Neuroscience isn’t just the hot topic du jour or a corporate buzzword to throw around in meetings. Instead, neuroscience is a complicated study of how the brain (and the nervous system) works and reacts to stimuli and situations.
For our purposes, neuroscience helps understand the way individuals learn and how to turn material into memories for later retention. Sometimes referred to as “neurolearning” or its dastardly cousin “neuromarketing,” the study of the brain gives us insight into becoming more effective at what we do. So it’s no wonder that at the offices of eLearning Mind, you’ll find the members of our team reading articles, discussing neuroscience theory, and of course, with our noses stuck in the best books of our time.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re just starting to understand the importance of neuroscience as it pertains to your daily interactions, here are the best books to start lining your shelves.
- Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning; Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniels
Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel are each highly respected in their fields: Brown is a writer, and both Roediger and McDaniel are professors of psychology. Make it Stick is their love letter to neurolearning and how to apply the science of learning for your purposes. Drawing from their experiences with students, pilots, surgeons, and other learners, the three authors explain the link between material, learning, and turning those experiences into memories for better retention.
Backed with scientific research and personal anecdotes, Make it Stick teaches every type of educator how to improve information recall for students, no matter the subject matter. The book also debunks many deep-rooted learning myths and replaces old ideas with a fresh, new look on how the brain reacts to different learning situations.
- Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business in the 21st Century; Cathy N. Davidson
It’s author Cathy Davidson’s hypothesis that “if you build it, they will come.” “It” referring to iPhone apps, of course. And she would know: While teaching at Duke, she persuaded the university to give the entire freshman class of 2003 iPods. It was a way of staring the perceived enemy right in the face. Rather than run from the very device causing inattention in schools, she invited it into her classroom–with excellent results. As students learned to use their devices for good, Davidson was able to see the transformative power of engagement in real time.
It’s an optimistic opinion, to be sure. Most academics see technology as the root of all inattention. But Now You See It explains the science behind attention and technology so that the very thing teachers fear becomes their most valuable ally.
3. Thinking, Fast and Slow; Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, so he knows a thing or two about human behavior. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, he details just how brain systems affect the way that we make decisions. Whether it’s buying milk at the store or making a choice at work, the two systems of the brain are responsible for fast, intuitive thinking, and logical, deliberate thoughts, respectively. Kahneman says that by understanding both systems of the brain, humans can streamline decisions and use the slower version of thinking to tap into better choices altogether. And, by identifying when that quick, emotional thinking comes into play, learners can combine intuition and logic for the right decision.
No matter the root of your interest in neuroscience, learning from the best is a step in the right direction. Taking advantage of years of research, study, and experience, the best neuroscience books are the ones that make the brain less of a mystery and neurolearning a reality.