Michael Friedlander delivered a grand rounds on the neuroscience of effective learning

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D.

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D.

Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, delivered a grand rounds presentation on the neuroscience of effective learning to faculty, residents, and medical students in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas San Antonio Health Sciences Center on April 16.

During his presentation, Friedlander offered state-of-the-art insights into the foundational scientific principles of effective learning. He considered classical and contemporary studies of strategies that most effectively engage the brain’s biological machinery to facilitate learning and that are likely to be resilient, accessible, and enduring. Friedlander presented evidence from animal models and humans that demonstrates how these strategies induce changes in the brain’s biology, structure, and functional connectivity. He also reviewed experimental results from a variety of approaches—including molecular biology, neurophysiology, functional brain imaging, and human behavior—and discussed how these findings can be applied and how various pathologies may interfere with these approaches.

“The primary goal of my grand rounds presentation was to bridge the divide that often separates basic biological experimental results from practical applications in the classroom, clinic, and office setting,” Friedlander said. “I hope to catalyze the adoption of effective techniques for communicating between mentors and students, clinicians and patients, and experts and the public.”