Brain & Learning Blog

The Eyes Have It – How the Brain Uses Our Eyes to See the World (12/21/2016) - I was going to begin this post with the common saying, “The eyes are the windows of the soul,” but I couldn’t find the originator of the line to give him or her credit. It turns out that human beings have been saying variations of this truism almost as long as we have been putting…
Tis the Season to Give – Your Brain Will Thank You! (12/18/2016) - Neuroscience tells us that doing good works is also good for your physical and mental health. Give yourself the gift of giving by donating to a cause that matters to you. Here are a few suggestions that matter to me...
Give the Gift of Brain Health Every Day of the Year (12/9/2016) - I just finished another session of my brain-aware instructional design workshop and I came to a big realization. As learning professionals, we all see information on the science of learning almost every day and we’re becoming better and better at incorporating this information into our instructional design and training delivery practices.
The Neuroscience of Mood Boards (12/2/2016) - What do web designers, architects, advertising agencies, fashion designers and movie set designers have in common? They all use mood boards to develop their initial design and share ideas with team members and clients. In this post we’ll talk about how you can use a mood board to save time on your next instructional design…
Happy Thanksgiving – It’s Good for the Brain! (11/23/2016) - 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…
What I’m Thankful for This Year (11/22/2016) - Since I’m reminding all of you about the benefits of gratitude for your body and brain in another post, I thought I’d take a moment to share what I’m most thankful for this year.
Formal Learning vs. Informal Learning (11/11/2016) - Workers learn more in the coffee room than in the classroom.” – Jay Cross. While studies vary on the exact percentage, most learning in today’s workplace is informal. In this post, we’ll distinguish between informal and formal learning and explore ways to identify and encourage informal learning within your organization.
Remembering Jay Cross (11/10/2016) - Last year, on November 6, we lost one of the true pioneers of learning science, Jay Cross. Jay was a friend and mentor and was slated to appear at our first Brain Matters Online Conference. He died unexpectedly just two days before he was going to speak about his latest book, Real Learning.
Happy Birthday Carl Sagan (11/10/2016) - November 9 is Carl Sagan’s birthday. Astronomer, physicist and science interpreter for the world, he created the first Cosmos series and inspired a generation to wonder about the cosmos inside and outside of our bodies. He was sometimes criticized by his colleagues for appearing on late night TV, writing books that the average person could…
The Neuroscience of Cubs Fans, continued (11/3/2016) - Finally! No more Waiting Til Next Year! I grew up in what is sometimes considered “Chicagoland,” a wide area around that great city where some people live in alternating states of hope and despair over their beloved baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.
Reflecting on Learning (10/28/2016) - The role of reflection in learning is well-established and dates back at least to educator/philosopher John Dewey, who said “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”
Interviewed by OZY: How your brain hijacks critical thinking and causes “lizard brain” (10/28/2016) - This year’s presidential election gives us many opportunities to watch the brain at work. I’ve commented on the past on how the Herd Mentality keeps us safe and influences our life choices – with sometimes negative results.
The Neuroscience of Cubs Fans (10/20/2016) - Another year, another chance for heartbreak. I grew up in what is sometimes considered “Chicagoland,” a wide area around that great city where some people live in alternating states of hope and despair over their beloved baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.
Seeing the Brain Through the Eyes of an Artist: Elizabeth Jameson (10/11/2016) - There is mounting evidence that performance arts enhance brain development at any age. A recent study found that dancers and musicians share very similar brains – they have more connections between different regions of the brain than the average non-artist.
First Published in Elearning Magazine: Selling with the Brain in Mind (10/11/2016) - For the past decade, advances in neuroscience have shed new light on how the brain learns. While this science is still in its infancy and there are more questions than answers right now, many teachers, instructional designers and trainers are implementing brain-aware techniques into their work as educators.
Learningtogo Podcasts Now on iTunes! (9/30/2016) - itunes-podcasts-header-2If you’ve been a subscriber for a while, you know that I’ve been honored to feature many brilliant people on my little show. This week we passed a significant milestone by joining iTunes.
Download my slides from “Smarter Brains for a Smarter Organization,” Enterprise Learning Conference online (9/15/2016) - It was a pleasure to share what neuroscience tells us about boosting employee engagement, enhancing performance and accelerating learning. Here are my slides from my recent presentation at the Enterprise Learning Conference Online, on September 8. I recommend that you mark your calendar for the 2017 event. It’s a well-organized and very targeted learning opportunity.
Great News! Essentials of Brain-Based Learning Eligible for CEUs! (9/15/2016) - If you’ve been looking for the right time to take my ATD Essentials course on Brain-Based Learning, now is the time! Starting with our August class, attendees can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attending. We’ve also added another class to the 2016 to keep up with demand. The next class starts on November 3…
The Persistence of Memory (9/7/2016) - Where were you on 9/11/2001? I was teaching a virtual class early in the morning from my home in Rio Verde, Arizona. Suddenly, my students started disappearing. I had 20 participants, then 15, then 10, then none. I kept teaching until I had covered all the content, because I knew my client was sitting in…
“Everyone Loves a Winner” – Except When We Don’t (8/15/2016) - It’s well-documented that as a species we like to identify ourselves with winners and those we perceive as having the highest potential to win. This tendency seems to validate the statement that our brain is hard-wired for survival, an observation made by John Medina and others. But human behavior is rarely that straight forward.
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