How Does Our Brain Learn New Information? from Scientific American is a fantastic short explanation of what happens to our brain when we learn something new. It’s probably the most accessible description I’ve read anywhere, and I’ll definitely be adding it to the lesson I teach students on the “brain is like a muscle.” You can find that lesson in my book and a shorter version on My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.
The only disappointment I had was that the Scientific American post said that if you bought access to the magazine I could see the rest of the article. I purchased it, but found that they had actually posted the entire piece online — there weren’t any additional sections published.