We've heard it so many times..."He can only do well in a class if he likes the teacher," or "The material has to mean something to her, before she can learn it...", but the link between feeling and personal relevance, and learning and memory has never been clearer for some of these students with this latest study from Johns Hopkins:
When performing an auditory word memory task, lefties (mixed dominance / left-handedness are more in dyslexics, individuals with spatial talent...), activated their emotions (amygdala) and personal relevance (left hippocampus) areas when remembering. This pattern is likely why we see such a personal (i.e. not impersonal or rote memory) preference among dyslexic students in our clinic.
It explains why some students really struggle to learn in classes where they feel their teacher doesn't like them, or why others may become paralyzed with the studying process when they have never been told (or can't understand) how the information presented relates to them. It's not just an unnecessary add-on; it may be essential.
Brain-based studies such also have direct implications for teaching. Not every student is alike, and emotions and personal connectedness may absolute requirements if teachers want to help all their students to learn.
Effect of handedness on fMRI activation in the medial temporal lobe during an auditory verbal memory task
Personal Relevance and Temporal Specificity - Left hippocampus
Eide Neurolearning Blog:The Benefits of Mixed-Dominance...Lefties, Dyslexics, and Gaming
Dyslexic, Left-Handed, and College Drop-Out Entrepreneurs