• #LT21UK
  • 9 - 10 June 2021
  • ExCeL London

Learning and the mind


Learning and the mind

13 Feb 2020
Track 2 - Big issues

By definition, learning and the mind are so intertwined that understanding more about how our brains work remains a fascinating and potentially critical subject for L&D professionals. At Learning Technologies 2020,Dr. Itiel Dror sheds a unique light on how we process often competing stimuli and how that impacts the conflicting ways we must first engage people, then help them remember what they have learnt. This important session will challenge existing views and encourage you to rethink how to build successful learning.

Creating learning involves a host of conflicting tensions and paradoxes

The mind is not a camera, it is not data driven, and learners are bombarded with so much information, all competing for cognitive attention. Their brains skip and jump through anything that is perceived as familiar and is not fully engaged or even listening to much of what we are trying to teach. Breaking through these cognitive barriers requires the use of the 'unfamiliar' and the 'usual' to grab learners' brains to notice and process the learning materials. 

However, once information is in the brain it must be associated, linked and consolidated with existing knowledge, otherwise it will just fade away and disappear. To penetrate the brain to begin with we need the 'unfamiliar', the 'different' (otherwise learners will not notice it). But then once it is in the brain, it needs to fit the existing and familiar (otherwise learners will not remember it). Hence the paradox of learning: Achieving step one of learning –getting noticed- conflicts and contradicts with step two of learning –integrating the knowledge.

This provocative session explores the cutting edge of cognitive neuroscience and its application to learning technology, Itiel Dror explores:

  • What it means to be noticed
  • How do we break though cognitive constraints and barriers?
  • The need to be remembered: How do we fit and consolidate into existing memory structures?
  • Impacting behavior:  How can learning technology actually improve performance and decision making?

This talk will challenge existing views, and encourage you to rethink how to build successful learning. It will reveal the drivers that truly affect learning, and how to cut through cognitive barriers.


Celine Mullins, CEO - Adaptas Training
Itiel Dror, Cognitive Neuroscientist - University College London (UCL)

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