If the billions of neurons in the human brain weren’t well organized, they could easily fill an area the size of, say, the Epcot center dome. To fit into the more portable dome of a human head, those neurons are instead organized so that brain regions are carefully mapped to things like vision and hearing. And understanding those maps can be a key to better understanding how the mind—and how learning—works.
That’s the argument made in a new book out this summer called Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain―And How They Guide You.
That author is Rebecca Schwarzlose, a postdoctoral neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis. She has spent her career fascinated by what makes humans tick—and has even made some significant discoveries of her own in the process.
“We tend to think of our minds as boundless and sort of ethereal,” says Schwarzlose. “But the truth is that our brain is a very physical organ, and there are a lot of physical constraints to how it can be linked up.”
For this week’s EdSurge Podcast, we connected with Schwarzlose to hear about her findings, and about what implications they have for educators.