Neuroscience is the study of the human nervous system, the brain, and the biological basis of consciousness, perception, memory, and learning.


The nervous system and the brain are the physical foundation of the human learning process. Neuroscience links our observations about cognitive behavior with the actual physical processes that support such behavior. This theory is still “young” and is undergoing rapid, controversial development.

Some of the key findings of neuroscience are:

The brain has a triad structure. Our brain actually contains three brains: the lower or reptilian brain that controls basic sensory motor functions; the mammalian or limbic brain that controls emotions, memory, and biorhythms; and the neocortex or thinking brain that controls cognition, reasoning, language, and higher intelligence.

The brain is not a computer. The structure of the brain’s neuron connections is loose, flexible, “webbed,” overlapping, and redundant. It’s impossible for such a system to function like a linear or parallel-processing computer. Instead, the brain is better described as a self-organizing system.

The brain changes with use, throughout our lifetime. Mental concentration and effort alters the physical structure of the brain. Our nerve cells (neurons) are connected by branches called dendrites. There are about 10 billion neurons in the brain and about 1,000 trillion connections. The possible combinations of connections is about ten to the one-millionth power. As we use the brain, we strengthen certain patterns of connection, making each connection easier to create next time. This is how memory develops.

How Neuroscience Impacts Education

When educators take neuroscience into account, they organize a curriculum around real experiences and integrated, “whole” ideas. Plus, they focus on instruction that promotes complex thinking and the “growth” of the brain. Neuroscience proponents advocate continued learning and intellectual development throughout adulthood.


Gerald Edelman, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind. Basic Books, 1992.

Bobbi Deporter, Quantum Learning, Chapter 2. Dell Trade, 1992.

Renate and Geoffrey Caine, Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain.

Robert Sylwester, “What the Biology of the Brain Tells Us About Learning,” Education Leadership, December, 1993.

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On Purpose Associates

7 Responses to Neuroscience

  1. Anatoly says:

    Great Article !

    Neuroscience is a very broad feild and has several major branches:

    Cognitive Neuroscience studies functions such as perception and memory.

    Behavioral Neuroscience studies the processes underlying behavior.

    Developmental Neuroscience studies how the brain grows and changes.

  2. Rod Land says:

    What’s really nice about neuro-science is that it confirms and reinforces everything that one has intuitively come to see and believe about the human brain and the way it works. Common sense rules! Metacognition can be developed to the point where one part of the brain (often conceptualized or visualized as being outside of and above the brain/body) can just sit there and observe other parts of the brain working. I find this cool and very reassuring, not spooky or freaky as some people have described it to me!

  3. Ivo da C.Souza says:

    I really love neuroscience. From childhood I would read a lot about the brain and psychology. We need more websites where we can revise and learn more about neuroscience, neuropsychology and neurotheology.
    This is an excellent website. I found more websites organized by professional neuroscientists.
    I hope we can write more and learn more about the human brain, mind, soul…
    Keep up!
    Dr.Ivo da C.Souza (Goa, India)

  4. Kim says:

    I am interested in the connections between Neuroscience and the Law of Attraction. I understand there is a new movie that is intending to integrate the two philosophies and explore the cognition of the mind. I am very interested in this subject and the opinions of others as to how closely they feel these two philosophies may overlap if at all. The website for this movie is and naturally the movie is called, “How Thoughts Become Things.” I liked the video, but I am curious how science and new age thinking might fit together…

  5. Rupinder says:

    I Just saw the trailer on the film “How Thoughts Become Things” an dI have to say I am on the edge of my seat. This looks really cool. I will definitely see this film. I enjoyed The Secret, but did think it could have gone a little further in areas. I am hoping this film will help us understand more carefully the actually process of how our thoughts manifest results. I look forward to seeing it….

  6. peniche surf camp says:

    A great study with a great fact with this topic. I’m very interested with this..