Tag Archives: Marines

THINK LIKE A ZOMBIE

Zombie-JAJ TBrain Tech – Part 4

Adapted from the Journal of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Chicago

John Jonelis;

A highly experienced parachute instructor wanted to film his students.  (This actually happened in the ‘90s.)  “He clips the camera to his visor and carries the rest of the unit on his back.  Then he does everything the same as always.  But on his way down, he reaches for the ripcord and it’s not there.  He forgot his parachute.”  How can that happen to a seasoned instructor?  What caused the fatal mistake?

In our daily lives, why do we get frustrated?  Why do we get upset?  The answer lies in the lesson of the parachute.

When change happens, there’s too much data to process effectively.  So we get overwhelmed.  Ever forget to buckle your seatbelt?  But when we process data efficiently, the stress goes down and the frustration goes down.  And so do the mistakes.

Techniques now exist to speed up the brain—to help us process real-time information more rapidly.  To do it instinctively—subconsciously.  It’s called a Zombie System.  And there are higher and higher levels of Zombie Systems.

Zombie-JAJ 500

 

The Speaker

John Kennedy has worked with over 2,500 individuals, from Marine Snipers, Rangers, Recon and Special Operations Forces, Pilots, Professional Athletes, Business People, and sufferers from Brain Trauma who have seen their lives positively changed by his training.

Mr. Kennedy’s comments are given before an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, and PhDs assembled at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago.

Troops

Neuroplasticity

Kennedy’s solutions are based on new research into brain function.  We now know the brain is flexible—it has plasticity.  This is described in the book, THE BRAIN CHANGES ITSELF by Norman Doidge, MD.  I’ll paraphrase his words:  The adult human brain, rather than being fixed or hard-wired, can change itself.  Not only that, it works because it changes itself.  It is neuroplastic—adaptable, changeable, and malleable. It changes its structure and function in response to many factors:  What it senses.  What it does.  Even what it thinks and imagines.

We now understand the physiology behind this.  The brain re-wires itself.  Scans show the brain is constantly making new connections then trimming them down to be more efficient.

More and more gets moved into the subconscious.  And we can be trained to do this.

The latest discovery from MIT is that, with robust stimulation, the brain will change almost instantaneously.  So Kennedy developed a program that stimulates the brain by giving it a very simple task, then makes that task progressively more difficult.  Lifting weights makes your muscles stronger.  The brain is the same way.  But to speed up the brain, the exercise must relate to speed—not memory or cognitive skills—and it must be tied to the real world to have application in the real world.

Kennedy’s program is called PACEtm – Progressively Accelerated Cognitive Exertion.  The method involves a series of exercises that engage the brain very quickly.  Puzzles.  A series of symbols.  Easy at first, they get more and more difficult.  According to Kennedy, by the end of the training, students are doing 100 active decisions a minute.  These are same kind of decisions we make every day, but he’s forcing students to do them over-and-over again, very fast.

So how does he measure success?  Simple.  He keeps data on before-and-after performance.  For example, does the sniper shoot better?

sniper

Go Read a Map

According to Kennedy, study after study shows that visual brain games lead to better game scores but no real-world benefits.  Why is that?

Turns out, the key is real-world interaction.  Digital only affects a narrow part of the brain.  A screen is easy and it’s fast but it doesn’t build the robust connections that the brain needs.

For you do-it-yourselfers, Kennedy suggests you be aware of the analogue vs. digital interface.  For example, analogue clocks give a more meaningful relationship to time than digital ones.

Teach your kids to read a map—don’t let them use a GPS.  They’re not doing the work—not using their brains.  Planning on a map involves shape recognition.  It involves analysis, synthesis, categorization, classification, directional orientation.  It involves core cognitive skills that with enough practice become a subconscious habit.  That applies to anything where you have to find your way around.

Land data.
Negotiating a room.
Networking.
Relating to People.

You can get those four skills by learning to read a map or by finding a book in a library rather than looking it up on a digital device.  If you can read a map, you can relate to your environment—you’re not going to get lost.  Integrate analogue into your life.

“The more you are involved in digital,” says Kennedy, “the more you need to find some kind of analogue alternative.  Use the GPS, but every once in a while take out a map.  Put up an analogue clock in your office and home.  Keep your brain engaged as much as possible with your environment.”

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GO TO PART 1 – WHAT MAKES INNOVATION?

