Learning Sciences of Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7100 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘cognitive neuroscience

How Curiosity drives Learning

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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 memory. In both immediate and one-day-delayed memory tests, participants showed improved memory for information that they were curious about and for incidental material learned during states of high curiosity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging results revealed that activity in the midbrain and the nucleus accumbens was enhanced during states of high curiosity. Importantly, individual variability in curiosity-driven memory benefits for incidental material was supported by anticipatory activity in the midbrain and hippocampus and by functional connectivity between these regions. These findings suggest a link between the mechanisms supporting extrinsic reward motivation and intrinsic curiosity and highlight the importance of stimulating curiosity to create more effective learning experiences.

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Read also: What’s Going on Inside the Brain Of A Curious Child?

How the Power of Interest Drives Learning

How to Stimulate Curiosity

Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Cognitive Neuroscience 2.0 – building a Cumulative Science of Human Brain Function

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Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly recognize that continued progress in understanding human brain function will require not only the acquisition of new data, but also the synthesis and integration of data across studies and laboratories. Here we review ongoing efforts to develop a more cumulative science of human brain function. We discuss the rationale for an increased focus on formal synthesis of the cognitive neuroscience literature, provide an overview of recently developed tools and platforms designed to facilitate the sharing and integration of neuroimaging data, and conclude with a discussion of several emerging developments that hold even greater promise in advancing the study of human brain function.

The explosive growth of human brain mapping over the past two decades has raised important challenges for the field. As the primary literature expands, the need for powerful tools capable of synthesizing and distilling the findings of many different studies grow commensurately. The present article highlighted the benefits of a synthesis oriented research strategy and reviewed several ongoing efforts to facilitate greater integration of the published literature. Going forward, such integration will undoubtedly accelerate progress in elucidating the neural mechanisms that support the full range of human thought, feeling, and action in health and disease. There is every reason to push forward energetically on efforts to develop a cumulative science of human brain function.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

Bases Neurales de la Décision. Une approche de Neurosciences Cognitives

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Se basant sur les neurosciences, l’auteur passe successivement en revue divers problèmes relatifs à la décision: décision et raison, décision et regard, décision et inhibition, décision et double, décision et anticipation, décision et émotion, décision et interactions ou normes sociales (compétition entre émotion et cognition, changement de point de vue, sympathie et empathie). Il conclut son exposé en soulignant que dans tous ces processus neurophysiologiques et psychologiques extrêmement complexes et interactifs, il faut tenir compte en plus des différences interindividuelles liées à l’âge, l’expérience, le sexe.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 3, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Unraveling the Mystery of Consciousness

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One of the striking developments of modern times is an appreciation of how unbounded things are. Social networks have transformed our understanding of the nature of the individual. Phones allow another person to be present to us even when they are miles away, destroying the illusion of boundaries.

I travel and I can access my latest work documents, my deepest, most intimate thoughts on the cloud, so where are my most deepest, most significant thoughts? Where am I working? Where am I located? We ourselves are distributed dynamically, extended beings who are always becoming through our action. That is a very profound, new way of thinking about what we are. But sadly so often in the sciences of mind, this new way of thinking about ourselves is overlooked as a possibility. Too many cognitive scientists, not all, but the majority tend to take really a 17th century conception of the person as an individual island trapped inside his or her head. We need to break free of that.

Now, the only way to move forward is through an integrated, contextualized neuroscience of consciousness.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity: A Critical Review

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Cognitive neuroscience studies of creativity have appeared with increasing frequently in recent years. Yet to date, no comprehensive and critical review of these studies has yet been published. The first part of this article presents a quick overview of the 3 primary methodologies used by cognitive neuroscientists: electroencephalography (EEG), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The second part provides a comprehensive review of cognitive neuroscience studies of creativity-related cognitive processes. The third part critically examines these studies; the goal is to be extremely clear about exactly what interpretations can appropriately be made of these studies. The conclusion provides recommendations for future research collaborations between creativity researchers and cognitive neuroscientists.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

The Cognitive Science of Science: Explanation, Discovery, and Conceptual Change

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Many disciplines, including philosophy, history, and sociology, have attempted to make sense of how science works. In this book, Paul Thagard examines scientific development from the interdisciplinary perspective of cognitive science. Cognitive science combines insights from researchers in many fields: philosophers analyze historical cases, psychologists carry out behavioral experiments, neuro-scientists perform brain scans, and computer modelers write programs that simulate thought processes.

