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FROM THE EDITOR WELCOME t


his month’s theme is neuroscience in learning. Or is it neuroscience and


learning? You could regard the distinction as important. How much do we use neuroscience in learning? Or how much do neuroscience and learning have in common? T e answer should be a lot but, sadly, this is where ‘neuroscience’ (deliberate quote marks) becomes problematic. In 2017, we understand the mind better than we ever have but still only have a vague approximation of its power. From ancient Egyptians removing pharaohs’ brains through their noses to prepare for mummifi cation, to modern MRI scanning, our knowledge of neu- roscience is a long and changing one. Like any other industry, L&D is susceptible to fads. Some see neuroscience as part of a fad cycle (theorise/popularise/debunk/accept or reject), but that isn’t neuroscience’s fault. Naturally, the brain is where we focus most of our attention, claiming to know/predict/understand more than the next about its inner machinations. In an attempt to make sense of the


workings of our grey matter, we talk about left/right brain thinking (still too prevalent in neuroscientifi c discourse), that we only use 10% of our brain (Luc Lucy Besson I’m looking at you) and even misinterpretation of the enteric nervous system as the ‘gut brain’. A charitable way to view the


many and varied theories of current 4 | May 2017 |


neuroscience is that they are pitstops on our journey to better understanding the capacity of the brain. Unfortunately, some people seem to want to stay at these pitstops and refuse to move on. T e dangers are that neuroscience as a whole becomes maligned by persistent fringe theories, and genuine evidence-





If you want to bring a neuroscientifi c angle to your learning, do what you’d do with any new theory: research. And when you’ve fi nished, research some more


based research and insight gets lost in the quagmire of pseudoscience. So, if you want to bring a


neuroscientifi c angle to your learning or training, do what you’d do with any new theory: research. And when you’ve fi nished, research some more. It’s better to take time and be confi dent that your workings are sound, than be at the cutting edge of an idea that turns out to be disproven. How I wish I’d take my own advice more often ...


Jon Kennard Editor, TJ


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EDITOR IN CHIEF Debbie Carter


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EDITOR Jon Kennard


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DEPUTY EDITOR Jo Cook


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CHIEF SUB EDITOR Marilyn Wright


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expressed by contributors and correspondents in arti cles, reports, reviews and other contri- buti ons do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Accordingly, the publisher is not


responsible for any such view, nor for any act or omission on the part of any such contributor or correspondent. Neither is any responsibility ac- cepted by the publisher for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement in, or omission from, TJ. The publisher expressly excludes any responsibility for any third party website reviewed or otherwise referred to in TJ.


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