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Contacts

MITEF Chicagohttp://www.mitefchicago.org/

John Kennedy T MITEF

Combat Brain Training – http://www.combatbraintraining.com

1022 Greenleaf, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-791-19825

john@combatbraintraining.com

 Photos credits – John Kennedy, J Jonelis.
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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2014 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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2 Comments

Filed under Chicago Ventures

THINK FAST

Combat Brain Training T

Brain Tech – Part 3

Adapted from the Journal of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Chicago

John Jonelis

“I must’ve walked down that alley 100 times, but for some reason something told me I shouldn’t go down there.” But the Marine dismisses the thought and carries on with his mission. Next, he gets blown up.

The soldier’s intuition tells him to avoid the alley but his observation and cognition do not. Something is happening that he cannot account for. How can we fix this picture?

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The Speaker

Armed forces, professional athletics, and even business include crucial bursts of heightened stress and times of rapid change. Such times call for laser focus, situational awareness, and fast mental and physical reactions. We must process real-time data quickly.

New discoveries enable us to rev-up the processing power of our brains. Such training—recently used in the military—is now available to athletes, trading professionals, and business people.

The program is called PACEtmProgressively Accelerated Cognitive Exertion. Over 2,500 individuals, from Marine Snipers, Rangers, Recon and Special Operations Forces, Pilots, Professional Athletes, Business People, and sufferers from Brain Trauma have had their lives positively changed by this training. John Kennedy developed the program and claims that 100% of those have reported significant improvement in performance. A hundred percent!

John Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy’s comments are given before an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, and PhDs assembled at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago.

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The Challenge

Kennedy tells of his call-to-action in 2006 when his brother came back from Iraq and said, “Those IEDs are killing us.”

So he went to IED training. IED survivors accompanied him the whole time, and that motivated him in a powerful way. Meanwhile, the Marines were independently looking for a solution to the problem.

“The Marines had already mapped-out processes,” he says. “The entire kill chain—all the way from motivation to boom. And the prevent chain. Very smart people were doing this. But for every innovation they designed to protect against explosives, the enemy found a way around it. That approach was too slow.”

Up to that point, decision-making science was based on what happened in the past. In a rapidly changing environment, there may not be enough time to think through all that information.

Recalling the story of the Marine in the alley, Kennedy postulates: “If a guy in the field can think better, maybe he can avoid the explosion.”

Combat Brain Training

Speeding up the Brain

What are the components of mental performance? Certainly, there’s learning and experience. According to Kennedy, Marines go through tons of training and over 900 learning objectives. But what is this phenomenon we call intuition? “It may simply be the act of processing information faster,” he says. “Everybody loves a faster computer. How can we do this for the brain?”

Physicists say it’s impossible for a Major League Baseball player to hit a fastball. Think of it: The bat swings at almost 100 mph. The ball comes at the batter at almost 100 mph. There’s no way that consciously, he can see the ball leave the pitcher’s hand and swing the bat in time to hit it. Yet batters DO hit fastballs with startling regularity. Coaches tell the batters, ‘Don’t think,’ because cognitive thought is too slow. When the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, the subconscious takes over.

According to Kennedy, neuroscientists call this a Zombie System. If you repeat an action over and over again, you get to the point where you react subconsciously. It becomes a habit. Subconscious processing is faster than conscious analysis. “Excellence is a habit,” he says. “Conscious thinking is too slow.”

So Kennedy set a goal: “To make the brain act on real-time data as quickly as on memory.”

The ultimate result is what he calls Cognitively Primed Anticipation. Instead of being overwhelmed, the brain becomes so fast that it’s waiting for information to come in. “We’re working more and more off the Zombie System in the subconscious,” he says. “Freeing cognitive functions to deal with change.”

The marine, going though that alley time after timenow his brain is ready to anticipate more information; he’s effectively using more real-time data. Maybe he notices there aren’t the usual kids in the road any more. The dogs are away. There’s more trash that could be hiding an IED. He’s not confused by his intuition any more—it’s become a cognitive tool for him.

More detail on Kennedy’s program coming in Part 4 of this series.

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GO TO PART 4 – THINK LIKE A ZOMBIE

GO TO PART 1 – WHAT MAKES INNOVATION

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Contacts

MITEF Chicagohttp://www.mitefchicago.org/T MITEF

John Kennedy – Combat Brain Training 

www.combatbraintraining.com

1022 Greenleaf, Evanston, IL 60202

847-791-19825  john@combatbraintraining.com

Photo credits – John Kennedy

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2014 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

1 Comment

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