What is Educational Neuroscience?
Educational Neuroscience is an emerging field that integrates findings from neuroscience with those from education, and cognitive science. The field seeks not only to apply these findings to educationally relevant questions, but also to seriously investigate the idea that one of the single largest drivers of children’s brain plasticity is the educational experience that they receive.
Questions we aim to investigate include:
- How are brain systems put into place?
- How do individual differences in neural circuitry relate to successes or difficulties in children’s learning experiences?
- Do certain teaching methods better capitalize on our brain’s ability to learn complex information?
When we talk about the “human” brain organization, what we really mean is the brain organization that is found in literate, numerate, educated Western humans, especially those humans who have become highly expert at learning academic subjects, given the preponderance of college undergrads in imaging studies. Our research examines the neural underpinnings of cognitive processes that are relevant for education, and the role of educational experiences and enculturation in creating the neural circuits that underlie human specific abilities. To do this, we combine the latest technological advances in understanding the human brain as a “learning organ” with insights from cognitive psychology and education. We run studies on a variety of topics and use functional MRI imaging for some of our work as well.
For more details on our research (past and present), see the corresponding pages about our work: