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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second [Paul Howard-Jones] You’ve uncovered some commonly held neuromyths. Let’s now look at the brain and see why these myths just aren’t true. Some everyday tasks that we carry out, do engage more of one side of the cortex than the other. For example, language tends to activate the left hemisphere more than the right. But left and right hemispheres are connected by an information super highway that integrates processing across the left and right side of the brain. Each hemisphere of the cortex can be divided into four lobes, and each lobe is associated more with some mental processes than others. For example there are the frontal lobes which are very involved with our conscious thinking and reasoning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds And they’re also very important for working memory which is a concept we’re gonna come across later. The parietal lobes are a convergent zone for information coming from different senses, they are more involved with automatic unconscious processing. We have the visual cortex at the back, sometimes these are called the occipital lobes, that’s all about processing our vision. And the temporal lobes here at the sides are very important for processing auditory information, they’re essential for our hearing. But the brain is multi sensory and it’s highly interconnected. And that means that just seeing, for example, a picture of a bell, will not just produce activity here in the visual cortex, but also produce activity in the auditory cortex as well.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds Because of the association of a picture of a bell with the sound of a bell. Our learning benefits from being able to represent information in a variety of different ways using different modalities, sight, sound, touch. A teacher might explain the concept verbally and expect learners to listen, or visually using a diagram or practical demonstration, or even ask learners to enact a concept and feel it. Thanks to our multisensory brain, we can connect those different representations together and it’s making those connections that’s really good for learning.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 seconds So just teaching in one modality is not a good idea, we should be using all our senses to learn because we know that making links between those different forms of information really helps us understand and learn.

The structure of the brain: the cortex

In the answers to the truth or myth quiz, we introduced some of the structure of the brain and the research that debunks the neuromyths.

We’ve already established that we use all of our brain when learning, but to get the most out of this course, you will need to have an idea of which parts of the brain are involved with learning at different times.

In this video Paul describes the cortex and how interconnected the brain is. The brain is formed of four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal. Each lobe has a particular role in learning and the brain as a whole is multisensory. As teachers, you’ll need to consider this linking across the brain.

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The Science of Learning

National STEM Learning Centre