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Nawal Abboub
Nawal est experte en neurosciences.

What if science could revolutionize the learning?

February 26, 2024
5 minutes

At a time of major transformations and technological advances, our organizations have never been so good Jostled. In fact, technological tools are becoming more and more common. Powerful, the world of work is becoming more and more collaborative and the temporality of exchanges more and more swift. We have never faced so much with our cognitive limits. And yet, if these transformations push us to our limits, they also allow us to adjust by developing new skills or even push the limits of our learning skills even further !

What if the secret of major transformations was to take into account the support of these potentials by relying on scientific research data?

1. Brain plasticity and learning

Indeed, years of scientific research have shown us that our learning skills Were not also fixed than we might have thought. We have learned that our brain is very dynamic, it is able to adapt to its environment very quickly depending on the context in which we operate (1). But we are far from a malleable brain, our brain plasticity has its limits (2). We have what we call neurobiological constraints. We are ALL equipped with powerful processing tools (or also called learning algorithms) pre-wired to quickly and efficiently process visual, sound, tactile or other information from our environment! Like language, where are we pre-wired to learn, depending on our country and the language spoken, we will then master French, Swahili or Japanese! Our brain plasticity is then only a mechanism that allows us to adjust our learning.

2. How does our brain learn?

We discovered that these algorithms are quite special, they work without us realizing it, they are very powerful and specific. The latter allow us, depending on our environment, to formulate theories or hypotheses about our world, in particular by constructing representations based on probabilistic models. These models are very useful in developing our skills because they allow us to extract as much information as possible from each characteristic of our environment. But still, do we need to give us enough information or have enough information in our environment for our algorithms to work. properly. Plus one environment will be enriched and structured, the more these algorithms will be able to work at full speed and nTo enable you to acquire a skill quickly and sustainably (3) and to train us effectively.

These algorithms are very powerful and still remain unequalled, even in the face of our highest technologies !

3. How does our brain learn to read?

Learning to read is a good example of this type of phenomenon! Of numerous studies revealed that in order to learn to read, our brains “recycled” the functionality of certain brain areas (4). Indeed, the regions that allow letters to be decoded during reading had a slightly different role before we learned to read. This ability to adapt to reading an alphabet composed of letters with a particular orientation is the very example of What the great inventions or even the great transformations cause to our brains. They push us to our limits, of course, but they push us to adapt! In fact, this is what has allowed us to develop many high-level cognitive functions during our evolution (language, reasoning, emotional regulation, etc)! Our ability to integrate new information to adapt to a changing environment shows us how our learning skills are so powerful and we have so much potential !

4. Cognitive science and education

Thus, cognitive science has allowed us to have a slightly more precise idea of the neural mechanisms that underlie our learning and of our potential! But to meet the challenges of tomorrow in the face of major transformations, we still need us Let's become aware of it!

We have seen that our learning skills are based on super powerful algorithms. Let's allow everyone to develop its potential, by creating a climate of trust within public organizations, in schools but also in businesses. Let's put the development of metacognitive skills (to be aware of one's skills). And above all, let's not confuse learning difficulties with intellectual limitations.

Tomorrow's challenges will be based mainly on the capacity we will have to identify, value and develop these learning skills in education of tomorrow by building our tools and Methodsadapted to the functioning of our brain, whether in our public organizations, our schools or in our businesses.

Want to go further and learn to master these powerful skills, discover our programs.


  1. Maguire EA et al. (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proc Natl Acad Sci 97:4398 —4403. Available at: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.070039597.
  2. Hubener M, Bonhoeffer T (2014) Neuronal Plasticity: Beyond the Critical Period. Cell 159:727 —737. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867414013622 [Accessed November 6, 2014].
  3. Romeo RR et al. (2018) Language Exposure Relates to Structural Neural Connectivity in Childhood. J Neurosci:0484-18. Available at: http://www.jneurosci.org/lookup/doi/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0484-18.2018.
  4. Dehaene S et al. (2011) How Learning to Read Changes and Language. Science (80-) 1359.

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