The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children

Hardcover | October 11, 2012

byTorkel Klingberg

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Despite all our highly publicized efforts to improve our schools, the United States is still falling behind. We recently ranked 15th in the world in reading, math, and science. Clearly, more needs to be done. In The Learning Brain, Torkel Klingberg urges us to use the insights of neuroscienceto improve the education of our children. The key to improving education lies in understanding how the brain works: that is where learning takes place, after all. The book focuses in particular on "working memory" - our ability to concentrate and to keep relevant information in our head while ignoring distractions (a topic the authorcovered in The Overflowing Brain). Research shows enormous variation in working memory among children, with some ten-year-olds performing at the level of a fourteen-year old, others at that of a six-year old. More important, children with high working memory have better math and reading skills,while children with poor working memory consistently underperform. Interestingly, teachers tend to perceive children with poor working memory as dreamy or unfocused, not recognizing that these children have a memory problem. But what can we do for these children? For one, we can train working memory. The Learning Brain provides a variety of different techniques andscientific insights that may just teach us how to improve our children's working memory. Klingberg also discusses how stress can impair working memory (skydivers tested just before a jump showed a 30% drop in working memory) and how aerobic exercise can actually modify the brain's nerve cells andimprove classroom performance. Torkel Klingberg is one of the world's leading cognitive neuroscientists, but in this book he wears his erudition lightly, writing with simplicity and good humor as he shows us how to give our children the best chance to learn and grow.

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Despite all our highly publicized efforts to improve our schools, the United States is still falling behind. We recently ranked 15th in the world in reading, math, and science. Clearly, more needs to be done. In The Learning Brain, Torkel Klingberg urges us to use the insights of neuroscienceto improve the education of our children. Th...

Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. His work on child development and brain training is at the international front line. Klingberg leads a major Swedish project on child development, lectures regularly at international conferences, ...

other books by Torkel Klingberg

The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory
The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Lim...

Kobo ebook|Nov 7 2008

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 11, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199917108

ISBN - 13:9780199917105

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Table of Contents

1. Being unlucky when you think - the importance of working memoryRemembering what to concentrate onWhy do students daydream?The working memories of the Nynshamn childrenADHD and children with low working memories2. The growing brain - how the brain develops and maturesThe development of the brainThe brain maturesGenes and the brainThe white matter3. Through the Pyrenees by motorbike - the risk-taking teenage brainRisks and rewardsNeuroscience and the law4. "Now I am really awake for the first time ever" - long term memoryChildren's long-term memoryThe key to the memoryImproving the long-term memory5. Mathematics, memory and spaceCounting babiesRetaining numbers in working memoryThe mnemonic mapMathematical areasMathematics and genderDyscalculia - does it exist?Premature birth and dyscalculiaTraining programs6. Reading, dyslexia and problematic relationshipsLearning to readReading areas of the brain and dyslexiaDyslexia: genetics and displaced cellsWhy the problems are interconnectedDyslexia training and neuroscientific predictions7. The early environment and brain development - the importance of stimulation and engaged parentsStimulating environments and brain developmentThe role of parents in memory and stress8. Skydiving and expectations - what acute and chronic stress do to usStress hormones and nerve cellsSocial stressChronic stress9. Cognitive training, memory techniques and musicThe dream of the perfect memoryThe brain of a memory championWorking memory trainingThe art of trainingCan everything be trained?Music10. Body and soulJogging and the brainIntelligence and infections11. This will change everythingFive themesA schoolgirl of the futureReferencesBibliography