Portable brain technologies in educational neuroscience research

In the past few decades, neuroscience and cognitive psychology have produced a rich body of research on memory, learning and attention, but for the most part the translational value of this work to classroom practices has been limited. A major challenge for translation is that neuroscience research is typically conducted in artificial and highly controlled laboratory settings. Interestingly, recent developments in portable brain technology (e.g. electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS)) now allow taking neuroscience research out of the lab and into working classrooms and other real-life settings. Moreover, portable technologies enable research in young children, and in areas of the world where access to advanced research labs is limited. In this EFG, we will jointly explore the use of portable brain technologies to increase the ecological validity and worldwide implementation of educational neuroscience research. 


EFG Activities

1. December 2018 - EFG Initiation 
This first meeting of the EFG team will be hosted at the VU Amsterdam and will include a public event to maximize societal relevance and out-of-the-box thinking. Specific aims of this first EFG meeting are to initiate a research agenda for how to validate portable brain technologies and to identify the most relevant and promising novel directions.

2. August 2019 - EFG consolidation
This meeting will be in the vicinity of Aachen after the EARLI 2019. This meeting will include workshops on portable brain technologies to share and learn about the practicalities surrounding portable EEG, fNIRS and neurofeedback in educational neuroscience.

3. Spring 2020 - EFG future outlook
This meeting will be held adjacent to the SIG22 (Neuroscience and Education) 2020 meeting. Specific aims are to evaluate the research agenda and draft guidelines and educational materials for researchers and educators. To maximize sharing of knowledge, a symposium will be organized for researchers and educators.

  • December 2018
    EFG Initiation
  • August 2019
    EFG consolidation
  • Spring 2020
    EFG future outlook

Team Members

Nienke van Atteveldt, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Tieme Janssen, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Ido Davidesco, New York University (NYU), New York, USA

Elana ZionGolumbic, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Suzanne Dikker, Utrecht University & NYU, the Netherlands & USA

Argiro Vatakis, Cognitive Systems Research Institute in Athens, Greece

Eliana Vassena, Donders Institute & Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Roma Siugzdaite, Ghent University, Belgium

Chiara Bulgarelli, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK