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Fast ForWord Founder: Award for Contribution to Neuroscience

Posted by Tilly Stevens on April 10, 2017 at 5:48 PM

Tilly Stevens

Fast ForWord founder Dr. Michael Merzenich has been awarded the Charles L Branch Brain Health Award by the University of Texas for his extraordinary contribution to neuroscience. 

Last year Dr Merzenich was also given the highest honour possible in the field of neuroscience – The Kavli Prize. This saw him granted a gold medal by the King of Norway and a banquet in his honour in the same venue as the Nobel Peace Prize.  

Dr Merzenich’s discovery of lifelong brain plasticity revolutionised the neuroscience world.

Plasticity describes the brain’s ability to learn by creating new connections between neurons within the brain.

Originally, it was thought that brains were only ‘plastic’ during early childhood as the brain developed. But Dr Merzenich’s research proved brains could change and adapt well into adulthood.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

Fast ForWord: How Much Evidence is Enough? Science & Real World

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Peter Barnes

A school principal recently said to me, “I’ve heard of Fast ForWord but there is no evidence that it works, is there?”

That wasn’t the first time I had heard that.

I’m always amazed when people say there is no evidence of Fast ForWord’s effectiveness. If they only looked, they would find hundreds of journal articles and school case studies with many examples of the success of over 2.5 million individuals who have done Fast ForWord over the last 20 years.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity

A Tale of Two Brain Training Companies: Science vs Hype

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 5, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Peter Barnes

This is a tale of two brain training companies, Lumosity and Scientific Learning Corporation. And how one, Lumosity, was prosecuted for making claims about brain training unbacked by science, and the other, Scientific Learning Corporation, used decades of solid research to develop and prove the effectiveness of Fast ForWord. 

Lumosity paid $2 million penalty for unfounded claims

Lumosity, one of the most visible providers of adult online brain training games around the world, was hit with a 2 million dollar penalty in 2016 by the US Federal Trade Commission, due to unfounded claims on the efficacy of it’s product. 

According to the USA Federal Trade Commission press release "Lumosity preyed on consumer’s fears about age related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease”.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

3 Famous Neuroscientists: How Brain Plasticity Helps Human Potential

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Peter Barnes

“The science of neuroplasticity is slowly but surely transforming how we think about ourselves and our brains, and how we can build a stronger brain that provides us with a better life,” said Dr Michael Merzenich.

He was speaking in a roundtable discussion with Professors Eve Marder and Carla Shatz following the trio’s receipt of the $1million 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

The three scientists discussed how their work disrupted a central dogma of neuroscience and how it offers the promise of plasticity-based treatments for people who are struggling to learn, have brain damage or who have brains at risk of mental illness or dementia.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

4 Neuroscientists: How Fast ForWord Was Built & The Future

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Peter Barnes

Scientific Learning Corporation’s Founders Discussion

This blog is an edited transcript of a panel discussion with the four neuroscientists who developed Fast ForWord and founded the Scientific Learning Corporation.

It took place at the Scientific Learning 20th Anniversary Visionary Conference in San Diego, March 2016

The scientists are:

    • Dr Michael Merzenich
    • Dr Paula Tallal
    • Dr Bill Jenkins
    • Dr Steve Miller

The discussion covered the history of the science that underlies the Fast ForWord programs, starting with Dr Paula Tallal's research in 1973.

It was a wide-ranging discussion that looked both back to the past and also the future of educational neuroscience.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

Peter Carabi: English Language Learning with Fast ForWord

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Peter Barnes

Language and reading are universal skills required by everyone across the world. And with English being such a dominant language, there are an increasing number of people looking for ways to improve their English literacy.

Peter Carabi, vice president of Global Business Development for Scientific Learning is in the privileged position of witnessing the effects of the Fast ForWord programs as they help people around the world with their language skills. He sees how this opens new opportunities for them and often completely changes the trajectory of young peoples’ lives.

The programs are based on neuroscience, and the concept that the brain is not fixed, but plastic, and has the capability to change itself. Peter describes it as one of the things that can give us all hope.

Colin Klupiec caught up with Peter at the biannual LearnFast summit in January 2016, on a sunny day in Manly on Sydney Harbour and recorded an interview for the Learning Capacity Podcast. Peter discussed English language learning and educational neuroscience.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: English Language Learners, Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Urana Public School: 5 Years of Success - Fast ForWord Brain Training

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 9, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Peter Barnes

Dorothy Dore, principal of Urana Public School spoke with The Learning Capacity Podcast about how the school is building student learning capacity with the Fast ForWord neuroscience program.

Urana Public is a small primary school of 26 students (K- 6) located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, 600 kms south west of Sydney.

The school has implemented Fast ForWord for the past five years with excellent results, according to Dorothy.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts, For Principals

5 Signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder & 4 Ways to Help an ODD Child

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 28, 2015 at 6:05 PM

Peter Barnes

Does your child argue a lot – with you or teachers?  Does he or she seem to anger easily?  Is this behaviour worrying you?

It could be quite normal – just a phase your child is going through. On the other hand they may have oppositional defiant disorder, also known as ODD.

There are five signs which can point to ODD, according to Dr Martha Burns, Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation.  In a recent conversation on the Learning Capacity Podcast, she described the signs and discussed how to help a child who has this disorder.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

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Topics: Brain Science, Podcasts, Behaviour

Is Educational Neuroscience for Real? Dr Martha Burns explains

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Peter Barnes

What is educational neuroscience? Is it a specialist area of knowledge or just a general title for intellectual sounding conversation? Can it help teachers get better learning outcomes for their students?

Maybe it's just "the latest thing" which will fade away in a year or two, just as many educational ideas that initially sound good, turn out not to be very useful.

Dr Martha Burns, Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning corporation answered these questions, and more, in a discussion on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Dr Burns explains that educational neuroscience is a new branch of neuroscience.

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Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Can You Have a Maths Brain? Dr Martha Burns explains.

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 18, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Peter Barnes

Maths is not fun......

Most of us easily and naturally use language, but when it comes to maths many people struggle, and find it is not so “natural” to work in numbers or maths concepts. Why is that?

Do we have brains that are wired for language from birth, but not for maths? Or is there such a thing as a “maths brain”? Do some of us have it while some don't, and if we don’t, how do we activate it?

Dr Martha Burns, expert in the neuroscience of learning, author of over 100 journal articles and three books, and Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation answered these questions in a conversation on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

She explains: “One way to think of it is that maths is a different language. It involves a different symbol system.

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Topics: Brain Science, Maths, Podcasts

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