Today, as educational neuroscience has started to find its niche within interdisciplinary “mind-brain-education” study, the field’s most powerful findings show how little about learning is hard-wired, after all.
“What we find is people really do change their brain functions in response to experience,” said Kurt W. Fischer, the director of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain, and Education Program. “It’s just amazing how flexible the brain is. That plasticity has been a huge surprise to a whole lot of people.”
In contrast to the popular conception of the brain as a computer hard-wired with programs that run different types of tasks, said Dr. Jay N. Giedd, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, brain activity has turned out to operate more like a language.