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Educational Neuroscience

 

This focus area is designed to apply the principles of behavioral, cognitive, and biological neuroscience to core problems in education related to cognition, socialization, learning, and/or teaching. Students will explore the anatomical and functional neurological mechanisms that contribute to cognition, language, and literacy development, as well as the relationships between neural activation patterns and children’s performance on cognitive, linguistic, communicative, and literacy tasks. This focus area is also designed to help students understand the neurophysiological, neurobiological, and environmental contributions to sensory disorders, intellectual disabilities, communication disorders, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and motor disorders in children.  Students will learn how to combine behavioral experimentation methods with neuroimaging methods (Near Infrared Spectroscopy, EEG, eye-tracking, and pupilometry) to examine processes involved in accessing, manipulating, storing, retrieving, and classifying information and associated changes in activation patterns across micro- and macro-brain structures during information processing tasks. New advances in translational research and research on the principles of neuroplasticity will lead to greater understanding of the best ways to promote brain changes through language, literacy, and STEM education.  Research on educational neuroscience should lead to innovative perspectives on the integration of basic research and educational practices and to the development of sound education policies.