Mission: Our mission is to both use neuroscience as a tool for improving education, and use education as a tool for furthering our understanding of the brain. On the one hand, advances in non-invasive, quantitative brain imaging technologies are opening a new window into the mechanisms that underlie learning. For children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, we hope to develop personalized intervention programs that are tailored to a child’s unique pattern of brain maturation. On the other hand, interventions provide a powerful tool for understanding how environmental factors shape brain development. Combining neuroimaging with educational interventions we hope to further our understanding of plasticity in the human brain.

The Lab: The Brain Development & Education Lab is located in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and represents a collaboration between the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics within the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Education and the Wu Tsai Neuroscience Institute (we recently moved from The University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences). The focus of the lab is understanding the interplay between brain maturation and cognitive development.  The lab is interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of neuroscience, psychology, education, pediatrics and engineering to answer basic scientific and applied questions.  Current projects focus on understanding how the brain’s reading circuitry develops in response to education and how targeted behavioral interventions prompt changes in the brain’s of children with dyslexia. A major component of this work is the development of software to measure properties of human brain tissue, localize differences and quantify changes over development.

Lab Director: Jason D. Yeatman, Ph.D.