UCL News


The learning brain

21 February 2006

Experts from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN), Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Professor Uta Frith, have published a groundbreaking book that provides insight into how and when our brains learn throughout our lives.

the learning brain

'The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education', by Blackwell Publishing, is intended mainly as a resource for education professionals. The easily accessible, illustrated text provides readers who are interested in cognition with the latest fascinating research into how our brains develop and process mathematics and literacy.

It also reveals the difficulties we have in learning to read and remembering what we learn, as well as examining different approaches to learning and how we can harness the learning powers of the brain.

There are chapters dedicated in chronological order to how our brains adapt and changes at milestones in our lives, from infanthood, through adolescence and onto how mature brains can respond to the demands of lifelong learning. Co-author Dr Blakemore explains: "Scientists know a considerable amount about learning - how brain cells develop before and after birth, how babies learn to see, hear, talk and walk, how infants acquire a sense of morality and social understanding, and how the adult brain is able to continue learning and growing. Despite this growing body of knowledge and its relevance to education policy, we were surprised at how few links exist between brain research and education policy and practice. This book attempts to reduce the gap."