Why Cognitive Neuroscience Matters for Education

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Cognitive Neuroscience in Education


We are extremely complicated creatures. It is no wonder, then, that our thought processes are no less complex. Have you ever thought about the cognitive mechanisms that underpin people’s thinking and learning capabilities?

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Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash
If you did actually think about this conundrum for a while and now you need some clear answers on the subject, cognitive neuroscience might be the key you are looking for.

It is a specific area of neuroscience that explores how the brain enables the mind.

Cognitive neuroscience incorporates different methods of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence and focuses on in-depth study of people’s thought and language functioning.

Its principal objective is to help us to comprehend how our brain could influence the way we think, feel, act and remember.

This field is relatively new, though its vast perspectives for the future are already evident. With the help of cognitive neuroscience, it became possible not only to understand but also to cure people with learning disabilities.

Perhaps one day scientists working in this sphere would find some kind of disease-modifying treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease, who knows? In any case, let’s hope for the best outcome.

Overall, cognitive science can be helpful to improve people’s thinking and learning capabilities in scientific and other relevant domains, such as mathematics, physics, engineering, chemistry, and so forth with practical educational applications and implementation mechanisms.

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Many experts agreed that neuroscience’s role in education is critical in the 21st century. It is essential, however, to understand the connection between the concepts at hand in order to benefit from its advantages.

Science and education should be integrated in order to develop a much more effective system of both teaching and learning techniques practiced in educational institutions all over the world. In addition, in some respects, it can be applicable to a non-school setting accordingly.

There are many possible applications of cognitive science to education, for instance, retrieval practice via testing, spaced periods of study, improved metacognitive monitoring for students, as well as teaching in a manner, which will ease the knowledge acquisition and its retaining.

It is important to organize regular transdisciplinary training sessions for educators and neuroscientists. This could help to blur the line between the notions of research itself and its practical application by displaying how findings from research in cognitive science can be efficiently employed to the field of education.

Besides, a number of educators still regard neuroscience more as a challenge than an opportunity. Although, a widespread validation and adoption of scientific theories should be indisputable. Such an attitude will change any time soon as the significance of neuroscience’s input outweighs all possible doubts and misconceptions.

Indeed, education allows us to go beyond the physical boundaries of biological evolution. This particular experience results in the brain’s changing. On the other side of the spectrum, neuroscience allows us to understand these processes and determine specific aspects that would be useful in terms of education and its improvement.

Which is the main reason why we should acknowledge the necessity of close collaboration between these areas of studies and support their potential projects?

How Cognitive Neuroscience Can Save Education 


Cognitive neuroscience offers educational principles capable to help students to use properly the most of their working memory for optimal learning scheme. Obviously, an insight into the information processing is utterly important, too.

People should be aware of working memory limitations and know how to transcend these limits. That was deemed impossible to achieve not so long ago, but fortunately, the situation is changing.

As a matter of fact, neuroscience can contribute enormously to clarifying and advancing complicated learning processes focusing on lifelong learning.

Researchers agree that namely schools provide the foundation for a lifelong learning process thus teachers’ responsibility is to convey appropriate competencies and skills to their students.

In this context, a special training program for teachers is available. Such an example showcases that it is tangible to build a strong connection between cognitive neuroscience and education. The need for promotion of further cooperation concerning complex learning processes is unquestionable.

As it was mentioned at the very beginning, with the aid of neuroscientific data, it also becomes feasible to assess educational treatments for people of all ages with various educational difficulties, specifically with learning disabilities.

Autism (or autism spectrum disorder) is not an exception. Studies have shown that an elaborated autism-friendly teaching format can ameliorate the most complex cases.

Additionally, using cognitive science enables us to better understand how the healthy brain changes as we age, as well as our learning capacity; how the brain changes when our mind wanders, etc. It also allows examining differences in brain functioning between different groups of people.

As you can see, the bridge between neuroscience and education can lead to improved quality of education on so many different levels. We hope this article will transform your view on cognitive neuroscience altogether, and more importantly, its great value for education in particular.

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