Recent findings in affective and cognitive neuroscience have far-reaching implications for educators, coaches, learning professionals, change makers, and leaders.

We can support more effective learning, when we recognize:

  • Why our brain’s instinct for survival makes it difficult to re-examine what we think we already know.
  • How curiosity and anxiety affect learning.
  • How emotions influence cognition and behavior.
  • How changing our minds and creativity are linked.
  • How the body, emotion, and cognition are part of a dynamic system.

“Unlocking creativity to face new challenges.” –M.D., Senior Learning Environments Manager, Pharmaceutical Industry

What Experts Say

“You think with your body, not just your brain.”

Daniel Kahneman , Thinking Fast and Slow

“Movement is fundamental to the very existence of the brain.”

John Ratey, A User’s Guide to the Brain

“We feel, therefore we learn.”

Antonio Damasio and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang , Journal of Brain, Mind, and Education

“Emotions are . . . fundamental to thought.”

David Gelertner, The Muse in the Machine

“The mind is inherently embodied; thought is mostly unconscious. Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.”

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

We help translate scientific insights into actionable, practical steps:

  • The brain understands new experiences by association with what happened before.
  • What the brain believes is deeply (and invisibly) influenced by what it already “knows” is true.
  • Uncertainty leads to anxiety, so the brain makes up stories in its search for quick answers.
  • To save energy, the brain relies on “default” systems that make it difficult to change our minds.
  • The brain cannot separate rational thinking from emotional response.
  • The brain arrives at a negative appraisal several times faster than a positive appraisal.
  • Learning literally changes the brain at the neuronal level.
  • Learning involves the whole body.


World Bank