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Biology of Cognition - Gifted Learning and Emotional Intelligence

Course Summary

This course is intended for all educators who are interested in understanding the biology affecting learning and emotional intelligence. It will give insights into how learning occurs and how cognitive and emotional intelligence can be enhanced. Obstacles to learning, such as PTSD, neuroexcitation and neurodegeneration, will be discussed, along with nutritional and behavioral strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

The concepts will be taught in straightforward language so that even those without a strong biology background will gain perspectives and tools that can be immediately applied in the classroom. 

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Course Detailed Description

Neurotransmitters and their role in cognition and learning will be discussed, as well as the cognitive and behavioral profiles for recognizing their excess and deficiency. The interaction of hormones, particularly as they involve sleep, emotions and rejuvenation of the brain will be examined. The physiology of gifted learners and emotional intelligence will be studied. The role of PTSD and strategies for diffusing its impact will be explored. Approaches to minimizing neuroexcitation, neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits will be discussed, as well as how to minimize their impact. Protecting our brains, our intelligence and our ability to learn, especially as we age, will be a topic of special interest.

The course will propose methods for enriching cognition, gifted learning and emotional intelligence drawn from nutritional, naturopathic and behavioral therapies. 


Day 1​

  • Introduction 

  • Meeting the participants and understanding their goals for the course and their challenges

  • How do we learn?

  • The brain of the gifted learner

  • Neurotransmitters and their role in cognition and learning

  • Recognizing excess and deficiency signs and symptoms

Day 2

  • Hormones, sleep and brain rejuvenation

  • Hormones and their role in cognition and learning

  • The interaction of hormones and neurotransmitters

  • Why do we sleep?

  • Brain rejuvenation

Day 3

  • Emotions and emotional intelligence

  • The biology of emotions and emotional intelligence

  • Developing emotional intelligence

  • PTSD and strategies for resolution

Day 4

  • Feeding the brain

  • Survey of common pharmaceutical strategies

  • Nutritional alternatives to pharmaceuticals

  • Physiology of oxygenation

  • Enhancing learning

Day 5

  • Neurodegeneration and the aging brain

  • Preventing neurodegeneration and protecting brain function

  • Course evaluation: summary, questions, feedback, discussion 

Day 6 

  • Course evaluation

  • Certificate awarding 

  • Excursion and other external cultural activities

Note: The program will be dynamic and interactive. The schedule may change based on the issues posed by the participants and the real resolution processes in which we engage. Excursion plans for any given course may also affect the agenda.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of neurotransmitters and hormones in cognition and learning.

  • Understand physiological obstacles to cognition and learning.

  • Understand the physiology of emotions and emotional intelligence.

  • Understand the causes of neurodegeneration and how to prevent them.

  • Learn nutritional and behavioral strategies for promoting cognition, learning and emotional intelligence. 

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