how treatments have changed over time. What are the implications for punishment, how can these be improved?
Start here: The isolation cupboard (opposite the ‘Emotions’ video screen – purple section) is a dramatic example first example.
“I have lost myself” – Brain trauma, either through injury or disease, can result in memory malfunction. Find examples in the gallery, and suggest how the trauma could impact on memory (both formation and recall). Consider which parts of the brain are involved in memory and the role of neural communication.
Start here: Alzheimers and neurosyphilis are case-studies examined in the section just past the Ames room (yellow section)