More Brain Horsepower?

  This article summarizes the current debate — call it a “controversy” — about brain training. (The authors prefer the phrase “cognitive training.”) The authors conclude that intelligence can be increased, but … so far … only in controlled lab settings.



While you’re at Learning and the Brain, we’d love to hear your story. What have you learned? What will you try when you get home? How will you measure results? If you’d like to share your experience, please send me


Learning and the Brain Stories, #2

Curiosity and Play: Snowflakes and Standards by Dr. Debbie Donsky Common themes ran throughout the Learning and the Brain conference in San Francisco, February 17-19, 2017 but the ones that resonated most strongly with me were the ideas of curiosity


Your Brain Is Like a Computer, take 357

Because brains are so complicated, people who explain them routinely search for analogies. Your brain is like a muscle: practice makes it grow stronger. Your brain is like an orchestra, and the prefrontal cortex is the conductor. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


No Homework in the Orchard

The Washington Post reports on [edit] Orchard School in South Burlington, VT, [a PK-5 school in Orchard, VT] which no longer assigns homework. Instead — and this is a crucial “instead” — it does urge students and families to read


Neuromyth or Neurotruth?

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, I thought it would be fun to consider several of the false — even foolish — beliefs that people often have about brains. Take a look at the six statements below and judge


The Benefits (?) of Overlearning

I’m reviewing the vocabulary I learned in today’s Spanish class. The last time I went through my flashcard deck, I got all of those new words right. Should I keep studying? Or, is it time to move on to my


Autism Speaks…about Genes

Some time ago, I linked to an article about varieties of ADHD diagnoses. A recent article in Medical News Today makes a similar point about autism. From one perspective, we can be tempted to say that someone either does or


Brain Wandering

We’ve posted quite frequently about mind-wandering on this blog (here, here, and here — to pick just a few). This post introduces a comprehensive article about the brain activity that correlates with various mind-wandering states. As John Leiff (M.D.) notes, when


Early Education Program Evaluation: “Differential Susceptibility” to Success

Show me the Money As most parents, teachers, and education policy folks know well, early childhood education is expensive. Whether federally-funded, state-funded, or family-funded, preschool and structured early care generally operate on a pretty tight budget. They also generally operate