Enhance Memory and Learning by Unraveling the Sensory Puzzle: T1I S1 E5

Enhance Memory and Learning by Unraveling the Sensory Puzzle: T1I S1 E5

In this episode, co-hosts Cheri Dotterer and Jonily Zupancic explored the intricate relationship between the sensory system and learning in the classroom. Their discussion shed light on how educators can harness the power of the senses to enhance memory retention and learning among students.

The Role of the Cerebellum in Learning

Cheri Dotterer opened the conversation by highlighting the importance of the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls many functions and is directly related to learning and memory. Understanding the cerebellum's role can help educators create more effective teaching strategies that cater to the brain's natural processes.

Sensory Systems and Their Impact on Learning

The podcast delved into the five primary sensory systems—smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch—and their impact on learning. Each sense contributes uniquely to the learning process, and understanding these contributions can help educators create a more inclusive and effective learning environment.

  1. Smell: The olfactory system has a direct pathway to the brain's limbic system, which is involved in emotion and memory. This unique connection means that smells in the classroom can profoundly impact students' emotional states and their ability to retain information.
  2. Taste: The gustatory system, or sense of taste, can also influence attention and memory. For example, the act of chewing gum or sucking on a mint can stimulate the brain and enhance focus during learning activities.
  3. Hearing: Auditory processing is crucial for understanding verbal instructions and absorbing new information. Educators can enhance auditory learning by repeating essential information differently and ensuring the classroom environment is conducive to listening.
  4. Vision: Visual aids are powerful learning tools, as they can help students make connections between abstract concepts and concrete images. When it comes to explaining complex ideas, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
  5. Touch: The tactile system plays a role in hands-on learning, where physical manipulation of objects can reinforce concepts and improve memory retention.

Creating a Sensory-Friendly Classroom

The discussion emphasized the importance of creating a sensory-friendly classroom environment that accommodates all learners. Sensory classroom environments include being mindful of potential sensory overload, providing opportunities for movement and breaks, and incorporating a variety of sensory experiences into lessons.

The Power of Multisensory Learning

The podcast concluded with a reminder of the power of multisensory learning. By engaging multiple senses simultaneously, educators can enhance students' understanding and retention of information. This approach is particularly beneficial for students with learning differences, as it provides various pathways for information processing.


Cheri Dotterer and Jonily Zupancic's insights in the "Tier 1 Interventions" podcast underscore the importance of considering the sensory system in educational practices. By understanding and leveraging the connections between the senses and learning, educators can create more effective and inclusive learning environments that cater to the diverse needs of all students.


Episode Video

Creators and Guests

Cheri Dotterer
Cheri Dotterer
Hacking barriers to writing success, dysgraphia No ✏️ Required. 30-sec@time Speaker | Podcast Host | Author | Consultanthttps://t.co/eM1CXSUIoZ