Research in adult cognitive neuroscience addresses the bidirectional relationship between attentional selection and prior knowledge gained from learning and experience. This research area is ready for integration with developmental cognitive neuroscience, in particular with educational neuroscience. We review one aspect of this research area, learning what to attend to, to propose a path of integration from highly controlled experiments based on developmental and adult cognitive theories to inform cognitive interventions for learners across the lifespan. In particular, we review the research program that we have developed over the last few years, describe the constraints that we have faced in integrating adult and developmental paradigms, and delineate suggested next steps to inform educational neuroscience in more applied ways. Our proposed path of integration transitions from basic to applied research, while also suggesting that input from education could inform new basic research avenues that may more likely yield outcomes meaningful for education.