Section Educational Neuroscience

What is Educational Neuroscience?

Educational neuroscience is the study of learning and teaching in relation to the development of the brain and cognition. Learning takes a lifetime. Within our section, we focus mainly on primary school children, adolescents and young adults, the phases during which most of us receive formal education. We are concerned with the 'normal' learning development, but also with the learning development of individuals for whom learning is a challenge due to biological, psychological or socio-cultural factors.

Over the past fifteen years, the brain has become a popular theme. This is mainly because brain imaging research has really taken off the ground. We can watch pictures and videos to see what happens in the brain. Results from neuro-imaging studies are of interest to educational practice, although going from a ‘brain scan to a lesson plan’ has proven to be quite a challenge. In addressing this challenge, we also need information about the context in which people learn. Think of parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors: the social and cultural environment. The development of brain and cognition does not stand alone, but is influenced by this environment.

We therefore strive to help bridge the gap between neuroscience and other disciplines such as the educational sciences and psychology as well as the sociocultural research fields. Our research is both fundamental and application-oriented. We collaborate with schools, educational partners, teacher educators, educational support services and parents. See also the website of LEARN!

The members of the section participate actively in the bachelor and master programs of the Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, as well as in the Research Masters Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology en Cognitive Neuropsychology. Research in the section of Educational Neuroscience is organized around four major themes: Social cognition, Reading and math, Brain and learning, and Executive functions.