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LEARNING AND COGNITION
DESIGN OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING FOR THE BRAIN / MIND:
Thoughts and Research on Neuroeducation Science

Curated by Huey O'Brien
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Why do we make mistakes? Researchers discover 'noisy information' and not our brain is to blame

Why do we make mistakes? Researchers discover 'noisy information' and not our brain is to blame | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

We make mistakes because of flawed 'noisy' information going into the brain, rather than because of miscalculations by the brain itself.The brain is able to process information it receives correctly, but struggles when that input contains errors. While the inputs may be 'noisy', the internal mental process is ‘remarkably silent'. 

 

Experts from Princeton University, U.S., have discovered that the brain is able to process information it receives correctly, but struggles when that input contains errors, or 'noise'.  Neuroscientists have long debated whether bad decisions result from noise in the external information - or sensory input - or because the brain made mistakes when tallying that information.

 

For example, when choosing a university a person may make a poor choice because of misleading or confusing course descriptions, or because the brain failed to remember which college had the best ratings

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Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION:  Selective Perception, Content Selection

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Rethinking Education: Can We Use Neuroscience to Create Better Learners?

Rethinking Education: Can We Use Neuroscience to Create Better Learners? | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

There are many neurological capacities that constitute the underpinnings of learning, even when learning is defined broadly to include reading, math, social communication, emotional well-being, and creativity. These universal building blocks for learning include:

 

 

 - Attention, the ability to focus across time on relevant information and ignore distractions

 

 - Prediction, the ability to anticipate what is about to come next

 

 - Memory; of which there are several different component parts including short and long term memory, memory for episode in your life  (episodic memory) and memory for facts (declarative memory).

 

 - Processing speed; how fast incoming sensory and motor information can be detected, discriminated, sequenced

 

-  Spatial skills; how information in space is perceived, manipulated and stored

 

 - Executive functions; higher level cognitive functions such as inhibitory control, planning, reasoning, decision making.

 

Improving one or more of these neural capacities/competencies has been shown to improve student performance, independent of content (language, math, science) or curriculum used.  This is a far-reaching and potentially revolutionary conclusion that is contrary to the current beliefs of many teachers, administrators, parents and students, who have historically emphasized curriculum as the key to improved learning.

 

Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION: Lesson Content Design

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Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops

Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors.

Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION:  Use of Feedback

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The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity

The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

In terms of grand purpose, chunking can be seen as a similar mechanism to attention: Both processes are concerned with compressing an unwieldy dataset into those small nuggets of meaning that are particularly salient.

 

But while chunking is a marvelous complement to attention, chunking diverges from its counterpart in focusing on the compression of conscious data according to its inherent structure or the way it relates to our preexisting memories...

Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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Test-taking may improve learning in people of all ages

Older adults who haven’t been in school for a while are as capable of learning from tests as younger adults and college students, according to new research.
Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION: Learner Review/Rehearsal

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Learning requires rhythmical activity of neurons

Learning requires rhythmical activity of neurons | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
The hippocampus represents an important brain structure for learning. Scientists have discovered how it filters electrical neuronal signals through an input and output control, thus regulating learning and memory processes.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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Memories serve as tools for learning and decision-making

People associate past memories with novel information, according to a new study. This memory-binding process allows people to better understand new concepts and make future decisions.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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Brains wired for 'avalanches' -- and learning

Researchers reveal the connection between a model of learning in the brain and the cascading bursts of cortical activity known as neuronal avalanches.
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IMPLICATIONS:  Learning Content Design

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Learning mechanism of the adult brain revealed

Learning mechanism of the adult brain revealed | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Fortunately, this is not always true. Researchers have now discovered how the adult brain can adapt to new situations.
Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION:  Learning Performance

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80 percent of humans are delusionally optimistic, says science

80 percent of humans are delusionally optimistic, says science | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Maybe the reason we can't do anything about the existential crisis of climate change -- or, indeed, any of the other existential crises we're facing at present -- is that 80 percent of humanity has...
Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATION:  Schemas

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Sharrock's comment, August 19, 2013 10:14 AM
Ugh! I resemble that remark. On the other hand, optimism is a good thing.
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The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Stories stimulate the brain. Metaphors like “He had leathery hands” rouse the sensory cortex.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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Training the brain to improve on new tasks

Training the brain to improve on new tasks | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

A brain-training task that increases the number of items an individual can remember over a short period of time may boost performance in other problem-solving tasks by enhancing communication between different brain areas. The new study being presented this week in San Francisco is one of a growing number of experiments on how working-memory training can measurably improve a range of skills -- from multiplying in your head to reading a complex paragraph.

