My brain is full, may I be excused?

So my daughter got Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Christmas and I spent several hours – until about 2am, actually – tuning it up for her. Beat the game on the easy setting, progressed to winning the first battle on the medium setting.

As previously mentioned, this is all in the interest of stretching my brain in new directions. (Um, yeah, right.)

My daughter also got a DVD-based Spanish program. So after all that Guitar Hero, we spent an hour learning Spanish together.

And then later in the day, I cranked up Guitar Hero again and found that I had regressed from moderate incompetence back to total incompetence.

Whether the Spanish bit had actually crowded out any of the guitaring bit, I can’t say with certainty, but stuff like this is part of why the human brain is a fascinating little conglomeration of circuits.

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11 thoughts on “My brain is full, may I be excused?

  1. i wonder when i learn a new phone number or stupid piece of useless info what information is being written over. what have i lost?

    d’jever notice that a person’s fluency in a second learned language that they had to study as an adult (as opposed to growing up bi-lingual) tends to be inversely proportional to their social skilland the more difficult the language, the more social skills they seem to lose. i knew a guy who learned and mastered arabic, he spoke it better than native arabs, they needed a dictionary to look up words he used. he was truly socially retarded. it’s like language overwrites the social parts of the brain. that’s my crazy theory anyway…

  2. No, you may not be excused. At least you don’t have much need for Spanish in Massachusetts. You may want to take up French instead in case you run into the Kerrys.

    @chessloser: Chess also seems to overwrite the social areas of the brain. But it’s not something that a couple drinks can’t cure.

  3. C’mon y’guys, the human brain isn’t a cup that only holds 16 oz. and spills over if you put too much in. As a reader of The Complete Sherlock Holmes I recall one story where Holmes explains to Dr. Watson that he avoids learning anything not germane to his work, based on this model of memory, and says something like “frankly Watson, I don’t care if the Sun orbits the Moon.” Anyway, as I was saying, I learned all about the Franco-Prussian War recently and it hasn’t hurt a bit…

    What was that? My middle name? Ummmmmmm, oh bother…

  4. So on a more serious note (ha), I’m not sure it’s a question of overwriting. Jostling for position might be a better description. We all know that a period of neglect will cause “form” in any performance-oriented skillset to decline. It’s not that you forgot how to play chess entirely, but your brain isn’t tuned to deliver peak performance. It’s not inconceivable that this Guitar Hero/Spanish Hero effect is a similar effect in a shorter time frame.

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