Generally speaking, we think “learning” means cognitive, formal learning. We tend to associate “learning” with studying and memorising: vocabulary, factual information of all kinds, mathematical formulae and so on. From a neurobiological point of view, however, this is only a little of what we learn.
The most important learning experiences
come to us, essentially, by way of our bodies – which means that learning is always an experience of the whole body. At the same time, every learning experience involves emotions. We are only able to learn when the so-called emotional centres in the brain are activated. These centres release neuroplastic messenger substances enabling what has been learned to become anchored in the brain.
In other words, whatever the learning experience, if it is to be successful, there has to be emotional activation.
The most enjoyable activation we know of is “enthusiasm”
Gerard Hüther. Neurobiologist