Educational Neuroscience: Exploring Cognitive Processes that Underlie Learning

  • Pavlo D. AntonenkoEmail author
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations book series (ECTII)


This chapter reviews the most important neurotechnologies, neuroscience approaches, and empirical research using neuroscience methods and tools in education. Four specific technologies and representative studies using them are discussed in detail: eye tracking, electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. These neurotechnologies are examined as tools that offer high temporal resolution and those that provide high spatial resolution. A separate section addresses the use of neuroscience frameworks and tools that explore social cognition, focusing specifically on collaborative learning in teams. The chapter concludes with a discussion of important challenges and implications that educational researchers must keep in mind as they design empirical studies employing approaches and technologies from cognitive, social, and affective neuroscience. These implications include ensuring adequate signal-to-noise ratios, reducing the possibility of perceptual-motor confounds that may distort data of interest, and training psychophysiological signal classifiers using tasks that represent the cognitive processes involved in the experimental task. Careful task and study design and proper interpretation of physiological data in the context of cognitive and learning performance will improve the validity of educational studies conducted with EEG, fMRI, fNIRS, and eye tracking and will improve the reliability of data and generalizability of the findings.


Neuroscience Cognition Neurotechnologies Research design 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. #1540888.


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© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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