Welcome to the August 2016 edition of The Learning Brain.

More amazing brain research for you to read about this month: a new map of the human brain, how your memories generate more memories, and how to lower your risk of cognitive decline as you get older.

Also, if you were thinking about attending the Educating with Neuroscience 2016 conference on August 26, it’s time to register. See ENS 2016 below. 

Do you know anyone involved in adult learning? They can find out how adaptive attention technology can improve learning at Dr Steve Miller’s “Enhance Learning in a Distracted World” seminar on August 25. Details in the newsletter.

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PS: You might be interested to read the debate about “what constitutes sufficient evidence” for using a learning intervention. See Macquarie Uni’s MUSEC Briefing #28, Academic & Real World Evidence in What’s New.

What’s On?


Join other school teachers and educaton leaders at the Educating with Neuroscience Conference 2016

Hear international neuroscientists discuss the latest educational neuroscience research, and how that research has been translated into practical tools for teachers.

Don't miss this unique opportunity. Limited seats remaining.
Register now and also receive hundreds of dollars of educational neuroscience
hardware and software FREE!



USA Neuroscientist Dr Steve Miller will be presenting this seminar
only once in Australia

It’s especially for people who are responsible for adult high value learning, and individuals who need to maximise their attention for workplace productivity.

There is no charge but seats are limited so you must register.

Listen to why you should attend.

What’s New?

Question.jpgMacquarie Uni’s MUSEC Briefing #28, Academic & Real World Evidence

If you were considering a product to help your students improve their learning and reading, what evidence would you rely on? Academic studies? A meta-analysis? User results? Reports from other teachers, parents or independent education organisations?

Read how Macquarie Uni's MUSEC Briefing #28 used one controversial "meta-analysis" to conclude that Fast ForWord is "not recommended". Compare the meta-analysis with evidence from over 200 other research studies. Read more.


brain_mapping.pngHuman Brain Mapped in Unprecedented Detail 

A new human brain map with nearly 100 previously unidentified brain areas has been published in the journal Nature.

The new map will help researchers studying brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy. It will also speed up progress in understanding how healthy brains work. Read more.

Latest Research

Brain_activity.jpgMental and Physical Exercises Produce Distinct Brain Benefits

Are you getting older? Of course you are, everyone is. As we age, some of our mental capacities like memory and our ability to make decisions can decline.

Now new research from the Centre for Brain Health at the University of Texas, Dallas offers a potential way to avoid the decline. It involves aerobic exercise and reasoning training. Read more.

Background Noise May Hinder Toddlers’ Ability to Learn Words

A new study confirms background noise may make it more difficult for young children to learn new words. Read more.


brain.jpgHow the Brain Builds Memory Chains

Memories generate memories, and as soon as you think of one, you think of more. Now neuroscientists are starting to figure out why.

When two events happen in short succession, they feel somehow linked to each other. It turns out that apparent link has a physical manifestation in our brains. Read more.

The Learning Capacity Podcast

Teacher Justine Lam Shares her Success with Reading Assistant

Learning Capacity PodcastJustine Lam is an English as an Additional Language Teacher at Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne. She has been using the online reading tutor program, Reading Assistant, for two years. 

Justine spoke to the Learning Capacity Podcast about how successful it has been, not only for English Language Learners, but also for students struggling with reading. In this podcast episode she describes how pleased the teachers, students and their parents have been with Reading Assistant. And also how teachers play a very important role; it's not just the computer alone. Listen to the podcast.

Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – August Worksheets

Thanks again for sending through your Maths Skills Booster feedback. It is very encouraging.  Here are a few of the comments we received last month:

  • Brain_matter3.pngIt's really helped my son with his timetables skills and in a fun way. He's also convinced some of his friends to join him making it a competition to earn their pocket money.
  • Great system for practice and motivation
  • How much my children are motivated to do Maths

Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the August worksheets here.

Did you miss out on the original Maths Skills Booster? You can get it here.

kids_playing2-843404-edited.jpgFree Resource Centre - Checklists, Tips & Tools for Learning

Newsletter readers have downloaded hundreds of free resources since we shared the library last month. You've also sent through some very positive feedback such as the recent comments on Facebook - "The most concise and helpful information I've come across for encouraging grandchildren to learn to read and spell" and "excellent resource, thank you". 

Check out the latest additions here.

study_timetable.pngFree Study timetable

From Your Tutor - a free study timetable to help your students' organise their study routine.

teenage_brain_book.pngBook of the Month

The Teenage Brain - A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide

The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains - and behaviours - of adolescents and young adults, and analyses this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators, and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood. Read more.

Shadow_puppet.pngApp of the Month

Shadow Puppet

Shadow Puppet is a free easy-to-use app that allows students as young as five to create videos. They can add their voice over the images and explain their thinking or their story. They can draw on the screen and add emoji stickers.