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Neuroscience and Educational Technology

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Neuroscience and Educational Technology Powered By Docstoc
					    Neuroscience and
  Educational Technology


              EDC&I 511
            February 15, 2005

“I addicted myself to the opening of heads.”
           (Thomas Willis, ca. 1660)
                  Things to Ponder
●   Everything we have read and will say this
    evening is controversial:
       ●   Someone will have a good reason to disagree.
●   The brain is complex and has the properties
    of a dynamic system:
       ●   Emergence
       ●   Non-linearity
       ●   Self-organization
       ●   Difficult to predict what it will do
●   Much of what we know comes from abnormal
    brains.
●   All mammalian brains are similar to a great
    degree.
       Questions to think about
●   When, and to what extent, is knowledge of
    the brain relevant to us?
●   Relevance to “normal” vs. “special” cases.
●   Beware of charlatans.
●   You cannot design curriculum to “educate”
    a particular part of the brain.
       ●   But note Berninger's work with dyslexia.
●   Are we turning Education into Medicine?
                         Learning
●   Something changes (relatively) permanently
    as the result of some experience, which may
    or may not be instruction.
       ●   Behavior
       ●   Understanding
       ●   Affective states
●   These changes are attributable to changes in
    the central nervous system.
       ●   Implicit memory
       ●   Explicit memory
       ●   Other?
                         Memory
●   Long term memory
       ●   Implicit (priming effects)
       ●   Explicit (conscious recall - “remembering”)
       ●   Episodic (remembering specific events)
       ●   Semantic (knowledge of the world).
●   Working memory (Baddeley)
       ●   Where information from the senses or LTM is
           processed and prepared for storage.
       ●   Phonological loop
       ●   Visuo-spatial “sketchpad”
       ●   Other sensory modalities?
       ●   Executive function
       ●   Very limited capacity
        How memories are formed
●   With frequent use, connections are more
    likely to become active when the same
    internal or external stimulus is encountered
         ●   [Role of Hippocampus]
         ●   Electro-chemical activity only during presence of stimulus.
             (Drinking fountain)
         ●   Activity increases & persists because more sites on a synapse
             become receptive to neurotransmitters. (Faucet)
         ●   Physical increase in number of/surface area of synapses through
             synthesis of new proteins. (Laying larger water mains)
    –   Long-term potentiation (LTP) is pretty much accepted,
        but within limits.
                Working memory
●   In a way, connects the inner world to the
    outer.
●   A bottleneck with a finite capacity.
●   But each sensory “module” is somewhat
    independent
       ●   Hence the benefits of redundancy
       ●   But they work together – interference effects.
●   Cognitive load (Sweller) review
       ●   Intrinsic load – cannot be reduced
       ●   Extrinsic load – can and should be reduced
       ●   Germane load – should be optimized
fMRI showing activation of “Vision for navigating”
(V5) and Working memory (PFC) areas in children
performing visual tasks after working with VPS.




   Visual Area V5 – left side   Prefrontal Cortex – left side
                       Discussion
●   Of applications to basic research
       ●   Micopoulos
●   Of applied research
       ●   Berninger
●   Of general application to Education.
       ●   Atherton and Ditek

				
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