 

"Working memory is believed to be a core cognitive function on which many types of high-level cognition rely, including language comprehension and production, problem solving, and decision making," says Brad Postle of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is co-chairing a session on working-memory training at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) annual meeting today in San Francisco. Work by various neuroscientists to document the brain's "plasticity" -- changes brought about by experience -- along with technical advances in using electromagnetic techniques to stimulate the brain and measure changes, have enabled researchers to explore the potential for working-memory training like never before, he says.

 

The cornerstone brain-training exercise in this field has been the "n-back" task, a challenging working memory task that requires an individual to mentally juggle several items simultaneously. Participants must remember both the recent stimuli and an increasing number of stimuli before it (e.g., the stimulus "1-back," "2-back," etc). These tasks can be adapted to also include an audio component or to remember more than one trait about the stimuli over time -- for example, both the color and location of a shape.

 

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Donald A. Coutu's curator insight, September 1, 2013 2:55 PM

Taking the first step towards thinking about thinking adds insight to the task at hand. Staying engaged with the activities that excite and motivate us is more than just curiosity. That's one more reason to spend capital on cretive ways to learn.

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How Your Brain Connects the Future to the Past

How Your Brain Connects the Future to the Past | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it

We tend to think of memory as a way to revisit past experiences: a vacation in the tropics, a bad business decision, or where you might have put those elusive car keys. Neuroscientists have long believed that the brain's so-called episodic memory circuits are largely involved in remembering past events or occurrences. Neuroimaging studies had even identified parts of the brain that are specifically activated when retrieving information from prior life experiences. These include regions in the prefrontal and medial temporal lobes, as well as more posterior regions such as the retrosplenial cortex. But recent studies have found a striking overlap between these areas and brain regions that are activated when you think about the future.

 

In the business world, it's a distinct advantage to have a brain that anticipates future demands and negotiates them well. Accurate predictions typically translate to success. Being able to envision future scenarios helps foster strategic planning and resist immediate rewards in favor of longer-term gains. The proactive brain flexibly recombines details from past experiences that, by analogy with your current surroundings, help you make sense of where you are, anticipate what will come next, and successfully navigate the transition.

Huey O'Brien's insight:

IMPLICATIONS:  Review, Reinforcement, Memory Activation

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HowStuffWorks "Memory Encoding"

HowStuffWorks "Memory Encoding" | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Human memory is a complex, brain-wide process that is essential to who we are. Learn about encoding, the brain, and short- and long-term memory.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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White matter study shows brain capable of learning complex tasks well into adulthood

White matter study shows brain capable of learning complex tasks well into adulthood | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
A study using white matter shows that the brain remains capable of learning complex tasks well into adulthood.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Performance

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Reading the fine print of perception: Human brain learns by interpreting details, study shows

Reading the fine print of perception: Human brain learns by interpreting details, study shows | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Wine connoisseurs recognize the vintage at the first sip, artists see subtle color variations and the blind distinguish the finest surface structures. Why are they considered superior to non-specialists in their field?
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Content Design

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A Neurologist Makes the Case for Teaching Teachers About the Brain

A Neurologist Makes the Case for Teaching Teachers About the Brain | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
"Neuroscience should be required for all students [of education] . . .
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IMPLICATION: Learner Performance

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Studies Dispute Benefits of Brain Training

Studies Dispute Benefits of Brain Training | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
A pair of new studies question whether exercises aimed at strengthening working memory can boost brainpower in other ways.
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IMPLICATION:  Memory

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Maintain your brain: The secrets to aging success

Maintain your brain: The secrets to aging success | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Aging may seem unavoidable, but that's not necessarily so when it comes to the brain.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Performance

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Changing brains for the better: Article documents benefits of multiple practices, such as physical exercise and meditation

Practices like physical exercise, certain forms of psychological counseling and meditation can all change brains for the better, and these changes can be measured with the tools of modern neuroscience, according to a new review article.
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IMPLICATIONS:  Learning Content Design

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Learning best when you rest: Sleeping after processing new info most effective

Learning best when you rest: Sleeping after processing new info most effective | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Nodding off in class may not be such a bad idea after all. New research shows that going to sleep shortly after learning new material is most beneficial for recall.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Performance

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Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain

Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain | LEARNING AND COGNITION | Scoop.it
Researchers have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) then non-meditators.
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IMPLICATION:  Learning Performance

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