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Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning: Implications for Education

Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning: Implications for Education

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aspen Meadows Resort

Presented By

Presented by The New York Academy of Sciences and The Aspen Brain Forum Foundation


New discoveries in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience hold great promise for improving current teaching methods. Yet there remains a significant gap between the scientific discoveries that could improve our education system and the application of this knowledge. This meeting will highlight cutting-edge developments in cognitive neuroscience that could improve current teaching methods and will include a careful review of the current obstacles to applying these methods in the classroom as well as the related emotional, sociological, and environmental factors. Keynote lectures will feature Goldie Hawn (The Hawn Foundation) and Carl Wieman (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy).

Registration Pricing

 By: 8/05/2011After: 8/05/2011Onsite: 9/22/2011
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Member$200$250$295
Nonmember Corporate$495$595$650
Nonmember Academia$395$450$495
Nonmember Not for Profit$395$450$495
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember$200$250$295


Presented by

  • Aspen Brain Forum
  • New York Academy of Sciences


* Presentation times are subject to change

Day 1: Thursday, September 22

5:00 PM


5:30 PM

Welcome Remarks

5:45 PM

Keynote Address

The Brain and The Optimistic Classroom: Mindful Learning, Resilient Students

Goldie Hawn, The Hawn Foundation (creators of MindUp Curriculum)

6:30 PM

Networking Reception

Day 2: Friday, September 23

8:00 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Session 1: Early Learning and Development

9:00 AM

Developing Self Regulation in Prekindergarten Classrooms
Dale C. Farran, PhD, Vanderbilt University

9:20 AM

Development of Executive Function
Stephanie M. Carlson, PhD, University of Minnesota

9:40 AM

Executive Function and School Readiness
Clancy Blair, PhD, NYU

10:00 AM

Defining Developmental Disorders
Bruce Pennington, PhD, University of Denver

10:30 AM

Coffee Break

Session 2: Reading and Language

11:00 AM

Language Learning, Plasticity and the 'Achievement Gap'
Mark S. Seidenberg, PhD, University of Wisconsin

11:20 AM

How Instructors Direct a Learner’s Attention Impacts Neural Changes During Reading Acquisition
Bruce D. McCandliss, PhD, Vanderbilt University

11:40 AM

Neuroimaging Studies of Reading and Language Development: An Update on Recent Findings
Kenneth R. Pugh, PhD, Haskins Laboratories

12:00 PM

Neural Oscillations, Phonology and Dyslexia: A Temporal Sampling Framework
Usha Claire Goswami, PhD, University of Cambridge

12:30 PM

Sponsored by Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes

Session 3: Mathematical Reasoning

2:00 PM

Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of the Approximate Number System: Foundations of Mathematical Thinking
Elizabeth M. Brannon, PhD, Duke University

2:20 PM

Predicting Math Achievement
Lisa Feigenson, PhD, John Hopkins University

2:40 PM

Education Dependent Brain Plasticity: Linking Quantities and Symbols during the Early Elementary School Years
Edward M. Hubbard, PhD, Vanderbilt University

3:00 PM

Coffee Break

Session 3 (cont'd): Mathematical Reasoning

3:30 PM

Does Number Sense Matter? Evidence from Brain and Behavior
Daniel Ansari, PhD, The University of Western Ontario

3:50 PM

Conceptual Development in Mathematics
Daniel L. Schwartz, PhD, Stanford University

4:10 PM

The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child
John Mighton, PhD, JUMP Math

4:30 PM

Panel Discussion

5:30 PM

Day 2 Concludes

Day 3: Saturday, September 24

8:00 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM

Keynote Address

The Torturous Path from Cognitive Science to Educational Improvement
Carl E. Wieman, PhD, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Session 4: Executive Functioning and Attention

9:50 AM

Applying What We Know From Scientific Research in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience to How Schools Can Enhance Executive Function Development in Young Children
Adele Diamond, PhD, University of British Columbia 

10:10 AM

Learning to Learn: Lessons from Action Video Game Play
Daphne Bavelier, PhD, University of Rochester and University of Geneva 

10:30 AM

Coffee Break

Session 4 (cont'd): Executive Functioning and Attention

11:00 AM

Training of Working Memory and Its Potential Role in Education
Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD, Karolinska Institute

11:20 AM

Intensive Reasoning Training Alters Patterns of Brain Connectivity at Rest
Silvia A. Bunge, PhD, University of California at Berkeley
11:40 AM

How Attention and Working Memory Processes are Modified by Training
Amishi P. Jha, PhD, University of Miami

12:00 PM

Lunch Break

1:00 PM

Presentation of Aspen Brain Forum Prize in NeuroEducation

Session 5: Poverty, Brain Development, and Education

1:30 PM

Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Attention
Eric Pakulak, PhD, University of Oregon

1:50 PM

Exploring the Role of Community and Neighborhood Environment on Early School Readiness
Laurie Ford, PhD, University of British Columbia

2:10 PM

Poverty: A Critical Barrier to Outstanding Academic Performance
Frank C. Worrell, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

2:30 PM


Session 6: Translating Research into the Classroom

2:50 PM

Getting and Keeping the Brain’s Attention
Judy Willis, MD, University of California, Santa Barbara

3:10 PM

The Science of Learning in Action: The Learning Resource Network and the Ultimate Block Party
Susan H. Magsamen, Johns Hopkins University

3:30 PM

What's Really Hard About Reading: Preparing Students for Deep Comprehension
Catherine Snow, PhD, Harvard Graduate School of Education

4:00 PM

Panel Discussion

5:00 PM

Meeting Adjourns



Daphne Bavelier, PhD

University of Rochester and University of Geneva

Adele Diamond, PhD

University of British Columbia

Bruce D. McCandliss, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Kenneth R. Pugh, PhD

Haskins Laboratories

Keynote Speakers

Goldie Hawn

The Hawn Foundation

Carl E. Wieman, PhD

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


Daniel Ansari, PhD

The University of Western Ontario

Clancy Blair, PhD

New York University

Elizabeth M. Brannon, PhD

Duke University

Silvia A. Bunge, PhD

University of California at Berkeley

Stephanie M. Carlson, PhD

University of Minnesota

Dale C. Farran, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Lisa Feigenson, PhD

John Hopkins University

Laurie Ford, PhD

University of British Columbia

Usha Claire Goswami, PhD

University of Cambridge

Edward M. Hubbard, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Amishi Jha, PhD

University of Miami

Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD

Karolinska Institute

Susan H. Magsamen

John Hopkins University

John Mighton, PhD


Eric Pakulak, PhD

University of Oregon

Bruce Pennington, PhD

University of Denver

Daniel L. Schwartz, PhD

Stanford University

Mark S. Seidenberg, PhD

University of Wisconsin

Catherine E. Snow, PhD

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Judy Willis, MD

University of California, Santa Barbara

Frank C. Worrell, PhD

University of California, Berkeley


Day 1: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keynote Address

The Brain and The Optimistic Classroom: Mindful Learning, Resilient Students
Goldie Hawn, The Hawn Foundation

Schools are under great pressure to provide students with a body of knowledge and skills in safe and secure environments so these children can navigate the heady seas of childhood and emerge as well-adjusted, successful, and happy adults. In recent years, neuroscience has become an important and essential ingredient of teaching excellence. Great teachers have always sensed what methods worked; yet, advances in brain-imaging technology and cognitive neuroscience and psychology research have now made it possible to correlate experiential knowledge with empirical scientific research and emergent educational theory. That the nurturing environment of an "optimistic classroom" yields more focused, joyful attitudes toward learning among children points to a direct correlation between events at the cellular level of the brain and human behavior and thought processes. When teachers effectively use strategies to reduce emotional distress and build a positive learning environment based on how the brain processes sensory input and data, students gain emotional resilience and learn more efficiently and at higher levels of cognition. The better children understand their thoughts and feelings and the more they know about their brains, the easier it is for them to be aware and in control of their behavior and dispositions. To establish the optimal educational environment, children's brains need to be open and ready for learning if they are to acquire new information and process it effectively. In fact, children may learn the tools of self-awareness and emotional regulation that promotes optimal learning. By cultivating greater self-awareness, children can understand better how to respond to their world reflectively instead of reflexively. As researchers and practitioners are demonstrating, teachers as well as students benefit from being able to connect the neuroscience of learning to the arts of teaching and learning.

Conference Location:

Aspen Meadows Resort - Home of The Aspen Institute
845 Meadows Road
Aspen, CO 81611

Directions to the Aspen Meadows Resort/Aspen Institute.

Other Suggested Hotel Accommodations in Aspen

Hotel Aspen
110 W. Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: 800.527.7369

Molly Gibson Lodge
101 W. Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: 888.649.5982

The Annabelle Inn
232 W. Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: 970.925.3822

The Limelight Lodge
355 S. Monarch Street
Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: 800.433.0832

St. Moritz Lodge
334 W. Hyman Ave
Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: 800.817.2069

Special Needs and Additional Information

For any additional information and for special needs, including child/family care resources available to conference attendees, please email Crystal Ocampo.