The University of Queensland has launched a new open access research journal that will look at the neurobiology of learning.

UQ has partnered with Nature Publishing Group to launch Science of Learning, a journal that will look at what happens in the brain during learning, in experimental and regular educational environments.

UQ researcher Professor Pankaj Sah of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the new journal.

Professor Sah’s work centres on understanding the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in emotional processing, and he is Deputy Director (Research) at QBI, and Director of the Australian Research Council’s Science of Learning Research Centre (SLRC).

“The merger of neuroscience with education we are currently seeing has the same potential that the union of medical science had with biology in the health revolution of the last century,” Professor Sah says.

“These are exciting times for neuroscience, and the science is taking us from the molecular and cellular understanding of brain function all the way to the classroom, and the journal is about trying to understand not only how we learn, but how we can learn better.”

Despite record funding – $63.7 billion was invested in Australian schools over three years from 2009‑10 – educational outcomes have not improved, with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures showing that Australian educational results have slipped behind.

Professor Sah said that education needs to be treated like health, and the outcomes of new teaching strategies should be tested and evaluated before implementation in classrooms.

“You would never release a new drug to the market without it going through clinical trials, and likewise education methods should be properly tested,” he said.

The open access format of the journal means that all articles will be free to read upon publication, enabling greater reach to the wider community interested in this topic, from researchers to school teachers.

The journal is accessible here and is now open for submissions.