May 21, 2010 by Norene Wiesen

Martha Burns on brain plasticity In March, Dr. Martha Burnsvisited Australia to present the latest findings on how the brain learns.  Dr. Burns is an extremely knowledgeable and highly sought after speaker, so I'm pleased to let you know that an interview she gave on brain plasticitywhile there is now available online at

The recording is presented in two parts, totaling about 20 minutes listening time.  If you don't have time to listen to both parts of the interview at once, either part works well alone.  But remember to come back later and listen to the other part of the interview--because the whole thing is too good to be missed! 

These are the points addressed in each part:

Dr. Martha Burns Explains Neuroplasticity 1:

  • What is neuroplasticity, in simple terms?
  • What are the differences in brain plasticity between younger and older people?
  • What are neurotransmitters and what role do they play in neuroplasticity?
  • What are neuromodulators and how do they influence learning?
  • How do rewards and novelty influence learning?
  • How does Ritalin affect the brain?
  • What are the unique brain benefits of exercise?
  • What is the role of brain plasticity in anxiety and depression?

Dr. Martha Burns Explains Neuroplasticity 2:

  • Can brain plasticity influence intelligence?
  • How important are grades vs. effort?
  • What behaviors should teachers reward in their students?
  • What role should technology play in schools?
  • How can educators invite students to participate in class more?

These recordings are also a great source of brain information to share with your students in the classroom!