November 1, 2012

Daniel LaGattuta
[email protected]


Neuroscience research has found that children’s brains are actually quite diverse and unique and that genes, early adversity, poverty, parenting, culture and education have a greater impact on brain development and learning than once thought.  New research is connecting our understanding about changes in children’s brain structure and function to specific aspects of education, and is beginning to explain how learning experiences reshape the brain networks that support a child’s basic cognitive skills such as paying attention, memory, reading and mathematics. This conference is designed to help educators understand the individual differences in their students’ brains, how these differences affect learning and disorders, and how teaching, intervention, poverty, parents and early experiences change the structure of students’ brains and influence their life-long learning abilities and disabilities.

In support some of these new discoveries, the Learning & the Brain Foundation and the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) will be presenting the 2012 Transforming Education through Neuroscience Award to Neuroscience Researcher Daniel Ansari, PhD, of the University of Western Ontario, during the second day of the conference. The award will be presented by Professor Kurt W. Fischer, Director of the Mind, Brain and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Past President of IMBES.  The award of $5,000 is given annually to a researcher who has made significant contributions to growing field of neuroeducation. Dr. Ansari is being honored for his research contributions to the field of numerical cognition, including discoveries on the brain networks involved in mental arithmetic, brain structure differences in math disorders and the effects of math instruction on brain function. He seeks to both answer scientific questions as well as to generate data that could inform educational challenges such as diagnosis of mathematical difficulties as well as their remediation. Dr. Ansari’s research uses behavioral measures and brain-imaging methods.

The program is produced by Public Information Resources, Inc. and is co-sponsored by several organizations including the Mind, Brain and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, and both the national associations of elementary and secondary school principals.  In addition to Dr. Ansari, some of the featured keynote speakers will be:

  • John J. Medina, PhD, Director, Brain Center for Applied Learning Research, Seattle Pacific University; Affiliate Professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington School of Medicine; Founder, Talaris Research Institute; Author; Brain Rules for Baby (2012) and Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School (2009)
  • Dean V. Buonomano, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles; Professor, Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles; Author, Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives (2012)
  • Jane M. Healy, PhD, Educational Psychologist; Teacher; Reading and Learning Specialist; Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cleveland State University; Author, Different Learners (2011), Your Child’s Growing Mind (2004) and Failure to Connect (1999)

Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18, 2012.
Conference Begins 1:30 PM on Friday.
General Registration is $569 through November 2 and $580 after November 2.
Contact Kristin Dunay at 781-449-4010 x 102 for media passes.

Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA

Learning & the Brain® is a series of educational conferences that brings the latest research in neuroscience and psychology and their potential applications to education to the wider educational community. Since its inception in 1999, this series has been attended by more than 30,000 people in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.

category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *