From Neuroscience 2008: BSP Listener wins Travel Award

Mary Petrosko from Dominican University was one of several students honored last night at a reception for winners of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Travel Awards, held as a part of this year’s Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, which is being held through tomorrow in Washington, DC. Mary was one of several students who received travel awards from the Grass Foundation. The event included a poster session where undergraduate neuroscience students presented their research. Mary Petrosko’s research involved exposing Aplysia to gingko and measuring its effects on learning.  (Apylsia has been a key experimental animal for unraveling learning at a fundamental level.) Petosko’s work showed that gingko had no measurable effect on Aplysia learning. While this does not prove that it is also ineffective in humans, it does support the findings of other researchers who have found no effect in normal human learning. Also, it raises the question of what the mechanism of gingko’s action would be, since we know that the fundamental elements of learning, such as LTP (long term potentiation), are shared across species. Mary told me that when she first started to work in her lab she listened to the Brain Science Podcast to “get up to speed.” I want to congratulate Mary on her award and also thank all the students who have written to me in the last 2 years. Your feedback helps keep me going.
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From SharpBrains™: Ten Tips for Improved Learning

Last year I interviewed Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg about the effects of aging on the brain (Episode 18).  Dr. Elkhonon is the co-founder of the website SharpBrains™, which is an excellent place to find the latest information about brain health.  Recently Dr. Alvaro Fernandez, who runs the SharpBrains™ website invited me to become an expert contributor to the site's blog.  He has also given me permission to share content from his site here.

It seems fitting that I start by mentioning a recent post from Laurie Bertels who writes the Neurons Firing blog. Laurie is a regular Brain Science Podcast listener.  Her blog focuses on how neuroscience applies to learning.  You can find lots of useful background information on her Brain 101 page.

Here is are some excerpts from Laurie's post on SharpBrains™:
If you agree that our brains are designed for learning, then as educators it is incumbent upon us to be looking for ways to maximize the learning process for each of our students, as well as for ourselves.  Some of what follows is simply common sense, but I’ve learned that all of it has a scientific basis in our brains. (Read more...)

She goes on to list 10 tips for applying brain science to help promote better learning. You will find that these tips dovetail nicely with what we learned from Dr. John Medina in Episode 37.

Read Laurie's complete post.