Episode 3 - In-School Neuro-Superheroes w/ Nicole Landi, PhD

Danielle Scorrano and Nicole Landi

Episode Summary 
In this episode, we speak with Nicole Landi, PhD, about her work as a cognitive neuroscientist at Haskins Laboratories and a professor at University of Connecticut. Dr. Landi speaks about the promise of in-school neuroscience, which expands upon the opportunities for exchange of learning between researchers and educators, and students. As The Windward School has participated in an in-school study with Dr. Landi's team at Haskins, host Danielle Scorrano shares the community's excitement to learn from neuroscientists. In fact, Danielle shares a list of insightful questions for Dr. Landi from her eighth-grade students, who may also be future neuroscientists! Dr. Landi discusses the structure of the brain for typical and atypical reading, different brain imaging methods, and ways schools and scientists can further collaborate. She provides insights about the multidimensionality of the brain and the importance of sleep, and she even talks about telepathy! Finally, Dr. Landi draws connections between research and education in order to advocate for all students.

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Host Danielle Scorrano's top highlighted takeaways from this episode.

  1. Decades of cognitive neuroscience measures such as EEG and fMRI have enabled researchers to have a deep understanding of the reading brain on the group level, and researchers are now striving to learn more about individual variances.

  2. Studying children in schools allows researchers to see the dynamic and multi-dimensional changes that children experience through an intervention. It allows researchers to understand why certain children would respond better to intervention by tracking their brain activity.

"[With in-school neuroscience] we can start to ask all kinds of questions like, 'Well, okay, a given child isn't responding very well to the intervention. How did their brain look differently across this time path than those who were responding well?'"

3. Educators and students benefit from engaging with neuroscientists in their school. Teachers and students have the unique opportunity to witness the neuroplasticity of their brains as a result of their school experiences.

“I didn't expect to see the students so engaged in the research process. I didn't expect to see them being so excited about learning about their brain, how their brain can change, and the kinds of self-efficacy and agency benefits that [their participation] gives.”


The Promise of In-School Neuroscience

Landi Lab at UConn

Haskins Laboratories

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READ Podcast is produced by The Windward School and The Windward Institute. READ is hosted by Danielle Scorrano.

About READ: READ, the Research Education ADvocacy Podcast connects you with prominent researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in fields of education and child development.
Note: All information and insights shared demonstrate the expertise and views of our guests.