1st Edition

Educational Neuroscience Development Across the Life Span

    570 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    570 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The field of educational neuroscience uses new insights about the neural mechanisms of learning to improve educational practices and outcomes. The first volume to bring together the latest knowledge on the development of educational neuroscience from a life-span perspective, this important text offers state of the art, authoritative research findings in educational neuroscience before providing evidence-based recommendations for classroom practice.

    Thomas, Mareschal, Dumontheil, and the team of expert international contributors assembled in this volume thoroughly explore four main themes throughout the book. The first theme is individual differences, or what makes children perform better or worse in the classroom. The second theme is the nature of individual differences at different stages in development, from early years into adulthood. The third theme addresses cognitive enhancement, summarizing research that has investigated activities that might give general benefits to cognition. And the fourth theme considers the translation of research findings into classroom practices, discussing broader ethical issues raised by educational neuroscience, and what teachers need to know about neuroscience to enhance their day-to-day practice. Specific topics explored include neuropsychological perspectives on socioeconomic disparities in educational achievement, reading difficulties, phonological skills, executive function, and emotional development.

    Educational Neuroscience is essential reading for researchers and graduate students of educational psychology, developmental science, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology, especially those specializing in emotion regulation.


    1. Why is neuroscience relevant to education? Michael Thomas and Daniel Ansari
    2. An introduction to brain and cognitive development – the key concepts you need to know Iroise Dumontheil & Denis Mareschal
    3. Development and variation: Nature vs. Nature

    4. What has behavioral genetic research told us about the origins of individual differences in educational abilities and achievements? Georgina Donati & Emma Meaburn
    5. Socioeconomic disparities in achievement: Insights on neurocognitive development and educational interventions Daniel A. Hackman & David J. M. Kraemer
    6. Discipline-specific abilities: literacy, numeracy, and science

    7. Neuroscience in reading and reading difficulties Xiuhong Tong & Catherine McBride-Chang
    8. Reading acquisition and developmental dyslexia: Educational neuroscience and phonological skills Usha Goswami
    9. Sources of variability in mathematical development Bert de Smedt
    10. Lifespan conceptual development in science: brain and behaviour Andy Tolmie and Selma Dündar-Coecke
    11. Discipline-general abilities: executive functions, social and affective development


    12. The development of executive functions in childhood and adolescence and their relation to school performance Sabine Peters
    13. Understanding emotional thought can transform educators’ understanding of how students learn Mary Helen Immordino-Yang & Rebecca Gotlieb
    14. Leading methods for cognitive enhancement

    15. Action video games: from effects on cognition and the brain to potential educational applications Irene Altarelli, Shawn Green & Daphne Bavelier
    16. Mindfulness and executive function: Implications for learning and early childhood education Andrei D. Semenov, Douglas Kennedy, and Philip David Zelazo
    17. The neuroscience of sleep and its relation to educational outcomes Rachel Sharman, Gaby Illingworth and Christopher-James Harvey
    18. The effectiveness of aerobic exercise for improving educational outcomes Catherine Wheatley, Thomas Wassenaar and Heidi Johansen-Berg
    19. The cognitive benefits and disadvantages of bilingualism across the lifespan and implications for education Jacqueline Phelps and Roberto Filippi
    20. Music training, individual differences, and plasticity Glenn Schellenberg
    21. Into the classroom

    22. Towards a science of teaching and learning for teacher education Paul Howard-Jones, Konstantina Ioannou, Ruth Bailey, Jayne Prior, Tim Jay, and Shu Yau
    23. Educational neuroscience: ethical perspectives Victoria Knowland
    24. Educational neuroscience: so what does it mean in the classroom? Derek Bell & Helen M. Darlington
    25. Conclusion

    26. Key challenges in advancing educational neuroscience Michael Thomas, Iroise Dumontheil & Denis Mareschal


    Michael S. C. Thomas obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UCL Institute of Child Health. His research in developmental cognitive neuroscience focuses on the origins of cognitive variability, including developmental disorders. He is Director of the University of London Centre for Educational Neuroscience, UK.

    Denis Mareschal is Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, University of London, UK. He has published extensively on all aspects of learning and development across infancy and childhood and is a recipient of the Marr Prize (Cognitive Science Society, USA), the Young Researcher Award (International Society on Infant Studies, USA), and the Margaret Donaldson Prize (British Psychological Society, UK).

    Iroise Dumontheil obtained a PhD from the University of Paris VI and then was a postdoctoral fellow in labs in London, Cambridge and Stockholm. She is a recipient of the Spearman Medal (British Psychological Society) and the Elizabeth Warrington Prize (British Neuropsychological Society). Her research focuses on the typical development of the brain, cognition and behaviour during adolescence, and on the implication of these findings for education.