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Engaging educational videos elicit similar brain activity in students

August 19, 2019

The most engaging educational videos are correlated with similar brain activity across learners, according to research in young adults recently published in eNeuro.

Yi Hu and colleagues at East China Normal University showed university students two-minute introduction clips for 15 online classes and monitored their brain activity via electroencephalogram. The students ranked the clips based on their desire to learn the material and then rated how interesting and valuable the class seemed.

The students displayed highly similar brain activity while they watched the clips that were universally ranked as the most appealing, while the lowest ranking videos correlated with the largest variety in brain activity. Additionally, the highest ranked videos were chosen because of their interest rather than their value. These results build on previous studies that found that the most effective political speeches and public service announcements are correlated with the most similar brain activity among observers.
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These findings suggest that there are features of learning materials that are universally engaging, which may be explored in future education research. 

Manuscript title: Learning Desire Is Predicted by Similar Neural Processing of Naturalistic Educational Materials

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About eNeuro

eNeuro, the Society for Neuroscience's open-access journal launched in 2014, publishes rigorous neuroscience research with double-blind peer review that masks the identity of both the authors and reviewers, minimizing the potential for implicit biases. eNeuro is distinguished by a broader scope and balanced perspective achieved by publishing negative results, failure to replicate or replication studies. New research, computational neuroscience, theories and methods are also published.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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