One of the Brain’s “oops” Centers Identified

Brain center


Most people probably never wonder what occurs in their brain when they make a mistake; scientists, however, have diligently pursued the question. “Solving difficult, novel, or complex tasks, overcoming habitual responses, and correcting errors all require a high degree of cognitive control,” the study reports. Acting as the brain’s “mistake filters,” the frontal eye field and anterior cingulate cortex, it appears, critically impact our thoughts, actions, and errors.

The critical point here is that when we can actually see the errors we make, we learn to correct them more quickly.

Action Steps:

Rather than simply pointing out learners’ mistakes, help them identify where and how their logic became faulty. Remember, when we can see our mistakes, the frontal eye field-which houses our error correction and overriding faculties-is activated. Next guide learners through the correct steps, thus, reinforcing accurate methods.

Create a learning environment in which students feel comfortable and safe and smart despite the making of mistakes. Reassure students that mistakes are how we learn.

Allow sufficient “down time” for reflection and consolidation of facts, concepts, and skills.
Do you like travel? How about attending the HONG KONG BRAIN EXPO? Interested in going to China, starting with Hong Kong? There’s an amazing brain-based conference there in early February with Art Costa, Eric Jensen (me!) and the famous Dr. Daniel Amen. Check it out at

Yes,I’ve taken the plunge and have joined Twitter! Click here to check it out. It lets me get a feel for the issues educators are dealing with, as well as keeping up with the technology that impacts the classroom.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mikey G Ottawa

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