Here is a draft or an outline of an article to analyze the process of CW reception. It involves various aspects of our auditory, intellectual and psychological functions. There have been few reports on this process. One reason is that CW has become a mode of communication in the past. But it is still a vital issue for amateur radio operators how to improve our skills. Understanding the process of CW reception must be of help to do so. Analysis of the process is necessary to understand it. It may contribute to brush up our skills efficiently. Another interest is in the fact that CW composed of very simple symbols, that is, dash and dot, could provide findings in human epistemology. It may reveal, in my imagination, how to recognize any symbol or even language through understanding about this process. That is why I have planned this article.
Of course, I am not a professional student in this field at all. But there have been a few scientific studies on this process using functional MRI for now. Very interesting. My description and primitive analysis is still far from science at present. And it is still imcomplete. But in the future, I would like to describe this analysis in scientific words and findings. Any critical or supportive comments are welcomed. It is sometimes difficult for me to express on the processes in English. Any correction or inquiry in expression is also appreciated.
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At first, I would like to discuss why head copy is superior to writing down copy. It is almost clear but it is sometimes disputed, at least, in Japan. This dispute is because there have been ex radio operators leading CW education in Japan. Commercial operators have been required to copy every letter accurately. It was not a matter what the message means to the R/O. There might be the same situation in the countries where they speak other than English for their mother tongu and ex R/O hams lead the education of CW. Copying every letter is not required in CW communication.
In writing down copy, the process is as follows;
1)Listen CW codes
2)Convert a code to the corresponding letter
3)Write down the letter
4)In the meantime, understand the meaning of the word or the sentence, frequently after all the sentences were sent.
In the process (3), we should concentrate on the motion of writing down. It is always hard for the receiver to understand what the word/sentence is meaning. It could be a serious defect in conversational CW communication. Merle K6DC used to ask the reader in his autobiography why we wrote down every word in our conversation. The motion of writing down is not only an unnecessary but also disturbing process.
Of course, when learning each code, it might be helpful to write each letter corresponding a code. But, if you go on writing down every letter, you could be dependent on the motion of writing itself. You would feel very anxious about not writing it down. It causes a kind of anxiety neurosis. You won't stop writing down even if you are trained for receiving code enough. Unfortunately, there are still such cases on the air. So leave writing down every letter as soon as possible.
On the other hand, the head copy is much more suitable for conversation on CW. The process is as follows;
1)Listen CW codes
2)Convert each code to letter, which comprises a word and subsequently a sentence.
3)Take the meaning of the word/sentence
It is quite important that, in this process, the process (2) and (3) go on alternately or at the same time. While taking the meaning of particular word/sentence, you would expect the word/sentence which follows it. In the next moment, you could confirm if your expectation was right or not from what comes next. This persistently ongoing process of communication in the brain will reveal the whole meaning of sentences or a paragraph in the message. It is a highly intellectual process. You should be accoustomed with this process in reception. It won't be possible without head copy.
How to train head copy is the next question. The popular training method of Koch is involved in the process (1) and (2). It won't train the process (3) or the communicative process stated above. I would point it out that this reception process is equivalent to reading process. I have quoted a medical paper in a previous article in this blog on this issue. It said the fMRI study had shown that CW reception is comparable to reading. In another words, reception of CW is most likelily performed at the center of brain of reading. For a non native ham, the process (3) is accompanied by the other difficult factor,
that is, translation of English into mother tongue. The training of reading in English is very important for them to brush up the skill in CW conversation. Koch method must be of help to the beginners in non native countries but is of limited value for those who would like to improve their skills after having learned code.