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CYFS co-hosts 2015 Educational Neuroscience Conference

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As the 2015 Educational Neuroscience Conference drew researchers, professors, graduate students and teachers to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, it also brought an emerging field to the forefront of conversation. CYFS co-sponsored the inaugural event, held Oct. 15-16 at UNL’s Wick Alumni Center.

“I think our speakers and attendees together developed new understanding that will help build new science and translate that into better educational practice,” said Eric Buhs, UNL associate professor of educational psychology and a conference organizer.

The conference featured five nationally recognized researchers who presented new findings during the two-day event: Virginia Berninger, professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington; Lauren Harris, professor of cognition and cognitive neuroscience at Michigan State University; Edward Hubbard, assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Kraemer, assistant professor of education at Dartmouth College; and Dennis Molfese, founding director emeritus of UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3).

…This conference was an important step in building ‘bridges’ between neuroscience and new practice.

Eric Buhs, associate professor of educational psychology

Presentations covered a wide range of topics related to educational neuroscience, including the neural foundations of music, fractions learning, information processing, learning disabilities and sleep.

“As our speaker Ed Hubbard explained, this conference was an important step in building ‘bridges’ between neuroscience and new practice,” Buhs said. “Understanding the research and having access to the people doing it is a critical step in developing and creating new teaching methods, better schools and more effective classrooms that will make the most out the exciting findings from the new science that was presented.”

The conference also included a regional research symposium, tour of CB3 and graduate student poster session. CYFS student affiliate Drew White presented his research, “Predicting High-Risk Preschoolers Social Skills Using Dimensions of Executive Function,” during the conference’s poster session. This session was especially helpful, White said, as it provided new perspectives and ideas, as well as an opportunity to talk about education research with experts in the field of neuroscience.

“I really enjoyed the conference,” said White, graduate student in educational psychology. “There were a good variety of speakers, all leaders in the field, who did a good job of making information accessible by presenting it in a way that non-experts could benefit.”

Sponsors for the 2015 Educational Neuroscience Conference: UNL’s Center for Brain Biology and Behavior; Department of Educational Psychology; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Human Sciences; Office of Research and Economic Development; Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders; and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools.

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