Educational Neuroscience : Development Across the Life Span book cover
1st Edition

Educational Neuroscience
Development Across the Life Span

ISBN 9781138240353
Published April 15, 2020 by Routledge
570 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


  1. Why is neuroscience relevant to education?
  2. An introduction to brain and cognitive development – the key concepts you need to know
  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?
  5. Socioeconomic disparities in achievement: Insights on neurocognitive development and educational interventions
  6. Discipline-specific abilities: literacy, numeracy, and science

  7. Neuroscience in reading and reading difficulties
  8. Reading acquisition and developmental dyslexia: Educational neuroscience and phonological skills
  9. Sources of variability in mathematical development
  10. Lifespan conceptual development in science: brain and behaviour
  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
  13. Understanding emotional thought can transform educators’ understanding of how students learn
  14. Leading methods for cognitive enhancement

  15. Action video games: from effects on cognition and the brain to potential educational applications 
  16. Mindfulness and executive function: Implications for learning and early childhood education
  17. The neuroscience of sleep and its relation to educational outcomes
  18. The effectiveness of aerobic exercise for improving educational outcomes
  19. The cognitive benefits and disadvantages of bilingualism across the lifespan and implications for education
  20. Music training, individual differences, and plasticity
  21. Into the classroom

  22. Towards a science of teaching and learning for teacher education
  23. Educational neuroscience: ethical perspectives
  24. Educational neuroscience: so what does it mean in the classroom?
  25. Conclusion

  26. Key challenges in advancing educational neuroscience

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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.