Brain & Biology

Developed by: W. Huitt
Last revised: August 2004

Citation: Huitt, W. (2004). Brain & biology. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date], from

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The human body (especially the brain) provides an important context within which learning occurs. From the perspective of educational psychology and the teaching/learning process, it is important to acknowledge the important role of physical sensation as a starting point for human learning. If information or data is not registered as sensation, then it is not available to the brain for processing.

Duboc (2003) provides an excellent overview of the brain in an interactive format. The overview chapter (titled From the Simple to the Complex) as well as the chapters on memory, development, and language are especially important for educators.

It is also important to recognize that learning (relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potential as a result of experience or practice) is an internal event sometimes displayed as external behavior. Therefore, it is important for educators to have some understanding about the structure and functioning of the brain, the internal organ responsible for learning.

An excellent overview of the structure and functioning of the brain is provided in the introduction from Mind over Matter (Sasek, 1997), a neuroscience education series by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. This series also provides teacher lesson plans for a study of how drug usage affects the brain.


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