The potential relevance of cognitive neuroscience for the development and use of technology-enhanced learning

Paul A Howard-Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


There is increasing interest in the application of cognitive neuroscience in educational thinking and practice, and here we review findings from neuroscience that demonstrate its potential relevance to technology-enhanced learning (TEL). First, we identify some of the issues in integrating neuroscientific concepts into TEL research. We caution against seeking prescriptive neuroscience solutions for TEL and emphasize the need, instead, to conceptualize TEL at several different levels of analysis (brain, mind and behaviour, including social behaviour). Our review emphasizes the possibility of combining TEL and neuroscience concepts in adaptive educational systems, and we consider instances of interdisciplinary technology-based interventions drawing on neuroscience and aimed at remediating developmental disorders. We also consider the potential relevance of findings from neuroscience for the development of artificial agency, creativity, collaborative learning and neural insights into how different types of multimodality may influence learning, which may have implications for the future developments of tangibles. Finally, we identify a range of reasons why dialogue between neuroscience and the communities involved with technology and learning is likely to increase in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-151
Number of pages20
JournalLearning, Media and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date28 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015

Structured keywords

  • SoE Educational Futures Network


  • neuroscience
  • educational neuroscience
  • cognitive training
  • educational technology
  • game-based learning
  • multimedia
  • creativity


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