Thagard develops cognitive perspectives on the nature of explanation, mental models, theory choice, and resistance to scientific change, considering disbelief in climate change as a case study. He presents a series of studies that describe the psychological and neural processes that have led to breakthroughs in science, medicine, and technology. He shows how discoveries of new theories and explanations lead to conceptual change, with examples from biology, psychology, and medicine. Finally, he shows how the cognitive science of science can integrate descriptive and normative concerns; and he considers the neural underpinnings of certain scientific concepts.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Neurogastronomy – How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

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Leading neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd embarks on a paradigm-shifting trip through the “human brain flavor system,” laying the foundations for a new scientific field: neurogastronomy.  Challenging the belief that the sense of smell diminished during human evolution, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more powerful and essential than previously believed.

Shepherd begins Neurogastronomy with the mechanics of smell, particularly the way it stimulates the nose from the back of the mouth. As we eat, the brain conceptualizes smells as spatial  patterns, and from these and the other senses it constructs the perception of flavor. Shepherd connects his research to trends in nutrition, dieting, and obesity, especially the challenges that many face in eating healthily. He concludes with human perceptions of smell and flavor and their relationship to the neural basis of consciousness.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong

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Taking notes during class? Topic-focused study? A consistent learning environment? All are exactly opposite of the best strategies for learning. I recently had the good fortune to interview Robert Bjork, the director of the UCLA Learning and Forgetting Lab, a distinguished professor of psychology, and a massively renowned expert.

It turns out that everything I thought I knew about learning is wrong. First, he told me, think about how you attack a pile of study material. “People tend to try to learn in blocks,” Bjork said. “Mastering one thing before moving on to the next.” Instead of doing that Bjork recommends interleaving. The strategy suggest that instead of spending an hour working on your tennis serve, you mix in a range of skills like backhands, volleys, overhead smashes, and footwork. “This creates a sense of difficulty,” Bjork said. “And people tend not to notice the immediate effects of learning.”

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation

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Mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation technique, has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance. Scientists have also begun to examine how meditation may influence brain functions. This talk will examine the effect of mindfulness meditation practice on the brain systems in which psychological functions such as attention, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and self-view are instantiated. We will also discuss how different forms of meditation practices are being studied using neuroscientific technologies and are being integrated into clinical practice to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide Change in Education

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This book offers the reader an engrossing and coherent introduction to what neuroscience can tell us about cognitive development through experience, and its implications for education. Stating that educational change is underway and that the time is ripe to recognize that the primary objective of education is to understand human learning and that all other objectives depend on achieving this understanding, James Zull challenges the reader to focus on this purpose, first for her or himself, and then for those for whose learning they are responsible. In this work presents cognitive development as a journey taken by the brain, from an organ of organized cells, blood vessels, and chemicals at birth, through its shaping by experience and environment into potentially to the most powerful and exquisite force in the universe, the human mind. Zull begins his journey with sensory-motor learning, and how that leads to discovery, and discovery to emotion. He then describes how deeper learning develops, how symbolic systems such as language and numbers emerge as tools for thought, how memory builds a knowledge base, and how memory is then used to create ideas and solve problems. Along the way he prompts us to think of new ways to shape educational experiences from early in life through adulthood, informed by the insight that metacognition lies at the root of all learning. At a time when we can expect to change jobs and careers frequently during our lifetime, when technology is changing society at break-neck speed, and we have instant access to almost infinite information and opinion, he argues that self-knowledge, awareness of how and why we think as we do, and the ability to adapt and learn, are critical to our survival as individuals; and that the transformation of education, in the light of all this and what neuroscience can tell us, is a key element in future development of healthy and productive societies

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 16, 2011 at 2:59 am