The npj Science of Learning Community presents research focussing on the mind, brain, and education space. In December, our authors journeyed into the minds of students aided by neuroimaging, to understand how they solve physics problems. And we learned how deaf infants’ early visual language skills perform compared to the typical developing child.

Jessica Bartley, a Cognitive Neuroscientist from Florida International University, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify and locate patterns of brain activity in students while they attempted to solve physics problems. One of the experimental results indicated that depending on the approach students used to reason through a concept – either correct or incorrect – different parts of the brain were active. Jessica Bartley presents a fascinating view of the brain and how it learns in Student conceptual thinking about physics – how you think matters.

Gaze-following is an important skill a child learns from their parents to understand and engage with the world and it also helps shape their future social-cognitive development. Jenny Singleton is a Developmental Linguist from the University of Texas at Austin. Jenny can hear but grew up in an all-deaf family, so visual language has always played an important role in her life and career. In a joint study with Rechele Brooks and Andrew Meltzoff, the research team tested whether deaf infants developed gaze-following skills earlier than the typical child and made an interesting discovery. Jenny Singleton shares the study’s findings in Do as I do.

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