The brain and learning

What is happening in the brain of the learner when they learn?

We now know that learning consists of making connections between brain-cells (neurons).  These can be permanent connections.


In this section we look in more detail at some aspects of that process:


  • Plasticity: the ability of the brain to rewire itself
  • Working Memory (WM): the ability to keep information in our mind while we think about it.  (Also called ‘short-term memory’)
  • Long-term memory (LTM): where neurons become permanently linked and store memories over years.
  • Attention: the ability to keep one task in mind despite distractions
  • Self control:  the ability to ‘delay gratification’, sticking to a task which will only have benefits long term.


In each section of the 6-steps we refer to what is happening in the brain.  It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these pages so that later references to the keywords make more sense.

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