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The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children [Hardcover]

Torkel Klingberg
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 2, 2012 0199917108 978-0199917105 1
Despite all our highly publicized efforts to improve our schools, the United States is still falling behind. We recently ranked 15th in the world in reading, math, and science. Clearly, more needs to be done. In The Learning Brain, Torkel Klingberg urges us to use the insights of neuroscience to improve the education of our children.

The key to improving education lies in understanding how the brain works: that is where learning takes place, after all. The book focuses in particular on "working memory"--our ability to concentrate and to keep relevant information in our head while ignoring distractions (a topic the author covered in The Overflowing Brain). Research shows enormous variation in working memory among children, with some ten-year-olds performing at the level of a fourteen-year old, others at that of a six-year old. More important, children with high working memory have better math and reading skills, while children with poor working memory consistently underperform. Interestingly, teachers tend to perceive children with poor working memory as dreamy or unfocused, not recognizing that these children have a memory problem. But what can we do for these children? For one, we can train working memory. The Learning Brain provides a variety of different techniques and scientific insights that may just teach us how to improve our children's working memory. Klingberg also discusses how stress can impair working memory (skydivers tested just before a jump showed a 30% drop in working memory) and how aerobic exercise can actually modify the brain's nerve cells and improve classroom performance.

Torkel Klingberg is one of the world's leading cognitive neuroscientists, but in this book he wears his erudition lightly, writing with simplicity and good humor as he shows us how to give our children the best chance to learn and grow.

Frequently Bought Together

The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children + The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory + Working Memory and Learning: A Practical Guide for Teachers
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"With a friendly and clear writing style, Klingberg introduces us to the factors that shape working memory, and the profound impact it has on our lives... Crucially, Klingberg highlights the costs of missed diagnosis: children with working memory deficits have extreme difficulty attaining math and verbal skills and suffer from low self-esteem" -- New York Times Book Review


"Klingberg mixes multiple anecdotes with scientific studies... The result is fascinating and readable. There is much to recommend in this book. The anecdotes and descriptions of many pieces of research are interesting and sure to pique the curiosity of most readers." --PsycCRITIQUES


About the Author


Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. His work on child development and brain training is at the international front line. Klingberg leads a major Swedish project on child development, lectures regularly at international conferences, is the recipient of several prizes, and a member of the Nobel Assembly. He is the author of The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory (OUP).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199917108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199917105
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. His work on child brain development and cognitive training is at the international front line. He led the original studies demonstrating that working memory can be improved by training. Dr. Klingberg leads a major Swedish project on child development, lectures regularly at international conferences, is the recipient of several prizes, and serves as a member of the Nobel Assembly. He is also the author of two book: "The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory" and most recently "The learning brain - memory and brain development in children", (Oxford University Press).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Buying May 23, 2013
By Ryan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Worthy of Notice: The Learning Brain Ryan Erdwins
4 out of 5 stars 5/16/13
We as a society rely so much on knowledge. How to complete tasks, how to solve problems, even how to construct something one moment and tear it down the next. The ability to acquire this knowledge is simply the ability to learn. But learning a piece of information can vary from person to person and that aptitude for learning can be influenced by a variety of factors. Much of our learning and capacity to learn is crafted in our childhood, during the early years of neurodevelopment. What The Learning Brain discusses is how we can use neuroscience to better understand and improve the education of our youth. Author Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD uses his extensive knowledge in the field to discuss the variety of ways in which our learning and memory capacity can be affected by stress, diseases, disabilities, as well as environmental factors. Dr. Klingberg is a professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Stockholm Brain Institute, which is part of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the leader of a Swedish project dealing with child development. His work on brain training as well child neurodevelopment is at the forefront of its field. He is also a member of the Nobel Assembly. , I would definitely recommend reading The Learning Brain. What I felt this book accomplished best was communicating many of the ways that our developing brain can be affected for better or worse. I felt that it was beneficial in gaining a better understanding of neurological disorders such as ADHD. That being said, there were a few areas where some improvement needs to take place. One improvement s to limit the number of case studies used for a single point.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent February 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wanted to read this author's work on memory and learning in children because I have now worked with special needs children for 40 years and realized early on that memory was a key issue in learning. In fact, had my doctorate degree not gotten detoured, my dissertation would have been in that area. Klingberg is on the cutting edge.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so fascinating June 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The information in this text is must read stuff for educators today. Too often the work of neuroscience is inaccessible to practitioners. Klingberg lets us in on the latest information that will help us help our students.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Learning Brain December 16, 2012
By Jeff
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would describe this book as a collection of studies. A good collection but a collection nonetheless. Their is no main thesis or story line besides the psychology of children. Don't get me wrong, a good book does not need these things but an average book is all this is. While psychology can be one of the most enjoying sciences to read about, I think this book missed the nail. I found myself reading study after study which I could have easily found elsewhere. The excessive number of studies was not accomponied by a story line which made them hard to keep track of. Its almost as if this book was just one very long article in a magazine.

I may recommend this to a beginning student of psychology but otherwise I don't know who would find this to be a five star read.

(Side notes: You shouldn't let this keep you from reading this book but their are two or three spelling errors, which I suppose slipped the editor, including a misspelling in the very first sentence of chapter 1!)
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's okay June 10, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just what was offered...no surprises, I don't like surprises and this was just what I ordered, great resource really. Just what was offered...no surprises
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