The Future of Educational Neuroscience


  • Kurt W. Fischer,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
  • Usha Goswami,

  • John Geake,

  • the Task Force on the Future of Educational Neuroscience

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      Members of the Task Force: Daniel Bullock, James Byrnes, Kevin Dunbar, Guineviere Eden, Julie Fiez, Kurt Fischer (co-chair), Daniel J. Franklin, John Geake (co-chair), Usha Goswami (co-chair), Sharon Griffin, Patricia Kuhl, Bruce McCandliss, Vinod Menon, Ennio Mingolla, Nora Newcombe, Tomas Paus, Kevin Pelphrey, Russ Poldrack, L. Todd Rose, Reed Stevens, Rosemary Tannock, Jennifer Thomson, and Lee A. Thompson.

  • This article is based on a meeting at the National Science Foundation facility, in which a Task Force of researchers and educators considered the future of educational neuroscience and ways to catalyze its fruitful development. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Science Foundation or the United States.

Kurt W. Fischer, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Larsen 702, Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138-3752; e-mail:


The primary goal of the emerging field of educational neuroscience and the broader movement called Mind, Brain, and Education is to join biology with cognitive science, development, and education so that education can be grounded more solidly in research on learning and teaching. To avoid misdirection, the growing worldwide movement needs to avoid the many myths and distortions in popular conceptions of brain and genetics. It should instead focus on integrating research with practice to create useful evidence that illuminates the brain and genetic bases as well as social and cultural influences on learning and teaching. Scientists and educators need to collaborate to build a strong research foundation for analyzing the “black box” of biological and cognitive processes that underpin learning.