Why Neuroscience? Why Now?

We are facing a skills shortage.

The world of work is changing rapidly, and businesses are struggling to find workers with the skills they need.

The Learning Sciences in Cognitive Neuroscience help us to identify the skills that are most important for success in the future, and to develop programs that help people to acquire those skills.

If you take a good look around, you’ll see a lot of what surrounds you, shapes you, and guides your future is artificial.


Businesses and organizations are increasingly looking for evidence-based approaches to learning and development and Cognitive Neuroscience provides this evidence the Brain-centric model.

How would work change around you if everybody you work with had the skills to get what you do done?

Businesses are facing increasing competition and are looking for ways to improve employee performance because, get this, they now see happy people, happy business.

Boost Performance and Productivity

Improved Employee Engagement

Deep, lasting knowledge versus Memorizing facts

The amazing benefits of embracing different ways of thinking and how that guarantees innovation and creativity.

Developing human capital – including investing in education and skills – is a core theme of the World Economic Forum.

As companies continue to navigate the challenges of the 21st-century workplace, such as remote work, rapid digital transformation, and increasing diversity, cognitive neuroscience offers valuable tools and insights.

The Most Potent of Surprises

How can making your audience uncomfortable help you succeed?

Answer: When you know what you’re doing.

Disequilibrium is a powerful instrument in learning and communication. But, like nuclear power, it can be used in many very bad ways. Revising your communication and teaching approach to the Brain-centric frameworks ensures the successful application of this remarkable learning instrument.

Disequilibrium in communication refers to a state where a person’s existing knowledge and understanding is challenged by new information or experiences that don’t fit into their current understanding or schema. This results in a sense of imbalance or discomfort, as they try to reconcile the new information with what they already know.

It happens in an instant, and you must manage the other side.

The concept of disequilibrium originates from the work of Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget proposed that learning is a process of achieving equilibrium, or a state of balance, between what we already know and what we are learning. When we encounter new information that doesn’t fit our existing understanding, it creates a state of disequilibrium.

Why should you keep reading?

Because when you are communicating to another – selling, facilitating, managing, parenting – you are doing so for a reason. You may not have literally defined the Big Idea, but you are expecting some sort of change of behavior or action to take place.

And this is where you are wrong.

Back up a couple of sentences to ‘literally defined the Big Idea’ and know that I implore all future communications not only have a defined action or behavior you expect the audience to walk away with (Big Idea), but you need to also define how you know were successful at achieving that resolve.

Disequilibrium is then very easy to implement because when you know what you want them to walk away with when you are complete with this communication, you can easy insert – at the proper time – what you want them to walk away with in it’s most unstable state.

Example: I’m teaching people to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Disequilibrium would be to show them a house on fire. Deep frying a turkey at its most unstable state in :56-seconds of deep fried turkey accidents:

If you watched the video above, you might of thought to yourself, “Dumbasses,” “Morons,” or even, “What in the hell were they thinking?”

The great part is for you even to have one of those thoughts, you were thinking about deep frying a turkey in a safe and more informed way and their way of doing it instead of the way you would do it, even though you might not know how to do it.

Television News LIVES by this technique.

It’s the lure of every magician everywhere.

It should be in every communication that you have a well-defined goal, what they audience will walk away with, and also know how you know you were a success at doing so.

As a key learning instrument in the Brain-centric frameworks, Disequilibrium is a part of nearly every communication, strategically to align with how the brain processes information and these other key cognitive benefits:

Stimulates Learning: The discomfort or cognitive tension that comes from disequilibrium can motivate individuals to resolve the tension by seeking new information, exploring different perspectives, and learning more about the topic at hand. It essentially acts as a driver for learning.

Facilitates Deep Learning: When learners are in a state of disequilibrium, they are more likely to engage in deep learning processes, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, to resolve the inconsistencies and achieve equilibrium again. This promotes a deeper understanding of the material, rather than just surface-level learning.

Encourages Adaptability: Disequilibrium helps learners to become more adaptable and flexible in their thinking. In the process of resolving disequilibrium, learners often have to re-evaluate their existing beliefs or understandings and modify them to incorporate new information. This enhances their ability to adapt to new situations and challenges in the future.

