Brain & Learning Blog

Combating “The Homer Simpson Effect” (2/1/2018) - You Have to Forget Some Old Truths to Master Essentials of Brain-Based Learning. There really is a "Homer Simpson" effect in neuroscience.
What Are the Top eLearning Trends of 2018? (1/25/2018) - Bryan Jones of eLearning Art recently conducted an extensive survey of about 57 thought leaders in learning and development, to identify the top elearning trends for 2018. I was honored to be included in the survey and I’ve admired Bryan’s work for years.
Podcast: Margie Meacham Talks Brain-Based Learning, AI, Chatbots and More on #TLDCast (Jan 24, 2018) (1/25/2018) - Every weekday like-minded learning professionals join a live chat on current trends, research, challenges and best practice. Just about anything goes in these free-wheeling, collaborative sessions.
Have You Seen the First Infographic? (1/25/2018) - If you think the Infographic is a new tool to help convey complex information, think again. It’s been around over 100 years. I recently came across the earliest example I’ve found, in this graphic representation of the suffrage movement newspaper published in 1913. It’s a great example of how to use data visualization to tell
4 Lessons from Digital Learning – How Digital Learning is Transforming Our World and Rewiring our Brains (1/24/2018) - A few weeks ago, I had a problem to solve and it was something of an emergency. My Keurig had failed to make my morning cup of coffee. I followed the directions, like I’d done a hundred times before, but it just sat there, mocking me. I could have opened the minuscule user guide that
Will a Chatbot Be Your Next Learning Coach? – How AI can support talent development in your organization (1/15/2018) - Eighty percent of major companies expect to be using artificial intelligence by 2020, but their training departments are likely to be the last places you’ll find it.
The Brain Science of Keeping Resolutions (1/4/2018) - If you are one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution for 2018, you may have already fallen off your goal. Don’t feel too badly. After one month, only about 64 percent of resolutions are still in force and by six months that number drops to less than 50 percent.
Ten Words We Must Keep Saying About the Science of Learning (While We Still Can) (12/29/2017) - Vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, science-based. These words created quite a stir when it was reported that the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an internal style guide advising employees to avoid these words if they wanted to get their programs funded by our current Congress.
Why the Holidays Can Make You Cry (And what you can do about it) (12/15/2017) - I don’t know about you, but I’m always incredibly busy this time of year. Most of my clients operate on a calendar year that requires all projects to be completed and paid for by December 31. That means that just when everyone is starting to take days off to be with their families, I am
Does Your Brain Need Santa Claus? (12/14/2017) - SPOILER ALERT: If you believe in Santa Claus, you might not want to read any further!!! What do Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns, Unicorns and my “lucky” putter all have in common? They are all examples of “magical thinking.”
Do you have snakes in your brain? (12/7/2017) - Like all other life on this planet, humans evolved in order to survive, and our brains have become spectacular survival machines. By understanding the threats our earliest ancestors faced in our early history, we can understand why our brains function the way they do today.
The Music of Your Sphere – The Multiple Ways Your Brain is Wired for Music (11/30/2017) - The Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, discovered the relationship between the length of a string on an instrument and the pitch that the string produces. He believed that this correlation was part of a harmonic relationship that connects everything in the universe, which he called The Music of the Spheres.
Happy Thanksgiving – It’s Good for the Brain! (11/17/2017) - The U.S. is one of several countries that celebrates the end of the harvest with a day of giving thanks – that we’re prepared to survive another winter. With the word “survival” in the opening line, you’ve probably guessed that I’m about to find a way to link eating turkey with survival, because that’s usually
Your Bayesian Brain – Are you wired for statistics? (11/16/2017) - A contemporary of Isaac Newton and a defender of Newton’s invention of calculus, Thomas Bayes was a theologian and mathematician (those two fields were not as far apart in his time as they have drifted today) who is best known for his invention of probabilistic prediction.
Persistance of Memory (11/10/2017) - Today is Verteran's Day in the U.S. and I find myself remembering all the many lives we have lost, the human potential diverted, the injuries, both mental and physical, all stemming from the same tragic state of an increasingly violent and hateful world.
Why I’m Getting Tired of All These Stories (11/2/2017) - That clever little story may not be as engaging as you think it is. When neuroscientist Paul Zak discovered the power of a compelling story to stimulate the production of oxytocin in the same manner as “real life” interactions, he unleashed a new best practice for leaders, speakers, trainers, teachers and everyone else.
Doing Conferences Differently – How to Beat Post-Conference Depression (10/30/2017) - Do you suffer from PCD? How many times has this happened to you? You’ve convinced your boss (or yourself) to pay up to $2,000 plus travel expenses so you can attend a conference in your field. You spent a few energizing, exhausting and sometimes confusing and frustrating days with thousands of strangers and maybe a
Dr. Greg Gage – Backyard Brains – Neuroscience for Everyone! (10/27/2017) - Listen to Podcast: Dr. Greg Gage is a neuroscientist, biomedical engineer, co-founder of Backyard Brains, and TED Fellow. He spent many years as an electrical engineer designing retail systems before returning to grad school to pursue his passion for neuroscience. We talked about his exciting project to create a community of amateur neuroscientists, his plan to
Why do we love to scare ourselves? The Neuroscience of Halloween (10/27/2017) - Fear is generally thought of as a negative emotion. Google it and you will find thousands of articles, books and blog posts about how to face your fear and overcome it so you can be more successful, happy or brilliant. Yet fear serves a very useful purpose in our growth as a species.
The Shoemaker’s Children – Nine Ways to Take Care of Your Own Professional Development (10/20/2017) - “The shoemaker’s children always go barefoot.” – Proverb. The saying goes back at least to the Middle Ages. It indicates that professionals like us often don’t bestow our greatest gifts on ourselves.
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