The potential contribution of social science research to close the gap of knowledge between cognitive neuroscience and educational research has been underappreciated. Despite their virtual absence in the interdisciplinary dialog of neuroscience, sociology of education and related study of the cultural impact of formal education have generated research relevant to an understanding of how the social environment, such as widespread schooling, co-evolves with, and enhances neurocognitive development. Two clusters of isolated research literatures are synthesized that taken together anticipates a dynamic integration of neuroscience and education. The first cluster is on the social construction of cognition through formal education in contemporary society, including the effects of schooling on neurological and cognitive development; the demographic expansion of exposure to the developmental influence of schooling; and education's cultural impact on the meaning of the learning experience and reinforcement of cognition as the key human capability across ever more key institutions in postindustrial society. The second cluster turns the issue around by examining current investigations from neuroscience that support neurological hypotheses about the causes behind the schooling effect on neurocognitive development. We propose that further integration of these literatures will provide a more ecologically valid context in which to investigate the evolving functional architecture of the contemporary brain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience