Assignment: Connections Between Each Neuron

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Assignment: Connections Between Each Neuron

Assignment: Connections Between Each Neuron

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Please watch the video “” By Sebastian Seung.

Video Description: Sebastian Seung is mapping a massively ambitious new model of the brain that focuses on the connections between each neuron. He calls it our “connectome,” and it’s as individual as our genome — and understanding it could open a new way to understand our brains and our minds.

Discussion Directions: In your response, discuss your thoughts on what Seung is describing. Summarize his key points. What are strengths/limitations of his findings? How do you feel about his statements? Do you agree or disagree with his view?

Note: Your initial post must be at least 200 words in length. Post must be several sentences in length to be considered for credit. Support your points with information from the textbook or external educational sources. Be sure to cite your sources in APA formatting.

How do you conceptualize learning? Do you think of learning as a contractual agreement: the instructor performs certain actions to facilitate learning, and the student, in turn, explicitly or implicitly promises to behave in ways to receive that learning? Or do you think of learning in sociological terms: the learner, through what he or she learns, transforms his or her beliefs and becomes a more emancipated citizen of the world? Or perhaps you think of learning in psychological terms: learners are motivated, store facts in their minds, and create mental knowledge structures. All of these ways of conceptualizing learning can be beneficial in understanding how students learn and what makes teaching effective.

However, at their most fundamental and mechanistic level, teaching and learning are neurological phenomena arising from physical changes in brain cells. The notion that learning and memory are neurobiological processes is relatively young, dating back only to the 18th century ( blue right-pointing triangle). Even today, only about half of teachers and the general public, depending on the country, agree that “learning occurs through the modification of the brain’s neural connections” ( blue right-pointing triangle, p. 102;  blue right-pointing triangle;  blue right-pointing triangle;  blue right-pointing triangle). Nevertheless, recent advances in brain science have given us an in-depth picture of the molecular and cellular changes that occur during learning, and the consensus of neurobiologists is that these alterations are both necessary and sufficient for the formation of memories ( blue right-pointing triangle).

If anyone should appreciate that teaching and learning are biological phenomena, one would predict it would be biologists, and scientists more generally. However, few of us were likely taught about the neurobiology of learning in our pedagogical training. In this paper, we will first explore how one might conceptualize learning as a biological process in the context of a common teaching technique called the think–pair–share. Then, we will give an overview of what is known from biological research about the neurobiological basis of learning and explore how various teaching techniques might harness known neurological mechanisms to promote the creation and retrieval of long-term memories. This Feature does not aspire to give instructions for how one should teach. Certainly, there have been many attempts to use the findings of neuroscience to create guidelines for instruction, particularly in K–12 education, and even to sell “brain-based curricula,” but given the complexity of human learning, many neuroscientists believe these attempts have been at best prematur

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