Yearly Archives: 2018

Resources to Get Started with “Embodied Cognition”:

The field of embodied cognition has gotten increasing attention in recent years. The short version is: because our brains are attached to our bodies — in fact, our brains are a part of our bodies — bodies can help brains

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Let’s Get Practical: When Should Students Self-Test?

When should students self-test for maximum learning? Recent research suggests that retrieval practice timing matters less than retrieval practice doing. That is: students can self test at the end of a textbook section, or an the end of a chapter; both techniques help them learn. For even better memories, do both! Continue reading

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Attack of the Teenage Brain!: Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner by John Medina

John Medina, developmental molecular biologist and New York Times best-selling author, has written a book about how to parent and teach teenagers in light of what we know about adolescent social, cognitive, and neural development.  In Attack of the Teenage

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Nope: Brain Training Doesn’t Work, Volume 262…

A recent study reveal — AGAIN –that “brain training” doesn’t work. Students can learn new things. But we can train their working memory or IQ in some abstract, artificial way. Continue reading

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Fresh News on your Laptop Ban

In a college lecture course, divided attention caused by technology distractions didn’t harm student learning in the short term. But, on the final exam, it hurt both those who used the technology and those around them. With research like this, we can help students use technology more responsibly. Continue reading

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Helping Today’s Students Have More Open Minds

People who demonstrate “intellectual humility” are quicker to admit that they might be wrong, and that others who disagree with them might be right. Early research suggests that promoting a growth mindset can help students develop intellectual humility, and learn from those with whom they disagree. Continue reading

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Do Stress, Age, or Stereotypes Harm Your Working Memory?

We write a lot about working memory here on the blog, and so I was intrigued to see a review article summarizing 21 factors that might influence our WM performance. Several of this article’s conclusions jumped out at me. Some

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Why Do Piano Lessons Improve Language Skills?

Why do music lessons help with language skills? A recent study from China suggests that piano lessons don’t improve children’s IQ or working memory, but do improve their ability to distinguish among consonants. The more we know about the relationship between music and language, the better guidance we can give families. Continue reading

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Problems in Science Communication, Part II: Too Little Skepticism

I spoke at this month’s Signs Summit in Chicago about problems in science communication. Here is the second half of what I said. (You can find the first half, which focuses on “too much skepticism” here.) We live in age that been

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Can a Quick Bicycle Ride Help You Learn Better?

Can exercise improve memory? That fascinating question has inspired a lot of research. The answer you get often depends quite specifically on the kind of exercise, and the kind of memory, that you study. For example, a recent study asks

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