From the Archives: What “Neuroeducation” Needs

We have long been interested in education and the arts, and a decade ago we funded a series of pilot studies to look for ways to measure whether training in the arts changed the brain in ways that would transfer to other cognitive abilities. In 2009, we published the results of our Arts and Cognition Consortium—nine investigators at seven major universities, who found tentative signs of benefits, including transfer, that they continue to pursue.

In May 2009, we helped support The Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s hosting of the inaugural Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit, “to explore the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, the arts, and learning.” Some of our consortium scientists presented their research, and more than 300 educators, scientists, school administrators, and policy makers shared their perspectives on how to get a handle on this rather new amalgam, “neuro-education.”

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Learning and the Brain Conference in Boston

As
the son of a former high school English teacher, I am always keen to hear the latest
policies, theories, and research in education. One of the most fascinating
areas of research in education is its intersection with neuroscience. As our
understanding of the brain changes, our theories on teaching have changed
as well. However, this change is often delayed because information does not
flow easily from the neuroscience lab to the classroom.

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From the Archives: Why the Arts Matter

The Dana Foundation has long been interested in education and the arts. The advent of the field of neuroeducation, or mind, brain, and education science, led to several free Dana publications, which are still available online and in print.

One of these resources, Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain, published in 2009, reprinted a keynote address given by Dana Alliance Member Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., of Harvard University. Kagan spoke to the educators attending a summit co-sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative on “Why the Arts Matter.”

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Summer Reading List: Brain Books

Last year I wrote a summer reading list blog, highlighting brain books recently published by members of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Since then, our members have published a number of new books on topics ranging from addiction to free will to neurogastronomy. When you get around to finishing the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (it’s everywhere!), here are some great books to keep in mind (descriptions are taken directly from the publishers’ websites).

The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine, by Michael Kuhar, FT Science Press.
“Addiction destroys lives. In The Addicted Brain, a leading neuroscientist explains how and why this happens–and presents advances in treatment and prevention. Using breathtaking brain imagery and other research, Michael Kuhar, Ph.D., shows the powerful, long-term brain changes that drugs can cause, revealing why it can be so difficult for addicts to escape their grip.”

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