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Learning Techniques and Theories of Neuroscience Research Paper

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Updated: May 22nd, 2021

Abstract

Learning is a process that takes place between individuals. Different theories have emerged to describe how this process takes place. Such frameworks have led to the development of various learning techniques to deliver the intended content and instructions to the targeted individuals. A proper understanding of these methods can guide teachers to meet their learners’ needs. The presented discussion identifies these major learning techniques that different people use: complex value-based learning, memory systems, and category learning techniques. The paper goes further to describe each method and its relationship to neuroscience. Appropriate improvements and future studies that can improve the effectiveness of different techniques are also presented.

Introduction

Neuroscientists and educational theorists have presented various models that individuals can use to develop new skills and ideas. Human beings encounter numerous situations that can equip them with new experiences and concepts for pursuing their objectives in life. Some of the common modes of learning include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Individuals combine two or more of the methods depending on the targeted aims in life.

A proper understanding of the major techniques of learning is something that can help both tutors and learners to achieve their goals. The application of different modes of learning has made it possible for many people to overcome the challenges they face. Professionals who understand the needs of their respective will utilize the most appropriate learning techniques to empower them. Such a practice is capable of improving the beneficiaries’ educational objectives.

The proposed paper will focus on the importance of learning techniques from a neuroscience perspective. The research will offer meaningful insights that can guide more learners and educators to record positive results in their respective circumstances. The topic is worth analyzing and discussing since it can transform the learning models many people embrace or consider.

Methods

Several articles and publications were considered to deliver evidence-based arguments to support the selected topic. This means that a qualitative study method ensured that the right sources of information were identified. The researcher considered several issues throughout the process. The first one was to select quality articles from peer-reviewed journals and books. Secondly, there was a need to ensure that the publications were academic and addressed the issue of learning techniques.

Several keywords were outlined to guide the article selection processes. These included learning techniques, learning preferences, collaborative learning, visual learning, neuroscience, category learning, complex value-based learning, lateral prefrontal cortex, child learning preferences, and educators’ competencies (Bidabadi et al. 2016). Articles and books published within the past five years were considered. The final method used to justify the quality of the sources was to select the ones whereby the authors focused on case studies and literature reviews to present evidence-based findings and discussions.

Results and Analysis

The completed study has presented numerous learning techniques that individuals and educationists can consider whenever supporting one another. According to Dixon and Christoff (2014), a proper understanding of the needs of the targeted learner should inform the most appropriate technique. Some of the common ones include complex value-based learning, memory systems, and category learning (Dixon and Christoff, 2014). Each of these methods is applicable in different settings or scenarios. People will have to focus on their changing needs to implement the most appropriate neuroscience-based learning methods.

Past studies have revealed that the idea of multiple memory systems (MMS) is supported by cognitive neuroscience. Convergent evidence from neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies has delivered similar insights. This means that there is an existence of MMS for both declarative knowledge and category learning (Dixon and Christoff, 2014). Other studies have indicated that there is only a single form of memory-based representation. Research by Poldrack and Foerde (2008) went further to show that MMS was a superior mode of learning since it accounted for a wide range of data from the fields of neuroscience and psychology.

Complex value-based learning is another method or technique of learning that many neuroscientists have examined over the past few years. They have realized that the decision-making process is capable of delivering complex aspects of processing information. Studies have also associated the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) with the processing of value-based and cognitive information (Dixon and Christoff, 2014). This means that the part is also responsible for promoting evidence-based decision-making in human beings.

Discussion

Each of the learning techniques described above has its unique role in different communities and societies. Poldrack and Foerde (2008) indicate that theorists and educationists have managed to describe and propose different methods depending on the targeted outcomes, neurological abilities, and the environment. Complex-value-based and category learning techniques are useful methods that can guide learners of different ages to identify specific topics and analyze them carefully. The inputs presented by individuals will support the process, thereby minimizing the need for extensive training. Such techniques promote a participatory approach whereby the targeted learners form groups and select specific topics for discussion or analysis.

The existence of MMS is something that has been linked to declarative knowledge and category learning. Many theorists in the field of neuroscience have indicated that multiple memory systems are capable of promoting thinking abilities and guiding people to analyze a broad range of information or psychology. A single memory system has also been observed to influence decision-making and learning procedures.