Promotes Cognitive Development: According to Piaget, cognitive development occurs through a process of adaptation (adjusting to new information) and organization (structuring that information into a coherent understanding). Disequilibrium plays a crucial role in this process, as it signals the need for adaptation and reorganization of knowledge.

Neurons Are Like Legos

Why didn’t school inform us that Neurons were like Legos?

Nobody ever presented Neurons as these things that make up our brain that, we could connect together and build incredible things out of?

Things like memories, understanding, adaptive expertise, problem -solving.

No. They pointed to this brain, made us memorize goofy names of things we’d forget about the next day or after the next test.

How would your life be better if you could build understanding of things like Legos?

Just like Lego blocks, neurons can be combined in a variety of ways to create complex functions.

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For example, neurons can be combined to create circuits that allow us to see, hear, and move. They can also be combined to create circuits that allow us to learn and remember.

“Can be” is always stated, but you’re thinking, “That’s cool. But how do I do it? I wanna do it!”

You are halfway there by even thinking this way!

You have now started connecting neurons around the thought, “Neurons are like Legos?”

That starts your brain doing all kinds of crazy things relating to Legos, and how you can learn knew things by snapping neurons together.

When you here somebody saying they ‘learned this new skill’ or ‘I didn’t know that!’ – which means they just learned “that” – you’ll be thinking, “Those neurons are just slapping together now!”

Then you’ll want to learn how to do it with all your communications, just slap neurons together, and live happily ever after knowing what you are putting out there is getting picked up on by everybody.

Being Brain-centric develops intelligence, not artificial intelligence.

Intelligence is the ability of a system to learn, adapt, and solve problems in a way that is analogous to the human brain.

Your brain is your system. Your choice.

I See Brain People

Here’s something wild: Have you ever really thought about, at the end of the day, we’re not communicating with older people, millennials, women, men, LGBTQ, or disabled people.

We’re communicating to a brain, or a bunch of brains, all wrapped in whatever labels we’re using, altering that communication to our ideal.


As a species, we humans have developed quite a noggin.’ That noggin,’ our brain, is the ONE organ we communicate to.

All the other organs muse off this organ.

“The brain is the one organ we can communicate to!”

Rich Carr

Emmi right?

All the more efficient is that most of our brains process communication pretty much the same way.

All the experiences and input we pick up along the way make us who we are.
OUR operating system is Brain

What we place in that operating system, our ‘content,’ and what we do with it, makes us who we are.

Not knowing this operating system is, you know, blue screen.

Could I walk through tomorrow communicating only to brains?

Do it in whatever way works best for you, but wander through the day assuming everybody has a brain and knows how to use it.

It may be different than the way you do it.

Like, chili. You make chili, I make chili, but we both make different bowls of chili, and that’s cool.

Sometimes so cool I ask you for a recipe to pump up my chili with that secret thing you do.

I understand what I do differently because you gave me new information that improved my position.

Brains are brains. Like chili, we agree on what it is, and we all have our own unique ingredients.

Be a non-conformist, communicate with that brain over there, or the brains you work with, lead, follow, or commune with.

The next person you speak with face to face, look past the wrapping and communicate with that brain.

Guaranteed, it knows something you don’t.

Memory Versus Understanding

Memory versus Understanding.

Memory is like a grocery list, reminding you of what items to buy, while understanding is like knowing how to cook a meal using those ingredients.

Understanding is more beneficial because it allows us to make connections between different pieces of information, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.

When we understand something, it’s like a lightbulb turning on, illuminating a dark room and helping us see the connections between different objects and ideas.

What is the best way for me to understand something?

You don’t forget 80% of what you understand.
You forget 80% of what you memorize.

Rich Carr

The best way to answer that question is to forget HOW YOU LEARNED in school.

You know, the sit-down, shut up, listen to a lecture, ask, “Any questions?” model.

That model, called the Behaviorist Model, is what most people imitate today when they exchange new information with another. It’s the only WAY they know how to do!

Think about it…
Sales Pitches…

Lecture, then Test. Apply a label.

The Behaviorist Model is rote memorization. Recall. Search engine stuff.

