Cognitive Neuroscience and Educational Psychology: What Season Is It?

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Byrnes and Fox get much right in their review of the relevance of cognitive neuroscience for educational psychology. They are correct that theoretical reduction is to be welcomed. They are also right that neurophysiological findings can constrain psychological theory and that this too is to be welcomed. Their review is on the mark in recommending that educational psychologists must become “bilingual” in their understanding of neurological terms and their analogous psychological constructs. The one difference in our positions that I do highlight is one of calibration rather than strong disagreement—my level of enthusiasm for scientific reduction in domains related to education is somewhat more muted than that of Byrnes and Fox because of wariness bom of the premature reductive attempts that litter our field.

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