Lamb, Owens speak about benefits of neurocognitive tools and technology

Dr. Richard Lamb holds up neurocognitive tools.
Dr. Richard Lamb presents on the technology and its benefits in the Neurocognition Science Laboratory.

When many people picture using technology in classrooms, they may think of computers, iPads, and similar technology. Dr. Richard Lamb, the director of the Neurocognition Science Laboratory (NCSL) in the East Carolina University College of Education, is looking to more immersive technology to change the education landscape.

During the spring 2023 semester, Lamb presented about the possibilities of augmented and virtual reality technology and neurocognitive tools to visitors from the Office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, NC East Alliance, Innovation Early College High School, and ECU’s University Advancement and Office of National Security and Industry Initiatives.

“Education in the way I think about, and the way many of my colleagues think about it, touches every single field here at ECU and in eastern North Carolina and in the nation and in the world,” Lamb said. “Education is the centerpiece.”

Lamb spoke about the need to create generative learning environments and generative education, which involves students integrating new ideas into their memory and existing thought processes. He also discussed how utilizing this and the neurocognition tools at our disposal will increase the efficacy and efficiency of how people learn.

Director of Strategic Initiatives & Legislative Liaison Karson Nelson tries on some of the technology in the NCSL.

The lab’s research revolves around three areas: neurodiversity, human cognitive augmentation and neurocognitive assessment, and digital transformation and future technology application. Lamb invited a variety of stakeholders to learn about the lab because, as he says, education has an impact far beyond the classroom.

“A regional economy is its people,” he said. “If we can change how they learn, we can change the regional economy.”

Many of the technologies that Lamb discussed will enable teachers to receive more data about how their students are learning and what they truly understand. According to Lamb, one of the benefits of neurocognitive tools is that they don’t allow a student to try to save face by saying they understand when they actually do not. The tools collect autonomic data, meaning its not under an individual’s conscious control.

Dr. Tosha Owens, an assistant professor in special education, also presented on how these tools and technology can benefit neurodiverse learners. She noted that it has the ability to change the whole teaching and learning environment.

During and after the presentations, visitors were able to familiarize themselves with the technology in the lab and ask additional questions.

For more information, visit the Neurocognition Science Laboratory website.

Visitors and faculty/staff from ECU pose for a photo in the NCSL.

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