npj Science of Learning Community presents research focussed on the mind, brain and education space. In July, npj Science of Learning authors revealed how wins and losses shape human behaviour and observed brain activity to understand what is ‘the thing’ that attracts student attention in class.

Being rewarded for good behaviour influences how individuals respond to different situations throughout their lives. Similarly, negative outcomes for unwelcome actions are likely to lead to behavioural change. Ben Dyson and Ahad Asad based at the University of Alberta, Canada, examined how losses and wins affect an individual’s decision making, using the game ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. Learn more in: The complex decisions behind simple games.

Capturing student attention is important for any learning environment. Teachers implement strategies to engage student interest. But it’s difficult to determine the success of strategies, either through observation or self-evaluation. Jennie Grammar and her research team, based at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine student cognitive states while participating in lesson activities. Learn more in: What do we know about student attention in the classroom?

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