This three pounds of goop up here called a brain….

It thinks.

If you know how to think, that thinking can bring you anything you think of.

But here’s the rub:

You’ve never been taught to think—only TOLD to think.

And, what to think about. Think about that!

Memory is just you remembering facts like names, dates, and facts.

Understanding is about how these facts relate to each other and how they solve problems or answer questions.

How do you want on your team? A memorizer or a thinker?

Humankind now has the framework of how the brain processes new information and how people love to make it their own.

‘Learning to think’ has become business’ most valuable asset – from learning and development to management – in the face of bots, databases, and artificial intelligence, getting Brain-centric is table stakes today.

The primary difference between memory and understanding is that memory is the ability to store and recall information, like facts or events, while understanding is the ability to make sense of that information and apply it in different situations.


Never Taught To Think

You have never been taught to think.

Only TOLD to think.

Think about that.

Rather than being taught the skills and processes necessary to think critically and independently, we’re just told to think.

It’s like being given a map without ever being taught how to read it.

Be a non-conformist. Think!

Rich Carr

Just like a map is useless without the skills to read and interpret it, information is useless without the ability to think critically and evaluate it.

Consider how much of your thinking is influenced by others, whether it’s the media, your peers, or authority figures…not much of your thinking is really your own, and it is more a reflection of the views and opinions that have been handed down to you.

Ask yourself, “How would knowing how to think benefit me?”

People are beginning to understand that our culture values conformity over independent thought, compliance over thinking independently and critically.

Without the ability to think critically and independently, individuals struggle to analyze information, make informed decisions, or question the status quo.

It’s a bit unsettling to realize that you may not have been taught how to think, it’s also a chance to take control of your own thinking and become a more independent and effective thinker.

Thinkers are characterized by their curiosity, open-mindedness, and willingness to consider alternative viewpoints.

They are not afraid to challenge assumptions and biases, and are always seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

In addition to being analytical and reflective, thinkers are often creative and innovative. They are able to generate new ideas and approaches, and are willing to take risks in pursuit of their goals.

They’re also the most valuable asset in any business, group or activity.

Or, you can simply accept information at face value without questioning it, rely on others to provide you with opinions and beliefs and how do that thing you do.

Like ‘laugh tracks’ on television shows…

Laugh. Here. That was funny.

Fun 😐 Sad.

Go ahead, be a non-conformist. Learn to think!

Question assumptions, Evaluate evidence, consider multiple perspectives, practice reflection, seek out challenges and realize this brain is an instrument you can learn and utilize for the things you naturally think of.

Thinking and communicating clearly is important because it helps you make good choices and solve problems.

When you can think carefully and talk with others, you can understand different ideas and make smart decisions.

We are drowning in information, and information is useless without the ability to analyze and interpret it.

That’s One Right Answer

As a proponent of Brain-centric Design, I firmly believe that individuals can unlock their full potential by embracing a growth mindset. One statement that can be incredibly powerful in promoting this mindset in others is “That’s one right answer.”

At its core, this statement encourages individuals to think critically about a problem and consider multiple solutions. It acknowledges that there is not always a single “right” answer and that there can be value in exploring different perspectives and approaches.

When we embrace the idea that there can be multiple solutions to a problem, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and opportunities for growth. We become more curious, more creative, and more willing to take risks.

In contrast, a fixed mindset sees problems as black and white. It believes that there is only one correct answer, and failure to arrive at that answer is a sign of incompetence. This type of thinking can be limiting and discouraging, leading individuals to shy away from challenges and opportunities for growth.

“That’s one right answer” is a statement that can be applied in many contexts, whether we are working on a complex project, tackling a personal problem, or engaging in a group discussion. It can be a powerful tool for promoting collaboration and innovation, as it encourages individuals to share their perspectives and ideas without fear of judgment.

By embracing a growth mindset and encouraging others to do the same, we can create a more positive and supportive environment that fosters learning, growth, and innovation. So the next time you are working on a project or engaging in a discussion, remember that there can be multiple right answers. Embrace the opportunity to explore different perspectives and solutions, and see where it takes you.

