By Emma Crawford
OXFORD – Neuroscience and education will come together at a conference at the University of Mississippi next week.
Educators, students and anyone interested are invited to listen to experts in cognitive neuroscience speak at “Neuroscience and Learning: Healing the Injured Brain,” at the Oxford Conference Center Oct. 19-20.
In 2014, the UM School of Education launched a doctoral program in special education with a curriculum that includes courses in cognitive neuroscience.
Drawing on the resources of this program, the conference is designed to train education professionals to help speed recovery from traumatic brain injuries.
The UM program trains educators to use therapies that incorporate mathematics, language and other subjects to speed and improve recovery.
Roy J. Thurston, UM assistant professor of special education, organized the conference.
“We want to explore the impact injuries such as concussions have on memory, learning and a person’s ability to reintegrate back into the classroom, athletics, career and society as a whole,” Thurston said. “This conference will show how an interdisciplinary approach to these issues is being met by researchers, and how it can benefit survivors, families, educators and medical and athletics professionals.”
Concussions and other head injuries suffered by football players and military personnel in combat have also attracted widespread attention in recent years.
The conference will offer opportunities to hear about the experiences of those who were injured both in sports and combat and who have struggled to recover from traumatic brain injuries.
Esther Sternberg, director of research at the University of Arizona, is the conference’s keynote speaker. She is the author of “Healing Spaces: The Science and Place of Well Being,” which explores the idea of how distractions and distortions around a person could shake up the brain’s healing chemistry and whether surroundings have healing powers.
The agenda also includes discussions on the effects of lighting on classrooms, the future of neuroscience, cognition and injury and neuropsychology therapy.
Registration is $50 for the general public and $25 for students. Continuing education credits are available for attendees.