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Re: [xmca] Neuroscience connections to learning and relearning

PS The two Howard-Jones attachments are working fine ... :-))   Thanks!

On Sep 16, 2009, at 2:28 AM, Steve Gabosch wrote:

What interesting books, Emily.  Thank you.

Virginia Berninger and Todd Richards, who are at the UW Seattle in my neck of the US woods, say (as revealed by Amazon Books Look Inside) in the Introduction to this textbook that they rely on Luria:

"In Parts I and II we lay the groundwork for the complexities of systems of brains and minds at work and in doing so draw on the work of a Russian neuropsychologist, A.R. Luria (1973), who introduced the notion of functional systems of a brain at work. However, Luria based his conclusions on study of individuals with brain damage, whereas we base ours on study of normally developing individuals with and without learning differences and not on those with brain damage. Although Luria did not study the processes of teaching and learning academic subjects in the same depth or setting as contemporary researchers in many disciplines do, we credit Luria with the fundamental insight that multiple brain structures may be involved in one function and that the same brain structures can participate in more than one functional system."
p8,  Brain Literacy for Educators and Psychologists (2002)

Great to see Luria given this credit. Question: Where does Luria's The Working Brain: An Introduction to Neuropsychology (1973) fit in to this kind of study? Is his book accessible, is it too out of date, etc.?

Thanks much for the attachments. (I keep getting the same Howard- Jones article out of the first two attachments, btw).

Next AERA conference I go to, I will pay some serious attention to what the people in neuroeducation are doing - there really does appear to be something burgeoning there. My take so far ... see what you think ... is that one can expect all the current major trends in the general social, life and natural sciences to reappear in this new interdisciplinary field - but on a new level, reflecting some of the advances of recent decades, such as an increased awareness of the central role of cultural experience ... just as, for example, cognitive science in its developmental years absorbed some of the newer ideas of its time (computer science, game theory, general systems theory, etc. etc.). Neuroeducation seems to be consolidating the surge in knowledge from research in cognition and learning in recent decades - and especially, finding ways to theorize about and apply the vast new research insights that brain imaging technology is making possible. At the same time, some of the dominant trends in contemporary neuroeducational theory seem to revolve around time-worn biological reductionist ideas - almost with a vengeance. New bottles, but some of the same old wine. Am I in the ballpark?

- Steve

On Sep 15, 2009, at 9:23 PM, Duvall, Emily wrote:

Glad you found it interesting, Steve!

To start, I guess it depends on how much you want to know, but generally I find it important to work with diagrams and video, some kind of visual support (I've started to include brain drawings as an assignment in my class) as well as articles. The Berninger & Richards text works well in
conjunction with the Brain Coloring Book to get you going. You don't
have to memorize everything, but it's helpful to understand the macro
and microstructures from a systems perspective in order to begin to
bridge the discourse.

Others may have different favorites, but I suggest The Jossey-Bass
Reader on the Brain and Learning... and (brand new, I haven't read my
copy): The Educated Brain: Essays in Neuroeducation. Meanwhile, I've
attached a couple of general articles by Howard-Jones and one of the
more interesting pieces on VAK by Sharp et al.

As to where this discussion is taking place? I am still relatively new and don't have any peeps other than those I am cultivating in my classes and several open minded folks on the neuroscience faculty with UIdaho.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca- bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Steve Gabosch
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:16 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Neuroscience connections to learning and relearning

Emily, I much appreciated your links to the Science Daily articles and
the Usha Goswami article.  I learned a lot.  Thanks much, and please
keep links like this coming!  These are areas I know I would like to
learn much more about.  A) On astrocytes etc.:   If you had to put
together a crash course for CHAT-oriented researchers on neuroscience,
what authors, books, articles etc. come to mind that you would draw
from?  B) As for the overview Goswami offers in her 2006 article
regarding 1) what neuroscience actually is discovering about learning
processes and how they might apply to the classroom and 2) what
neuromyths are emerging along with perhaps other hazards of the
commercialization of neuroeducation knowledge ... where is more of
this kind of discussion taking place these days?

- Steve

On Sep 15, 2009, at 12:34 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

Thanks Em-- And I googled Goswami neuromyths. Also very enlightening.
Goswami did early work with Ann Brown, former collaborator with us
at LCHC.

Now if we go back a step and look at the people who created the
label of
learning sciences, and their backgrounds, the shift from
psychology" to developmental sciences, the appearance recently of the
handbook of cultural developmental science, ......... what a
tempest! Must
be a teapot in there somewhere. Simultaneous, fractilated paradigm

Does anyone have the luxury of being able to organize a science
interrogation of these movements? Seems really worthwhile.

On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Duvall, Emily <emily@uidaho.edu>

Thanks Mike... :-)
    In general I like Goswami's work; I find her discussion of
neuromyths compelling and have had my grad students do additional
research on some of them. I am also particularly interested in ways
try to negotiate across different fields. I've attached my favorite
Goswami and a nice intro to neuroeducation.
    As a side note: Monica (Hansen, who frequently shows up on the
list serve and is one of my doc students) and I took a neuroscience
journal club/ seminar last spring and found ourselves trying to make
sense of the work that is done with regard to education. We are
another seminar right now and some of the folks who were in last
class are presenting journal articles in their field, but are
trying to
make the links to human experience, particularly education. It's been
interesting to discover how open minded the students and faculty
one of the computational neuroscience faculty has taken up some
reading as well as neuroeducation... of course Luria's work is a door
opener and a point of mutual interest.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-
On Behalf Of Mike Cole
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 9:41 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Neuroscience connections to learning and

No one picked up on your interest in neuroeducation, Emily. A lot of
what I
read in this area strikes me as almost entirely without any
education, or human experience, as a culturally mediated, co-
process. Do you have a favorite general ref you could point us to
resonate to??

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 8:50 AM, Duvall, Emily <emily@uidaho.edu>

I thought some of you might one or both of these article summaries
interesting. The first really speaks to the new field of
with regard to cellular learning... the nice thing about the summary
it gives you an overview of learning at the cellular basis... very
and easy to understand. Plus an introduction to astrocytes... :-)

The second piece actually discusses re-learning, which has been a

What I personally find so interesting is the role of experience in
learning and relearning... I found myself thinking back to Shirley
Heath's work... it would be fun to go back to her work and look at
study through a neuroeducation lens.

1. Star-shaped Cells In Brain Help With Learning

Every movement and every thought requires the passing of specific
information between networks of nerve cells. To improve a skill or
learn something new entails more efficient or a greater number of
contacts. Scientists can now show that certain cells in the brain --
astrocytes -- actively influence this information exchange.

2. Forgotten But Not Gone: How The Brain Re-learns

Thanks to our ability to learn and to remember, we can perform tasks that other living things can not even dream of. However, we are only
just beginning to get the gist of what really goes on in the brain
it learns or forgets something. What we do know is that changes in
contacts between nerve cells play an important role. But can these
structural changes account for that well-known phenomenon that it is
much easier to re-learn something that was forgotten than to learn
something completely new?


Emily Duvall, PhD
Assistant Professor Curriculum & Instruction
University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene
1000 W. Hubbard Suite 242 | Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
T 208 292 2512 | F 208 667 5275 emily@uidaho.edu |

He only earns his freedom and his life, who takes them every day by
-- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

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