Specific Research Projects  Learning to Think


The ‘Learning to Think’ project investigates the ontogenetic aspects of human thinking by studying how thinking skills develop in young children and change across lifespan. The project aims at developing a training program for schooling children in the “art of thinking”.


Currently the ‘Learning to Think’ project is characterized by three main approaches:

1. Basic Research
We are interested in the development of thinking operators. One of the core hypotheses of the Parmenides Foundation is that human thinking can be described by a small set of thinking operators. In the ‘Learning to Think’ project we systematically investigate the existence and development of those thinking operators and decipher the related neural processes. In our studies we use behavioural and neurophysiological data (EEG, NIRS) to attain deeper insights into the neurocognitive processes that occur in young children.

2. Fostering thinking skills

We systematically foster the use and application of basic thinking operators. We developed a set of new thinking games and situations which train particular thinking skills. The training is conducted in kindergartens. We compare the Parmenides Learning to Think training with other training programs and accompany the training process with neurophysiological methods and standard diagnostic tests to quantify and verify training effects.

3. Training Program
The main outcome of the ‘Parmenides Learning to Think’ project that brings the efforts of Basic Research and Fostering Thinking Skills together is an evidence based training program. We plan a toolbox of games and standardized situations, which can be easily used by educators and parents to train children’s thinking skills. Furthermore we intend to develop a computerized virtual reality version of our training that can be easily used, distributed and applied.


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