Neuroscience Applications for Learning (NeurAL) Laboratory is a team of faculty and students who use cognitive and social neuroscience methodologies and technologies to explore how people learn individually and in groups. Our focus is on the learners who exhibit a wide range of attentional and cognitive differences (e.g., inhibitory control, spatial ability, working memory capacity, reading ability etc.) Studies are designed using (or replicating) the authentic learning contexts of the 21st century and produce implications for improving the design and practice of learning and teaching.
Our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (Science of Learning, Cyberlearning and Future Technologies, GoLife, and Improving Undergraduate STEM Education programs), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the University of Florida (College of Education Research Incentive Fund and UF Research Opportunity Fund). We value collaboration and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss potential projects with you.
Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko
Dr. Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida and Director of the NeurAL Lab.
Dr. Carole Beal is a Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida and Director of the UF Online Learning Institute.
Dr. Kara Dawson is the Fien Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida.
Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida.
Dr. Linda J. Lombardino is a professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida.
Dr. Andreas Keil is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Florida, interested in the brain electric processes underlying cognition and behavior.
Jiahui is a Research Fellow and PhD student in Educational Technology interested in applying EEG and eye-tracking in educational research.
Natercia is a Master’s student in Educational Technology interested in self-regulated learning, attention, and cognitive neuroscience.
Robert is a PhD student in Educational Technology interested in cognitive dynamics during foreign language learning.
Wenjing is a doctoral fellow in Educational Technology with interests in digital learning environments, neuroscience, and literacy education.
Nihan is a PhD student in Educational Technology interested in technology integration, individual differences in technology-enhanced learning environments and neuroscience in education.
Li is a PhD student in Educational Technology interested in designing collaborative technology-enhanced learning environments and educational neuroscience.
We study cognitive dynamics using neurophysiological tools like non-invasive wireless EEG systems with intelligent software as well as a variety of the more traditional indirect methods including think-alouds, secondary task techniques, screen-capture, and server-log data mining techniques.
To gain a deeper understanding of how people learn, we employ a robust eye-tracking platform with custom-built algorithms that allow us to analyze a host of relevant variables – from gaze fixations, to pupil dilations to the temporal distribution of microsaccade production.
We use a variety of paradigms to design and implement measures of learning performance, including summative and formative assessments in traditional formats and using learning analytics tools that collect data on the trends and patterns of learning over time.
Usability is key to the success of any technology. We test usability using both qualitative (e.g., cognitive walk-through) and quantitative methods (e.g., mouse/keyboard interactions, eye tracking, EEG) and offer suggestions for improving information architecture, metaphoric representations and interaction design.
Project LENS: Leveraging Expertise in Neurotechnologies to Study Individual Differences in Multimedia Learning
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: National Science Foundation. Amount: $765,000. Description: Project LENS focuses on establishing an interdisciplinary collaborative network of scholars that use Electroencephalography, eye tracking, and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy to understand multimedia learning within a diverse population of students that exhibit attentional and cognitive differences.
iDigFossils: Engaging K-12 Students in Integrated STEM via 3D Digitization, Printing and Exploration of Fossils
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: National Science Foundation. Amount: $1,194,000. Description: The goal of this project is to expand and extend our understanding of integrated STEM learning by designing and testing a model for student engagement using 3D scanning and printing, and computational modeling within a highly relevant but unexplored educational pathway to K-12 STEM – paleontology.
A Simulation-Based Application for Teaching Human Physiology through Guided Discovery, Pure Discovery, and Authentic Research
Role: Co-Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: National Science Foundation. Amount: $247,129. Description: The goal of this project is to develop an online computational simulation enhanced with learning analytics which undergraduate students can use to learn human physiology using both guided and pure discovery, and by designing, conducting and analyzing the results of authentic, simulation-based research.
Building a Comprehensive Evolutionary History of Flagellate Plants
Role: Co-Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: National Science Foundation. Amount: $2,233,768. Description: My role in this project is to design, develop, and evaluate the usability and efficacy of a web-based learning tool (The Flagellate Plant Phylogeny Voyager) and online library of teachable units for teaching flagellate plant diversity and systematic biology using inquiry and hypothesis driven formats.
NeuroSynch: Understanding Collaborative Problem Solving via Research on Team Neurosynchronies
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: UF College of Education Research Incentive Fund (CRIF). Amount: $49,823. Description: This grant provided funds to purchase wireless EEG systems and recruit participants for a study that explored the differences between problem solving teams that used an epistemic script as a scaffold and teams that used a social script.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Multimedia Learning Conditions with Dyslexic Learners
Role: Co-Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: UF Research Opportunity Fund (ROF). Amount: $98,206. Description: This grant supports a study of the effects of two multimedia learning conditions on the cognitive processing, efficacy, and recall performance of a group of undergraduate dyslexic students. This study includes behavioral, neurocognitive, learning performance, and psychophysiological measures.
Cyber-Eye: Empowering Learning through Remote Visualizations using Unmanned Aerial Systems
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: National Science Foundation. Amount: $58,145. Description: This project focuses on using Unmanned Aerial Systems in Construction Engineering and Management courses to bring remote job-site environments into the classroom and enhance students’ processing of complex spatial and temporal information.