Advances in Neuroscience and Learning
By Lynn Ayres, M.Ed.
Fast forward from 1996 to now…….During the past 20 years there has been an explosion of neuroscience research which has helped us to better understand the brain and its impact on learning. The marriage between research and technology (FMRI, PET scans, digital imaging and qEEG, etc.) has opened the door to a better understanding of the brain and its influence on timing, memory, attention and processing. The brain is the only organ that changes with everything we do based on its experiences. The brain and its networks are a muscle and a fiber that you can exercise to make changes in its architecture and build more fiber tracks with thicker mylar.
The Tarnow Center has been very invested in the neuroscience research and studies of the brain for the past 20 years. The Center has been a “pioneer” in providing programs. So why do the centers programs seem to work more effectively and efficiently than the numerous other programs that claim to “build” or improve the brain? The FastForword, Interactive Metronome and Cogmed programs work on prioritizing synapses in the brain by providing repetition in which they are integrated into your memories and change the brain in positive ways. “Neurons that fire together, stay together”. Our programs work simultaneously to improve the brains functioning so that there is better communication between the lobes so that the networks connections work together more efficiently.
Our programs challenge attention, memory, processing, sequencing, language and reasoning for extended periods of time with frequent reinforcement and rewards. Our programs enhance selective attention, working memory, information processing, reading and language which help children in all areas of learning and achievement. They help with test taking, memorizing and solving problems. Improvements in fluid reasoning help students solve problems rather that just learning facts which results in improving their performance on standardized tests (STAAR, ERB, SAT and ACT).
The research over the past 20 years and its implication for learning is only the beginning of helping children with learning challenges as well as enriching all students. The Tarnow Center continues to intertwine research and neuroscience to help determine the best program(s) for each child.