Welcome to Stemiverse Podcast episode 43.

In this episode, Dr Peter Dalmaris talks with Dr Melina Uncapher!

Dr Uncapher is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Neurology at UC San Francisco, and Director of Education for Neuroscape.

Neuroscape is a translational neuroscience center that bridges neuroscience and technology.

Melina has spent 16 yrs at the forefront of learning neuroscience and now applies research to solve real-world problems in education and technology.

Melina leads a multi-university National Science Foundation-funded network studying how executive function contributes to academic achievement and is leading an initiative to launch Learning Engineering as a new way to build research-practice partnerships.

She co-founded and is CEO of a nonprofit that arms educators and students with practical tools based on learning science: The Institute for Applied Neuroscience.

Melina runs an NIH-funded research program that investigates whether technology use is associated with neurocognitive changes.

She co-chaired a 2015 National Academy of Sciences conference on children and technology and sits on the board of the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development.

She also holds an affiliation with Stanford's Psychology Department and is a MacArthur Scholar.

Her work has been highlighted in media outlets such as the New York Times, PBS, and Frontline.

Her science outreach work includes serving as Script Supervisor on the Emmy-nominated PBS TV series 'The Brain with David Eagleman' and as scientific advisor on an award-winning short film about the brain.

This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 43.


Stemiverse podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to txplore.com to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.

Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Dr Melina Uncapher
[03:49] Melina talks about her background and what brought her to Neuroscientific Research
[12:27] Learning modes
[14:03] Talking with teachers at the systems level about how the brain works and learns
[15:12] What is Educational Neuroscience - Examples of findings that have changed the work a practitioner would do in the classroom - Misconceptions
[19:30] Institute for Applied Neuroscience: A bridge between practitioners and researchers
[22:19] Building a new field: Learning Engineering - Bror Saxberg
[24:07] Unlocking the science of learning
[26:51] What would a breakthrough in the science of learning look like in the next 5-10 years?
[28:40] Individualised instruction
[29:09] The role of the hippocampus in learning and memory
[33:52] Dr Zagami's EEG headsets - Studying the brain
[35:36] Social Encoding
[36:20] Arming teachers with the best possible information and understanding about how the brain works while helping them recognize how much they already know through their practice
[38:12] Coining the term "Learning Architect."
[39:57] The impact of a good teacher on students
[40:53] The misconception that the first 3 years are the most important
[43:26] Brain plasticity after puberty and life-long learning
[44:43] Understanding why we sleep: Consolidation
[48:02] The consequences of multitasking on learning and tips on how to reduce the damage
[53:08] Reinforcing the signal by receiving the information from multiple media: Dual-coding theory and task switching
[57:10] Using analogies as a teaching tool
[57:27] Book Recommendations by Melina:

[59:29] Applications Melina can't live without: Evernote

[01:00:22] Taking notes with a pen vs. digitally

[01:03:25] Melina's Contact Information: Websites: Neuroscape and Brain science for good Twitter: @neuromelina

Tags: Stemiverse Podcast Neuroscience Technology National Science Foundation Psychology Brain