Dr. SH Annabel Chen is a Professor of Psychology at the School of Social Sciences, with joint appointments at LKCMedicine and the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She is currently the Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE), at the NTU. She is also the co-director at the Centre of Lifelong Learning and Individualised Cognition (CLIC) in collaboration with Cambridge University funded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore, Prime Minister’s Office (an NRF-CREATE programme).
Trained as a clinical neuropsychologist in the United States, she finished her post-doctoral research in neuro-imaging at the Lucas Centre, Stanford University School of Medicine, before returning to Asia as an assistant profe-ssor at the Psychology Department in National Taiwan University. Her Clinical Brain Lab (www.clinicalbrain.org) at Nanyang Technological University, applies neuropsych-ological principles to understand disturbance in brain and behavior using neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI, diffusion MRI, electroencephalography (EEG). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and transcranial Direct Curre-nt Stimulation (tDCS). Her research focuses on cerebellar contributions to higher cognition, optimizing cognition in aging neuroscience (active aging), and science of learning, including translating neuroscience for education. Her re-search aims to develop neuroimaging markers in the cerebro-cerebellar circuitry to further understand the processes of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions that would be informative to the science of learning and evidence-based interventions.
Neuropsychological contributions to the Science of Learning
The Science of Learning has been an emerging area of interdisciplinary research integrating knowledge from Psychology, Neuroscience and Education and other related fields in computer science and engineering. It seeks to uncover important mechanisms of learning that can translate into evidence-based intervention for practice to impact learning. At the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE) at Nanyang Technological University, our research leverages expertise from different fields, including psychologists, educational researchers, cognitive neuroscientists, engineers, practitioners and stakeholders in government and industry to investigate how we can optimize learning to maximize human potential.
Neuropsychology has been crucial in both research and translation of findings in brain sciences for educators and learners. Our understanding of neuroplasticity at various stages of life provides the potential to help modulate the brain to enhance learning from early intervention to active aging. A brief overview of ongoing research related to the Science of Learning at CRADLE@NTU will be provided. From the science of emerging skills, we examine language networks in reading and its relation to biliteracy. Our preliminary findings from fMRI provided evidence for a topographic projection of regions within the cerebellum for English reading in bilinguals. We also found that reading networks can be modulated through transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Ongoing projects using brain maps from meta-analyses to help translate neuroscience for educators and a research programme on cognitive flexibility training will be introduced. Lastly, we apply the concept of neuroplasticity as a basis for the Science of Lifelong Learning in active aging and well-being.
Learning is the key component actively happening across all stages of life. Neuropsychologists equipped with the neurocognitive knowledge and methods assessing brain functions from cognitive evaluation to neuroimaging, can help to translate research findings to make it accessible for learners and educators. Research from neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience is well positioned to help integrate knowledge about our brain with educational practices to maximize human potential for cognitive health and well-being.