Texas A&M To Look into Neuroscience of Learning

A new lab at Texas A&M University is researching the science of the mind and how it learns. The Neurobiological Lab for Learning & Development, led by Assistant Professor Steve Woltering, will be doing research in the field of educational neuroscience, which links human behavior with neurophysiology.

Among the tools the lab will use are eye tracking, virtually controlled environments and electroencephalogram (EEG) testing.

The first set of questions Woltering said he hopes to answer with his research are focused on self-regulation: why some students can control their attention and emotions better than others; how self-regulation plays out over a lifetime; and whether self-regulation can be learned to help students progress in their education.

People who have difficulty with self-regulation, he said, are often diagnosed with ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders and anxiety disorders.

Collaboration with people in other disciplines — engineering, computer science, psychology and education — will also be important to his work. "If we want to transform lives, the future of science won't just come from one direction. It will come from the merging of different fields. That's what creates new ideas. I think that's where we will find progress," he said in a prepared statement. "Moving forward, I think Texas A&M's interdisciplinary nature will be a unique strength for our lab."

The lab is part of the Department of Educational Psychology in the university's College of Education and Human Development.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.