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The potential of neuroscience
Girl reading off cards.

Neuroscience has the potential to help us understand how the genetic predispositions of the brains of individuals (nature) can be built on through education and upbringing (nurture).

Key findings include:

  • The way the brain changes and how what we do changes the brain, and
  • The power of education to enhance cognition.
Neuroscience and learning difficulties
Disabled boy and teacher try to
                  name an object.

Current research in neuroscience is also focused on identifying the brain basis of learning difficulties, which may have implications for:

  • Identification and diagnosis
  • Designing interventions to overcome or circumvent learning difficulties, and
  • Making education more effective.

The expansion in genetics research over the last few decades has revealed the importance of genes in creating individual differences. It is likely that genes play a significant role in learning disabilities and that the implications of genetic research will become increasingly important in the future. A summary of current genetic research is outside the scope of this module. Some references to genetics and heredity have been made, where they are relevant to the discussion of a particular neurological condition.

Cognitive psychology
Teacher taking notes.

The results of cognitive psychology have had and continue to have a huge impact on education. Although this module focuses on neuroscience, some references to cognitive psychology are made where they are relevant to the discussion of a particular neurological condition.

Find out more

Blakemore, S. and Frith, U. (2005), The Learning Brain: lessons for education, Blackwell Publishing