David Bueno

Biologist and geneticist

"The brain learns nothing without emotions"

See the full video here.

My name is David Bueno, I teach in the Genetics Department at the University of Barcelona. I have always studied the relationship between genetics and the brain, how our brains end up the way they do as a result of genetics. That's why I work in neuroscience. Neuroscience is behavior, behavior is learning, or learning is part of our behavior. Around ten or twelve years ago I started to look into neuroeducation, which is about how our brains learn and how we can make the most of how our brains function. And that's what I wanted to talk to you about today.

Neuroscience is still a relatively unknown science as we have only studied the human brain in detail for fifteen to twenty years. Our brains store everything we learn using a specific pattern of connections.

"The brain is dynamic, not static. It is in constant flux, channeling information from one place to another. This information may be knowledge or concepts, but mostly it involves attitudes and abilities."

Our brains are made up of cells and neurons. Each person's brain has approximately eighty-five billion neurons. However, the number of neurons is not important. We need a minimum number of neurons to function as human beings. Having more or fewer neurons won't make you any more or less clever or creative. What matters as far as the brain is concerned are the connections between each of these neurons. Our brains have around two billion connections. Anything we learn alters some of these connections. Memory is stored in this pattern of connections. 

Therefore, when we learn something, our brains change. They change physically because they make new connections. That's what learning is. Not only that. The more connections you make when you learn something, the better you will remember it and the more efficiently you will be able to use it. If you connect more areas of your brain when you learn something, this will also help you to remember it better and use it more efficiently. This means that you need context and to use different areas of your brain in order to learn something well. You need to add elements to the learning process in order to create context. This is what the brain needs and wants in order to learn anything, such as concepts, attitudes and abilities. It doesn't matter. Your brain will identify different domains and automate some processes. Abilities will end up being automated, while concepts won't. That's what learning is as regards connections. Make new connections.

PhD in biology and professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona. He specializes in neuroscience. He won the European Prize for Science Communication and also wrote the books "Cerebroflexia" ("Cerebroflexy") and "Neurociencia para educadores" ("Neuroscience For Educators").