ROANOKE, Va., March 31, 2011 – Everyone would like MDs to have the best education – and to absorb what they are taught. The lead article in the April 4 issue of the journal Academic Medicine connects research on how the brain learns to how to incorporate this understanding into real world education, particularly the education of doctors.
In the past 50 years, behavioral approaches combined with functional brain imaging and computational neuroscience have revealed strategies employed by mammals’ brains to acquire, store, and retrieve information. In addition to molecular and cellular approaches to describe the workings of the underlying hardware changes that occur in the brain during learning and the formation of memories, there has also been progress in higher-order, human-based studies of cognition, including learning and memory. Scientists have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the living brain combined with computational modeling to elucidate the strategies employed and the underlying biological processes.
The most effective delivery of the best possible care requires identifying and assigning levels of importance to the biological components of learning. Here are 10 key aspects of learning based on decades of research by many scientists that the article's authors believe can be incorporated into effective teaching.
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