What happens to your brain when you learn? Find out how music, dance and tool-use shape your mind.
In this series of talks, leading neuroscientists share new data on how learning skills like music, dance and knot-tying changes the brain, and how differences in learning can help us understand conditions like autism and schizophrenia.
Talk: Learn to dance by watching Strictly Come Dancing?
Our brains and bodies are constantly shaped by experience, whether learning something as trivial as tying one's shoes or as complex as dancing the foxtrot. All the time we spend learning new skills not only influences how we perform the skills, but also how we perceive others performing them, and what we might be able to learn from simply watching others. I will discuss research looking at how we learn to tie knots or perform a dance sequence and discuss how physical and observational practice impact our brains and behaviour.
Participants: Emily S. Cross
Talk: The relevance of irrelevance
People have to cope with a complex and confusing world that is filled with many events, some of which are important to us (and many of which are irrelevant). I will describe some experiments that show how learning can help people make sense of the world – by enabling us to “tune out” useless information, and how an inability to do this might explain some aspects of schizophrenia.
Participants: Mark Haselgrove
Organised by: Psychology Section, British Science Association