Category Archives: Learning

Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning

There is a common belief in education – that visual mathematics is for lower level work, and for struggling or younger students, and that students should only work visually as a prelude to more advanced or abstract mathematics. As Thomas … Continue reading

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The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity

Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, but its biological function, mechanisms, and neural underpinning remain poorly understood. It is nonetheless a motivator for learning, influential in decision-making, and crucial for healthy development. One factor limiting our understanding of … Continue reading

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Inside the Brain of a Curious Child?

Students asking questions and then exploring the answers. That’s something any good teacher lives for. And at the heart of it all is curiosity. But why? What, exactly, is curiosity and how does it work? A study published in the … Continue reading

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How Curiosity drives Learning

People find it easier to learn about topics that interest them, but little is known about the mechanisms by which intrinsic motivational states affect learning. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how curiosity (intrinsic motivation to learn) influences … Continue reading

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Curiosity helps Learning and Memory

Curiosity helps us learn about a topic, and being in a curious state also helps the brain memorize unrelated information, according to researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. Work published Oct. 2 in the journal Neuron provides insight … Continue reading

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Rewiring Student Brains

James Zull’s book The Art of Changing the Brain contends that neuroscience can guide our teaching practice by revealing to us how our brains actually learn. I think his insight is reliable, and I’m particularly satisfied that he views the … Continue reading

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The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning

Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind — thought, emotions, artistic creation — are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the … Continue reading

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Learning-induced neural plasticity of speech processing before birth

Learning, the foundation of adaptive and intelligent behavior, is based on plastic changes in neural assemblies, reflected by the modulation of electric brain responses. In infancy, auditory learning implicates the formation and strengthening of neural long-term memory traces, improving discrimination … Continue reading

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We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education

Recent advances in neuroscience are highlighting connections between emotion, social functioning, and decision making that have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the role of affect in education. In particular, the neurobiological evidence suggests that the aspects of cognition … Continue reading

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Dynamic reconfiguration of Human Brain Networks during Learning

Human learning is a complex phenomenon requiring flexibility to adapt existing brain function and precision in selecting new neurophysiological activities to drive desired behavior. These two attributes — flexibility and selection — must operate over multiple temporal scales as performance … Continue reading

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