The 2016 Transforming Education Through Neuroscience Award Was Presented on Saturday at the Learning & the Brain® Educational Conference in Boston

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Dr. Kou Murayama from the University of Reading was presented with the “2016 Transforming Education Through Neuroscience Award” for his contributions to the field of Mind, Brain and Education during the Learning & the Brain® educational conference in Boston, MA.

Dr. Murayama is engaging in important synthetic and complex scholarship that promises to encourage innovative theory as well as practical educational import

A groundbreaking researcher whose research lies at the intersection of education and cognitive neuroscience was awarded the ninth annual prize for “Transforming Education Through Neuroscience.” The award was established to honor individuals who represent excellence in bridging neuroscience and education and is funded by the Learning & the Brain® Foundation. The $2,500 award will be used to support translational efforts bridging scientific findings and classroom practice.

Kou Murayama, PhD, is being honored for his work on motivation and cognition from the neural level to the social level. Dr. Murayama received his Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Tokyo in 2006 and did his post-doctoral work at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the University of Rochester, the University of Munich and UCLA. Now at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, Dr. Murayama is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience where he runs the Motivation Lab.

Dr. Murayama’s research on motivation has potentially large implications for the field of education. His research focuses on a number of questions about the function and the architecture of human motivation from both theoretical (especially focusing on the theories of achievement goals, intrinsic motivation, and reinforcement learning) and practical (especially educational) perspectives. Some of these questions revolve on how motivation can enhance learning, the nature of intrinsic motivation, and metamotivation. His laboratory uses a multi-method approach by drawing upon a variety of methodologies such as behavioral experiments, large sample surveys, neuroimaging (i.e., fMRI), experience sampling, meta-analysis, behavioral genetics analysis, mathematical modeling, and intervention in order to understand motivation from different perspectives.

According to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, who is Associate Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience at the Rossier School of Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, Dr. Murayama is “an exceptionally talented and prodigious scholar who is conducting groundbreaking interdisciplinary research integrating cognitive scientific, neuroscientific and educational research approaches.” She also said that “his work is remarkable for its creativity and innovation in both neuroscientific and educational domains.”

Last year’s award winner, Fumiko Hoeft called Dr. Murayama “…a truly talented researcher bridging many fields.” David B. Daniel, PhD, Professor of Psychology at James Madison University and the 2013 winner of the award, also had praise for the new recipient. “Dr. Murayama is engaging in important synthetic and complex scholarship that promises to encourage innovative theory as well as practical educational import.”

Dr. Daniel presented the prize to Dr. Murayama at the Learning & the Brain® educational conference in Boston, MA on Saturday, November 19, held at the Westin Copley Hotel. The Learning & the Brain® Foundation wishes Dr. Murayama our heartiest congratulations.

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Daniel LaGattuta
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