Eleventh International School on Mind, Brain and Education

2016 September 7–13

Dynamical Coupling:
From Brain-to-Brain to Social Interaction

Directors of the School: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Directors of the Course: Uri Hasson and Thalia Wheatley

Abstract: Elena Pasquinelli
Fondation La Main à la pate. Paris, France

Searching for Influencers in Networks: from Twitter to the Brain
Although progress has been made in dissecting the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying individual learning, much less is known of those supporting teaching-learning coupling. A major difficulty in this direction is related to the absence of a shared definition of teaching.
I attempt at a broad characterization of teaching in terms of its building block components: cognitive processes, abilities, motivations, adaptations that are necessary for carrying out different forms of teaching. The term “teaching” is here used as an umbrella term, which includes a wide range of behaviors ranging from very simple and low-cost adaptations to complex and demanding (in computational terms) cognitive functions. Focusing on simpler forms of teaching has the potential advantage of hinting at more basic building blocks that are possibly shared by a larger variety of teaching behaviors. I refer to this objective as the search for the functional building blocks of teaching and I defend its heuristic value for identifying the corresponding neurocognitive underpinnings of teaching in humans.
Finally, I ask the question about how research on teaching can translate into guidelines and applications for education.

I currently develop my research activity as associate member of the Institut Jean Nicod (Ens, EHESS, CNRS). Institut Jean Nicod is an interdisciplinary lab at the interface between cognitive, humans, and social sciences. It is one of the research labs of the Institut pour l'étude de la cognition (IEC) of the Ecole normale supérieure (Paris). My domain of research is the philosophy of cognitive sciences and my research interests are in mind-brain-behavioral studies and their application to domains of social interest, namely: education, the media and technology.
I work at the Fondation La main à la pâte - pour l'éducation à la science. My job consists monitoring and fostering pedagogical innovation in science education, bridging education and research in cognitive science, producing science activities for K-12 students, training teachers).

Elena Pasquinelli Website