Cognitive Brain Training on the rise as AI Dominates the Workplace

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance and reshape the workplace, people are increasingly turning to Brain-centric Instructional Designer Certification to ensure their abilities to think critically and creatively make them more valuable and relevant to their employers.

In today’s marketplace, where automation and algorithms are becoming more prevalent, individuals must distinguish themselves by harnessing their human cognitive abilities. Certification training offers a comprehensive approach to enhance critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills that are essential for the evolving job market.

“You’ve never been taught to think. Only told to think.” said Rich Carr, founder of Brain-centric Design. “Individuals and enterprises are recognizing the need to develop their cognitive abilities to remain relevant in their industries and to stand out in an ever-evolving job market. Globally, that’s what we do!”

Brain-centric’s approach has yielded global success stories, such as the experience of Andrea Reindl owner of Legacy Creative, a branding & instructional design firm that recently completed certification training with their whole staff. “This training has taught us how to communicate clearer, develop better creative solutions for clients, and create training programs & brand strategies that are more effective in less time,” said Reindl. “It has been a game-changer for our organization, and we look forward to how it will help us grow.”

According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, demand for cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and complex information processing is growing. The report estimates that by 2030, demand for higher cognitive skills will increase by 19 percent, while demand for physical and manual skills will decline by 14 percent.

“Forward-thinking organizations need to create environments that embrace and unlock the potential of the whole employee.” said Linda Jingfang Cai, Global Head of Learning and Talent Development, LinkedIn in LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report.

Brain-centric Design’s Certification training is designed to equip individuals with the necessary tools to excel in a constantly changing job market. The program provides a comprehensive approach to enhancing cognitive abilities, including critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and effective communication.

Ozioma Egwuonwu Named Brain-centric Instructional Designer by Carr Knowledge & ICNTL

Ozioma Egwuonwu, Chief Strategic Transformation Officer, BurnBright International, recently received the Certified Brain-centric Instructional Designer (BcID) from Carr Knowledge & The Institute for Connecting Neuroscience with Teaching & Learning.

Ozioma Egwuonwu, BcD’s newest Brain-centric Instructional Designer (BcID)

The BcID® certification promotes the learning sciences in cognitive neuroscience competency standards through a uniform global program. Credential individuals must successfully complete a 13-week mentorship with Brain-centric Design (BcD) founders, Rich Carr and Kieran O’Mahony, PhD, in addition to 28 deep understanding vertical BcD sessions delivered online. A complete cognitive presentation utilizing the BcD framework must be developed, presented, and accepted for inclusion in the Neuroscience of Learning Academy for global distribution.

For more information about the BcID certification, visit CarrKnowledge.com

Carr Knowledge specializes in showing individuals & organizations how to innovate thinking for retention, depth, & understanding of any concept, presentation, or delivery of new information and is the developer of Brain-centric Design. Carr Knowledge and its allied BcIDs advance the Cognitive Culture to hypergrowth industry across all segments through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high cognitive standards of neuroscientific, psychologically safe, and professional practices.

The Most High-Value Work Is Cognitive

Sustainable unmatched performance gains are yours when there is cognition; the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

When what you present is seen as valuable to them, they listen.

You must apply creativity, critical thinking, and constant digital upskilling to solve complex problems. If you don’t, you’re done. The problem is, you’ve never been taught to think!

Suddenly, quicker than you can scream, “What’s all this cognitive talk…” you’ve been replaced with a bot, a robot, downsized, or replaced by somebody who knows how to think.

Think about it, wouldn’t you love to say that your last ________________
Chose as many that fit your need:
     Management Meeting
     Sales Presentation
     Child Lecture
had every single person in attendance – inhouse and online – engaged, collaborating, and thinking about that piece of knowledge you were presenting, and how it elevated their place in the world?

It’s not what you’re saying; it’s how you’re saying it.

In other words, you are presenting your information with a goal in mind. When that presentation transforms from the model you currently use (Present, then ask Questions or Test)

to a cognitive model (Facilitating uncovery delighting every brain with multiple mental abilities, including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision making, and attention)

it’s easier to see why 21st-century learning skills, those that are cognitive, are in high demand.

Get cognitive.