About this Research Topic
Human neuroscience sheds light on brain mechanisms that underpin cognitive and social behavior and on how such mechanisms may become altered in brain disorders. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism and Asperger’s syndrome, intellectual disabilities, sensory impairment, and other medical conditions constitute challenges for neuroscientists, geneticists, psychologists and educators.
Advances in imaging techniques, psychological research and genomics enable the integration of disciplines that investigate human learning and development, opening up possibilities for the enhancement, update and eventually the reform of educational theories and practices. Our increasing understanding of learning and the application of new knowledge to educational settings can improve learning outcomes. Thus, the potential of neuroscience in making exciting contributions to educational research in general and to special education in particular is now more pronounced than ever.
The need for fruitful, evidence-based interventions is grounded on the fact that intervention may save time and money, relief families, and improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. As a result, the neurobiological foundations of special education carry multiple implications for educational policy.
Answers concerning early learning and early intervention, the challenges that individual differences pose, the effectiveness of educational and treatment approaches to developmental disorders, the widening possibilities that brain plasticity brings to normal (e.g. life-long learning) and pathological conditions (e.g. blind readers and wayfarers), and the interaction of genetic and epigenetic factors in disease (e.g. epilepsy) are just a few of the hottest topics in the neuroscience and education convergence. At the same time, the deconstruction of neuromyths, i.e. popular but ill-grounded views about what brain science can actually deliver to education, emerges as a priority for the neuroscience community. The benefits of the interaction between neurobiology and education could be mutual, as education may also conceivably offer a naturalistic framework for research on the brain.
In this Research Topic, we intend to summarize and review research that has been carried out thus far to bridge the gap between the brain sciences and education. We also aim to open up future perspectives for Educational Neuroscience. Articles from all related areas of research – theories, opinion, methods, areas of impact, history – are welcomed.
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