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Linking Education and Neuroscience

Welcome to the Ed Neuro Lab!

We are a newly formed lab directed by Edward M. Hubbard in the Department of Educational Psychology and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The lab explores questions at the intersection of education and neuroscience, in the emerging field of Educational Neuroscience. Our research examines the neural underpinnings of cognitive processes that are relevant for education, and the role of educational experiences and enculturation as primary drivers of brain plasticity to create the neural circuits that underlie human specific abilities. Our research combines the latest technological advances in understanding the human brain as a “learning organ” with insights from cognitive psychology and education to help build the emerging field of educational neuroscience.

The lab focuses on three main areas:
1) the acquisition of mathematics in typical and atypically developing populations
2) the role of multi-sensory integration in learning; and
3) the role of learning in synesthesia, and the consequences of synesthesia for education.

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Ed Neuro Lab Presentations Next Week

Published on April 4, 2014, by

Next week, the Ed. Neuro. Lab will be making multiple presentations around the UW-Madison campus.  First, our URS students, Grace George and Taylor Shiff will be presenting at the URS Undergraduate Symposium on Thursday, April 10.  In addition, Ed will be giving two presentations, on Tuesday April 8 as part of the Waisman Early Childhood Seminar Series and on Friday, April 11 in the Neuroscience and Public Policy Seminar.

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Liz awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Published on April 2, 2014, by

Our PhD student, Liz Toomarian was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to fund the next three years of her graduate studies. Out of 14000 applicants, only 2000 Fellowships were awarded.  Liz is one of only 30 grad students at UW-Madison who received an NSF Fellowship this year, and one of 35 people in the entire country to receive an award in the Psychology-Cognitive Neuroscience area. Congratulations, Liz!

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Ed and Percival’s Talk at BHS now Available on Vimeo

Published on March 4, 2014, by

On February 18, Ed and MELD Lab PI Percival Matthews had the honor of jointly speaking to the Bascom Hill Society, the oldest organization for supporters of the University of Wisconsin.  Our talk, titled “Connecting Education and Neuroscience to get the Whole Picture” focuses on linking our understanding of cognitive development, neuroscience and education to better understand the difficulties that many children have with fractions, and to, in turn, better understand how improve fractions instruction.

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Ed to be interviewed on WORT-FM

Published on February 28, 2014, by

At 7:00 pm next Thursday, March 6, Ed will be interviewed for local radio station WORT-FM’s “Perpetual Notion Machine” program, focusing on the learning processes in the brain.  Ed will talk about what is known about how brains shape, and are shaped by, various learning experiences, leading to specialized systems in the brain for reading, math and a number of other skills.

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The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia Featured in Psychology Today Blog

Published on February 12, 2014, by

The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia was featured in a new blog post by author and synesthete Maureen Seaberg over at Psychology Today.  Maureen’s blog, titled Tasting the Universe, discusses a number of issues related to synesthesia, including famous synesthetes, recent research and other happenings of interest to the synesthesia community.  Today, she reviewed the Oxford Handbook and quoted me and my co-editor, Julia Simner, extensively about the process of writing a Handbook of this scope.

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Video of “The Pre-School Genius” Panel now available on WPT’s University Place

Published on January 10, 2014, by

“The Pre-School Genius: Teaching Math and Science to Early Learners” Panel that Ed was part of for the Wisconsin Science Fest is now available on Wisconsin Public Television’s University Place.  The video is about 90 minutes long, and includes Ed, Anita Wagar from Curriculum and Instruction, Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop and Rachel Connolly, education director at NOVA.  So, we go from baby brains to Sesame Street to NOVA in about 90 minutes!  The School of Education has also posted a brief write up about the panel here.

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Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia now available through Oxford Handbooks Online

Published on December 19, 2013, by

The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia is now also available (with subscription) through the Oxford Handbooks Online web catalog, with all of the same content that is available in the hardcover version, plus links to a variety of other related content.  You can find the electronic version of the book here.  Don’t forget that there is also a google books preview of the book available here.

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New Pictures from Abbie’s Bio 152 Poster Presentation

Published on December 13, 2013, by

Our very own Abigail Zellner presented her work in the Biology 152 poster session yesterday, December 12.  We took a few pictures of Abbie and her excellent poster, and have added them to our pictures page.

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SOE reports on publication of the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia

Published on December 13, 2013, by

The School of Education news page has also released a brief announcement about the publication of the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia. They quote from the Oxford University Press press release, stating:

Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon which has captured the imagination of scientists and artists alike. This inherited condition gives rise to a kind of ‘merging of the senses,’ and so for those who experience it, everyday activities like reading or listening to music trigger extraordinary impressions of colors, tastes, smells, shapes and other sensations. The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia brings together this broad body of knowledge into one definitive state-of-the-art handbook. It includes a large number of concisely written chapters, under broader headings, which tackle questions about the origins of synesthesia, its neurological basis, its links with language and numbers, attention and perception, and with ‘normal’ sensory and linguistic processing. It asks questions about synesthesia’s role in language evolution, and presents both contemporary and historical overviews of the field.

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The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia published today

Published on December 12, 2013, by

I’m pleased to announce that the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia, which I co-edited with Julia Simner, is officially published today.  Despite what Amazon says (to be published February 12, 2014) the book is out.   You can find a preview of the book in google books.  The book (at 49 chapters and over 1100 pages long) aims to integrate the broad body of knowledge about synesthesia into one definitive state-of-the-art handbook, and has received powerful reviews from researchers and synesthetes alike.

“Synesthesia proves that perceptual reality is not one-size-fits-all. For the current state of the science, you won’t find a more comprehensive collection of expert voices than the one you’re holding now.” - David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, and author of ‘Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives’, and ‘Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia’
“An invaluably lucid and comprehensive guide to the multi-coloured world of synaesthesia by two of the leading researchers in the field.” - Daniel Tammet, writer, synesthete, and author of ‘Born on a Blue Day’, ‘Embracing the Wide Sky’, and ‘Thinking in Numbers’