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Connecting Teaching to Research

On the research front, technology that reveals brain function is only beginning to shed light on how learners process information. In part, that's because "we're at the stage where we have to look not at each individual as different" but instead "for the commonalties, for the way that all brains handle these kinds of tasks," said Karen Froud, Associate Professor of Speech and Language Pathology at TC. "Because if we don't do that work first, then we can't develop the theoretical frameworks that will allow us to formulate hypotheses that will tell us in turn how individuals kids might differ from the more typical situation." 

Froud, whose lab uses electroencephalography (EEG) technology to capture the brain's responses to external stimuli in real time, said that such work is having immediate applications for groups such as adults re-learning functions after a stroke, or children with a particular developmental disorder. Ultimately, as this kind of research establishes a baseline for the broader population, it will be possible, Froud said, to learn "how individuals' brains function and then use that information to understand how those individuals acquire cognitive and other kinds of skills."previous page