The analysis of category learning is something that has made it possible for many people and scholars to examine the role of neural systems in supporting different forms of acquiring information. However, some theorists have revealed that the single-systems approach is a concept that lacks parsimony (Poldrack and Foerde, 2008). The study also indicated that category learning was a strong tool or idea for understanding memory system function and organization.

Complex value-based decision-making and learning is a powerful technique supported by past lesions, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological evidence. Such studies have also identified the LPFC as a crucial brain part that is involved in this information processing procedure. According to Dixon and Christoff (2014), the LPFC is capable of contributing to this kind of learning in several ways. The first one is that it guides people to choose specific options. For instance, an individual can use the technique to reward, delay, or pursue a certain effort. The second way is that it leads people to compete against specific alternatives (Tóth, 2014). Thirdly, the method is also known to represent the value of intangible beliefs or concepts. Some good examples include fairness and trust.

The findings go further to support the idea that each technique is informed by different theories of learning. These are conceptual models or frameworks that describe how individuals can acquire and retain information. Such theories also guide human beings whenever interacting with their colleagues or pursuing their economic activities. Some of the leading models include behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism (Sofroniou and Poutos, 2016).

This means that educators should consider the most appropriate theory and apply it depending on the nature of the existing environment. The ultimate objective is to ensure that more people can relate their current knowledge with the intended ideas and concepts. The use of behavioral concepts can guide learners to focus on evidence-based practices that will eventually transform their thoughts and eventually reap the best rewards.

The completed study has also managed to unearth an important issue that scholars have ignored over the years. The combination of learning styles and techniques is something that has not been captured in the selected articles. This gap explains why many people have not been empowered to reap the benefits of learning. This is true because different people tend to have their preferred styles of learning. The situations or circumstances they are in and the targeted objectives should inform the most appropriate learning processes. Poldrack and Foerde (2008) identify these unique learning styles: visual, verbal, social, and kinesthetic.

Future scholars should consider this information and introduce each of these styles in the learning environment. The ultimate objective is for the targeted learners to record positive results. The inclusion of neuroscience within the realm of learning is an aspect that can empower many people to be aware of their decision-making and knowledge-acquisition techniques. This achievement will guide them to reach their potential and solve most of the issues or challenges they face.

The combination of different learning techniques with modern technologies is a model that stands a chance to meet the needs of many individuals. In the recent past, researchers and educationists have mainly concentrated on the unique needs of disabled children and those with learning disabilities. Dixon and Christoff (2014) acknowledge that tutors can use emerging educational technologies to maximize the experiences and opportunities of their learners.

Since current information does not offer mechanisms to introduce diverse technologies in classrooms, there is a need for future scholars to address this gap and empower more people. When tutors are aware of these critical issues, they will make appropriate decisions and combine various techniques, styles, and technologies. Such a practice will eventually transform the educational goals of their respective learners.

Conclusion

The completed discussion has revealed that there are numerous learning techniques from the lens of a neuroscientist. Each method has its unique advantages and applications. All people must select the right technique and match it with their changing needs. Those who use these approaches will acquire and retain new knowledge that can empower them to achieve their professional and personal goals. Additionally, there are specific avenues that researchers should put into consideration for further development. The first one is the introduction or combination of modern technologies with learning techniques.

They can also go further to consider different neurological strategies to study the brain more carefully and understand how it aids in decision-making and erudition procedures. In conclusion, the relationship between neuroscience and learning is something that scholars should study thoroughly in an attempt to achieve the most from all situations or conditions.

References

Bidabadi, N.S., Isfahani, A. N., Rouhollahi, A., Khalili, R., 2016. Effective teaching methods in higher education: requirements and barriers. J Adv Med Educ Prof. 4(4), 170-178.

Dixon, M.L. Christoff, K. 2014. The lateral prefrontal cortex and complex value-based learning and decision making. Neuro. And Beh. Rev. 45, 9-8.

Poldrack, R.A., Foerde, K., 2008. Category learning and the memory systems debate. Neuro. And Beh. Rev. 32, 197-205.

Sofroniou, A., Poutos, K., 2016. Investigating the effectiveness of group work in mathematics. Education Sciences 6, 30-44.

Tóth, P., 2014. The role of individual differences in learning. Acta Polytchnica Hungarica 11(4), 183-197.

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