The piece linked above by Dooley on Forbes.com, How watching curling helps you sell better, explores the potential effects of ongoing attention to sales, brushing away obstacles, influencing the course of "the rock." Most importantly, however, it emphasizes the idea of constantly examining and influencing the behavior of your customers (your students.)
It sounds at first like that analogy flies in the face of empowering the learner and encouraging learner autonomy, let alone questionable manipulation . . . Not quite. It speaks more to instructor responsibility for doing as much as possible to facilitate the process, but especially the whole range of "influencing" behaviors that neuroscience is "rediscovering" for us, many times less explicit and only marginally out of learner awareness, such as room milieu, pacing, voice characteristics, timing and even . . . homework or engagement with the language outside of class.
Marketers, wedded to the new neuroscience (or pseudo-science) consultants, are way out ahead of us in some respects, far behind in others. What are some major "rocks" that you might better outmaneuver with astute, consistent micro-moves, staying ahead, brushing aside obstacles? One book you might consider "curling up with, with a grain of salt" is Dooley's Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing.