Friday, March 18, 2011

Art on the Brain!

Neuroscience is an incredibly interesting and exciting field of study to me. I know I've mentioned before that my graduate thesis-level presentation focuses on how neuroscience can help us to become more effective teachers because it enables us to understand the ideal conditions under which the brain learns.

I think the word "neuroscience" is scary to most of us in a non-science-related field. My top marks were rarely in science and math. . . And as such, I've tended to avoid those areas as I've aged. But, I believe this is a mistake. I may not have a future in scientific study, but I can learn how to be a better educator by comprehending the information scientific studies uncover about education, learning, psychology, children, and the brain.

Whenever I read an article about neuroscience, I have to keep a pencil nearby to write out some of the more complex concepts in "duh! terms," and I also draw pictures to help me understand what the author is describing. I also need the internet handy to look up words and other scientific explanations for concepts the author sometimes assume that anyone reading such an article would already understand. It is work, but what I learn is has so much impact for my teaching.

Today, I came across a review of a new book: The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes US Human by V.S. Ramachandran. And, I'm excited to share what I learned about it with you (and I'm buying the book from Amazon!).

Morgan Meis, from The Smart Set reviews the book which draw some neurological conclusions about art an aesthetics. The author, Ramachandran even speculates that neuroscience could imply that we all have an innate appreciation for art on a fundamental neurological level. Here is my favorite excerpt from the review:

Interestingly enough another writer has rebutted that neuroscience has no ability to explain self, and thus art. Click here to read.

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