The biology of learning




Also, in relation to our sense of competence and learning, it is important to debunk the myth that our intelligence is solely dependent on our genes and is fixed from birth.

Advances in neuroscience have shown that, while our genes may determine the initial amount of neurons we have (and we all have billions!), it is the number of connections between the neurons that determine the extent and speed of our mental abilities.

Neural connections result from life experiences. Our neural networks can change and grow throughout our lifetime improving our reasoning, judgement and our ability to think.

This is empowering for learners to know – especially that neuroscientists have also found that in the part of the brain where we consolidate our learning and memory (the hippocampus), we actually make new neurons through new learning experiences.

In fact, the more challenging and extensive the learning process, the more neurons are made and the more connections are formed between them.

Through this, we now know that we can grow our intelligence through effortful learning!