1 Medical Education Research Center, Education Development Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Medical Education Research Center, Education Development Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

3 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


INTRODUCTION: To design instructions in health sciences education, it is highly relevant to heed
the working memory and the approaches for managing cognitive load. In this article, we tried to
mention the implications of cognitive load theory (CLT) for optimizing teaching-learning in health
sciences education and discussing cognitive load from the perspective of cognitive neurosciences
as brain-aware medical education.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched databases of Pubmed, Proquest, SCOPUS, and ISI
Web of Science for relevant literature in September 1, 2018.
RESULTS: The 27 articles out of a total of 46 records, along with 23 papers from snowballing and
hand searching were included in this study. Main items encompassed; “Various types of cognitive
loads,” “Aim of cognitive load theory,” “Strategies to managing Cognitive Load,” “Cognitive Load Theory
in novice and experienced learners and “expertise reversal effect,” Medical and Health Sciences
Curriculums and Cognitive Load Theory,” “Challenges of Cognitive Load Theory.”
CONCLUSIONS: We discussed six important themes for CLT in health sciences education according
to the literature. Mental imagery (visualization) as one of the useful techniques to optimize germane
load was suggested, as it processes further gain access to neural circuits that are engaged in sensory,
motor, executive, and decision-making pathways in the brain.


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