Workshop on the Science of Learning 21 October at the Royal Society

As part of the state visit of the President of Singapore to the UK later this month, the Centre for Educational Neuroscience ran a 1-day workshop in collaboration with Singapore’s National Research Foundation on the Science of Learning at the Royal Society on Tuesday 21st October 2014.

The workshop included presentations from Dr. Hilary Leevers of the Wellcome Trust on current funding developments in the UK for educational neuroscience, from Prof. Derek Bell, Director of Learnus, on how to advance the field of educational neuroscience, from several members of CEN including Prof. Denis Mareschal, Prof. Andy Tolmie, Prof. Michael Thomas and Dr. Iroise Dumontheil on specific research projects, and talks from a number of leading researchers from Singapore including Dr. Mariam Sharifah (Principal Specialist, Educational Psychologist, Ministry of Education), Prof. Ellen Do (Co-Director, Keio-NUS CUTE Center 
Interactive and Digital Media Institute, National University of Singapore), Prof. Ranga Krishnan (Dean, Dike-NUS Graduate Medical School), Prof. Balazs Gulyas (Professor of Translational Neuroscience, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), and A/Prof Manu Kapur (Head, Learning Sciences Lab, National Institute of Education, Singapore).


Forthcoming lecture in September: Prof. Chia-Ju Liu – “Affective Learning: Evidence from Neuroscience”

Prof. Chia-Ju Liu, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan, will be giving a talk on “Affective Learning: Evidence from Neuroscience” on Thursday 18th September.

The talk will be at 4pm in Room 534, in Birkbeck Main Building.

Come on find out about the emotions! All welcome.


Dr. Chia-Ju Liu is currently the Dean of College of Science, the Director of Science Education Center and Educational Neuroscience Lab at National Kaohsiung Normal University. Her research recently focuses on educational neuroscience, including cognitive science and science learning, scientific thinking and processes. Her current research projects are “The influences of different dimensions of science representations on students’ understanding of science concepts”, “The study of consisted elements of scientific creativity with ERP”, “The study on the effects of spatial ability and visual representation on forming mental image in learning science”, “Exploring the role of imagery ability in learning science concept”, and “Nonlinear analysis of brain dynamics”. These research aims to explore and characterise students’ scientific learning practices and reasoning processes based on educational neuroscience using EEG/ERPs. With the Eye Tracking methodology, Prof. Liu aims to identify learners’ exact scientific learning process, and enhance their science learning experience. Her work has been published in several SCI, SSCI, and TSSCI journals. Her research work has been published in International Journal of Science Education, International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Neuroscience Letters, Learning Environments Research and other educational journal.

Summer term CEN Research Group schedule now available

The schedule for the CEN Research Group meetings through to July is now available. Highlights include seminar presentations from Professor Susan Gathercole from University of Cambridge on interventions for working memory impairments in developmental disorders, and from Dr. Roi Cohen Kadosh from University of Oxford on whether neuroscience can enhance academic achievements. Other sessions consider mobile technology and deaf students, twin studies of reading development, spatial cognition and STEM education, and an e-learning tool for biochemical pathways. Sessions take place on Tuesday afternoons. See tab above for further details.

New: 1-day workshop on 14 March

The CEN is running a 1-day workshop on current research in educational neuroscience, aimed primarily at PhD students working in education, psychology, neuroscience, and related areas. Themes will cover literacy, mathematics, science, and intervention studies. For further information, see main menu above.

NEW – One day course, “Introduction to Educational Neuroscience”

A new one day course for teachers entitled “An Introduction to Educational Neuroscience” will take place on Saturday 17th May at the Institute of Education. The aims of the course are to:

  • introduce the disciplines that underlie educational neuroscience: developmental psychology, neuroscience, and evidence-based education.
  • introduce some of the current research in educational neuroscience.
  • dispel some prevalent ‘neuromyths’.
  • consider the future of educational neuroscience.

The course will be delivered by Prof Michael Thomas, Prof Denis Mareschal, Dr Iroise Dumontheil, Prof Andy Tolmie and Dr Chloë Marshall of the Centre for Educational Neuroscience. Further details can be found here:

The CEN research group is restarting

Note the new day, Tuesdays at 4-5.30pm.

The autumn term CEN research group meetings will start on Oct 8th, with a paper discussion by Professor Denis Mareschal. The paper is entitled “Family-based training program improves brain function, cognition, and behavior in lower socioeconomic status pre-schoolers” (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304437110).

This fascinating paper shows how the educational performance of children from disadvantage backgrounds can be enhanced by a focus intervention which also involves parents.

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Educational neuroscience around the world

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) have collaborated to organize a timely symposium on the topic of “Brain Plasticity, Learning and Education.” The symposium will take place from June 14 to June 16 at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. See here for further information.

Currently, Canada and Israel have a number of groups investigating issues related to brain plasticity, learning, and education, from animal models, to research on the development of cognitive abilities in the human brain. Such research is becoming increasingly important as nations begin to appreciate the role of education in the knowledge economy.

See here and here for recent CEN publications on brain plasticity and education.