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Neuroscience for Learning and Development

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Neuroscience for Learning and Development

How to Apply Neuroscience and Psychology for Improved Learning and Training

Kogan Page,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Find out how the brain works in terms of attention, retention, recall and learning.

Editorial Rating



  • Scientific
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


Stella Collins, co-founder of the workplace training firm Stellar Labs, provides the latest neuroscientific research and concepts to help learning and development professionals understand the brain and how it learns. Her advice covers creating environments conducive to learning, and making learning “stickier” through motivation and storytelling. Collins applies neuroscience to learning, and then to translating learning to business performance. Her ideas are applicable to digital and live learning, coaching conversations and presentations. Facilitators and L&D professionals seeking scientific support to enhance their learning outcomes will especially appreciate Collins’s work.


Neuroscience is a complex, ever-changing field.

The human brain contains about 86 billion neurons. Neural networks process external and internal information necessary for communicating, thinking, learning and living. Your brain demands about 20% of your body’s total energy use.

Neurotransmitters – which are chemicals that include dopamine and serotonin – and brain hormones like endorphins aid your various brain functions. Brain imaging techniques such as MRI and PET fuel comprehensive understanding of the brain’s anatomy and functions. Neuroplasticity enables your brain to change as neurogenesis creates new neurons throughout your life.

A basic understanding of neuroscience and staying abreast of new discoveries applicable to learning can help all learning professionals. But you should always maintain a healthy skepticism toward emerging neuroscientific claims. Laypeople and the media oversimplify and abuse the term “research.”

This abuse fosters “neuromyths,” such as the persistent belief that memory naturally worsens as you age. Research often takes place in artificial situations, such as labs, with near-universal use of Western...

About the Author

Stella Collins co-founded Stellar Labs and serves as its Chief Learning Officer.

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