Neuroscience, learning and technology

Sometimes the findings of neuroscience can be over-interpreted, and tentative results presented as things we “know” about the brain. As this article points out, “most of what we know about the brain comes from functional imaging experiments that average over many subjects, use technology that is still limited in capturing the rapid and detailed changes that characterise brain activity during even simplest tasks, and that involve environments very different from everyday contexts such as classrooms.” The article looks at some of the literature relating to neuroscience and adolescence. It is quite an accessible approach, and focuses on the conclusions that can be legitimately drawn from the research. The appendixes on “neuromyths” are useful too.

2009 Howard-Jones – Neuroscience Learning and Technology Becta


The developing social brain

This is a very useful paper by Sarah-Jane Blakemore that explores the development of the human social brain. She describes evidence that social interaction plays a critical role in early brain development, and then goes on to discuss recent research demonstrating that the social brain undergoes protracted development and that adolescence in particular represents a period of reorganization of the social brain. Finally, she identifies potential implications of this new research for education policy and for human wellbeing. This work is important for understanding the changes that adolescents are undergoing.

2010 Blakemore – The Developing Social Brain – Implications for Education