What educators can learn from brain research

How to choose applicable neuroscience research, connecting research to campus faculty, and one fascinating study on emotions

brain2As technology advances, new discoveries based on brain mapping are helping researchers understand how students learn. But how can educators spot the best neuroscience research, and how are researchers partnering with university staff to implement applicable research? Thanks to expert reports and diverse initiatives, higher education can reap the benefits of cutting-edge brain research.

Thanks to functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)–a type of non-invasive, low-radiation brain scan that measures neural activity in response to certain stimuli, and developed forms of neuroimaging–researchers are learning more about how we learn than many thought possible.

For example, perhaps the most shocking revelation in neuroscience is that the brain’s structure is more flexible than previously thought–a concept called neuroplasticity, meaning that the brain can still learn new concepts after various ages, and that every student can be taught many different ways. In a sense, the brain can be rewired.

Other studies have begun to measure reading aptitudes, the causes of and workings of attention-deficit disorder, and the way the brain processes mathematics.

Yet, with all this new research, it’s important to remember that a single study alone is not definitive–and the best research is tied to practice.

(Next page: How to spot the right research study)

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