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Revista Psicopedagogia

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LOPES, Fernanda Machado et al. What do we know about neurosciences?: Concepts and misunderstandings between the general public and between educators. Rev. psicopedag. [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.113, pp. 129-143. ISSN 0103-8486.

The discoveries about the functioning of the brain, as well as its applications in the teaching-learning processes, have been of interest. However, research results and concepts in the field of neuroscience are often misunderstood or distorted, perpetuating themselves as false beliefs, called 'neuromyths'. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of the Brazilian general public and, especially, of a subsample of educators about conceptions and misconceptions about neuroscience. This is an exploratory-descriptive study in which 2795 subjects participated, 1643 educators (58.8%) and 1152 non-educators, who answered an online questionnaire about concepts and misunderstandings in neurosciences. The results showed that both the general public and the subsample of educators, regardless of having taken a course in neuroscience, have little knowledge on the subject and have mistaken beliefs in several concepts. The percentage of errors/uncertainties in the general public and in the educators subsample were, respectively: 1) sleep as a resting moment for the brain (90% and 90.3%); 2) differences in hemispheric dominance as determinants of performance in different areas (74.8% and 73.6%); 3) feelings experienced by the heart (78.3% and 73%); 4) non-malleability of cognitive skills (78.9% and 73.9%); and 5) use of only 10% of the brain (73.5% and 75.8%). There is a need to bring neurosciences closer to the general public, and especially to education, and it is suggested that areas such as Psychopedagogy and neuropsychology could facilitate this process. In addition, neuroscientists may seek more effective strategies for disseminating knowledge.

Keywords : Education; Neuroscience; Bias; Continuing Education.

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