Mindfulness and Other Simple Neuroscience-Based Proposals to Promote the Learning Performance and Mental Health of Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Brain Sci. 2021 Apr 27;11(5):552. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11050552.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on education. The restrictions imposed have undoubtedly led to impairment of the psychological well-being of both teachers and students, and of the way they experience interpersonal relationships. As reported previously in the literature, adverse effects such as loneliness, anxiety, and stress have resulted in a decrease in the cognitive performance of school and higher education students. Therefore, the objective of this work is to present a general overview of the reported adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which may potentially influence the learning performance of students. Some neuroscientific findings related to memory and cognition, such as neuroplasticity and long-term potentiation, are also shown. We also discuss the positive effects of the practice of mindfulness, as well as other simple recommendations based on neuroscientific findings such as restful sleep, physical activity, and nutrition, which can act on memory and cognition. Finally, we propose some practical recommendations on how to achieve more effective student learning in the context of the pandemic. The aim of this review is to provide some assistance in this changing and uncertain situation in which we all find ourselves, and we hope that some of the information could serve as a starting point for hypotheses to be tested in educational research and their association with neuroscience.

Keywords: COVID-19; education; learning; mental health; neuroscience; stress.

Publication types

  • Review