Welcome to the Centre for Neuroscience in Education
The Centre was established in 2005, and was the first of its kind in the UK. We are based in the School of Biological Sciences (Department of Psychology) on the Downing Site but we also have strong links with the MRC's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Prof. Sue Gathercole) and the Faculty of Education, Cambridge. The Centre's aims are to apply the substantial advances in understanding the brain to education.
The main research goal of the Centre is to establish the basic parameters of brain development in the cognitive skills critical for education. For example, we aim to understand how the brain functions and changes during the development of reading and maths, exploring the development of related skills such as language, memory, and attention.
In 2016 Usha Goswami was awarded ERC funding to examine rhythm processing in early development, specifically during infancy. Learning how the typically-developing brain processes rhythm from the “get-go”, across the senses of hearing, vision and limb movement, should eventually help us to improve language learning for all children - and in all languages. Visit the new CNE BabyLab for more project information.
Scientists in the CNE use a variety of non-invasive techniques, including event related potentials (ERPs) to measure changes in both adult's and children's brain activity. ERPs are tiny variations in electricity measurable from the scalp when someone is processing information. The researchers also study the variations from typical developmental trajectories that characterise learning disorders such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. For an introduction into EEG, click the image.
A short document on dyslexia research is available for download. This may be of specific interest to parents and educators: "CNE dyslexia research: educational implications"
Goswami, U. Child Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press
This Very Short Introduction provides an up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible guide to modern child psychology, from birth to early adolescence. Beginning with infancy, Usha Goswami considers the process of attachment and 'bonding', showing how secure attachments enable the development of self-understanding. Exploring childhood learning, ranging from aspects of language and thinking to cognitive reasoning, Goswami looks at how babies and toddlers develop an understanding of the physical, biological, and social worlds, and develop complex abilities like language and morality...
[Select the book's Reference List here]
A documentary programme aired on BBC 4 television featured the work of Professor Usha Goswami and the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, see "Growing Children - Dyslexia"
Current and past funding organisations for the Centre's research include: the Wellcome Trust & EEF, the Medical Research Council, The Nuffield Foundation, , the James S McDonnell Foundation, the European Union (STREP 6), and the ESRC. Future funding will be from the Wellcome Trust & Education Endowment Foundation.