Drive the Brain to be a Better Learner
Earlier this week, I had the chance to hear Dr. Martha Burns, who serves at both Northwestern University and Scientific Learning on some of the chemical cocktail of the learning brain that we tap when we teach.
Acetylcholine is tapped and reinforces the neurological structure when we do things as teachers to increase the focus of attention and reward. Think about when the teacher moves around the room and gets close to a single student-Madeline Hunter explained it as raising their level of concern. We now know that it is a burst of Acetylcholine-which increases connections of neurons.
Norepinephrine is tapped when we increase the novelty of doing a project or tapping a new thing to learn.
Dopamine secretion is increased through positive reinforcement.
We need increases in Acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and dopamine to build cognitive capacity through increases in cognitive activity to drive learners’ brains to be better learners.
More about the chemical cocktail on the learning brain can be found by searching on the work of Drs, Martha Burns, Paula Tallal, Steve Miller, Mike Mersenich, and others affiliated with Scientific Learning.