01 July 2005
Emotions and learning
After children have entered adolescence, emotions become a major influence on their ability to perform at school. This is being investigated by Abigail Baird... She is using MRI to watch what happens in the brain when a student hears a nasty comment or a gender slur and then proceeds to flub an exam. Outreach to teens who are struggling with their emotions is central to this work: Baird and her undergraduate assistant Jane Viner have created a 10-week mentoring programme that helps teenage girls cope with aggressive interactions. Girls who took part subsequently showed an increase in the activation of their prefrontal cortex — an area of the brain thought to help rein in our emotions — suggesting that they had indeed acquired some new cognitive strategies.
Fom Nature's Educational research: Big plans for little brains, an article about research into neuroscience and education (via 3quarksdaily).
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