EEG Research related to Learning

LEARNING cannot take place without changing neural representations in our brain. These changes are detectable with the EEG, and may occur after intensive training of for example movements sequences (1), but may also consolidate after a time period of sleep (2). Learning and memory are also strongly affected by attention, and recent EEG results suggest that memory and attention are much more interrelated than previously thought (3). This may also better explain why dyslexic individuals with reading problems show different EEG signatures of directing their attention (4). Finally, the experience of flow, which relates to the concepts of presence and immersion, is an important factor in determining learning success, which may be very relevant for learning with virtual reality tools. There are some indications from recent research in Japan that EEG may provide a more objective and online index of this specific state (5).

  1. De Kleine, E., & Van der Lubbe, R.H.J. (2011). Decreased load on general motor preparation and visual working memory while preparing familiar as compared to unfamiliar movement sequences. Brain and Cognition, 75, 126-134. DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2010.10.013
  2. Serweta, A. (2020). Cortical involvement of slow wave activity predicts scene memory: a PCA approach to memory consolidation. Unpublished BA thesis at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. Supervisors: Dr R.H.J. Van der Lubbe & Prof. Dr F. Van der Velde
  3. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Bundt, C., & Abrahamse, E.L. (2014). Internal and external spatial attention examined with lateralized power spectra. Brain Research, 1583, 179-192. DOI: 10.106/j.brainres.2014.08.007
  4. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., De Kleine, E., Rataj, K. (2019). Dyslexic individuals orient but do not sustain visual attention: Electrophysiological support from the lower and upper alpha bands. Neuropsychologia, 125, 30-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.01.013
  5. Katahari, K., Yamazaki, Y., Yamaoka, C., et al. (2018). EEG correlates of the flow state: a combination of increased frontal theta and moderate frontocentral alpha rhythm in the mental arithmetic task. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, a300. DOI: 10.3380/fpsyg.2018.00300