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The BrainHealth Project


The BrainHealth Project

How far and fast can the average healthy brain be transformed into a more fit and robust version of itself, with marked, lifelong improvements in productivity, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, achievement and well-being?

Pilot Phase Underway

A pilot phase is currently being conducted with youth (8-17 years old). To enroll, please have an adult provide information to qualify for participation.


Enrollment is closed for the adult pilot study. Sign up to receive upcoming enrollment opportunities for The BrainHealth Project.


Admiral (retired) and Mrs. William McRaven

We are on the cusp of a revolution that will empower people of all ages, everywhere, to take control of their own brain health, and we each have a role to play in making it a reality.

Admiral (ret.) and Mrs. William McRaven
National SpokespersonsRead Bio


Youth Pilot FAQs
A World-Class Team

What is unique about The BrainHealth Project?
The The BrainHealth Project™ is a landmark scientific study that will redefine our understanding of brain health and our lifelong ability to impact its fitness.

The BrainHealth Project’s bold goal is to achieve for brain health what has been accomplished for heart health – where every person knows steps to take to keep their brain working longer and stronger.

The Project is the largest, longitudinal and interventional endeavor to push new frontiers in the health of our brain. It seeks to:

    • DEFINE brain health: Translate the science of neuroplasticity to embrace the upward potential of the human mind, overcoming the outdated notion of fixed intelligence
    • MEASURE brain health: Create a standardized BrainHealth Index to characterize and track performance on personalized brain health fitness goals
    • ENHANCE/MAINTAIN/REGAIN brain health: Offer evidence-based trainings, self-paced game-like activities, and quarterly coaching to help you stay motivated and keep improving

Your participation will allow you to become a citizen scientist and uncover meaningful ways to make your brain as efficient and dependable as possible.

Who is leading the Project?
The Project is a large-scale scientific collaboration of scientists, educators and business leaders. The scientific collaborators represent some of the world’s most respected pioneers in the young field of brain health and related areas of expertise.

This initiative is led by Center for BrainHealth, a cognitive neuroscience research and translational science institute of The University of Texas at Dallas. BrainHealth researchers and clinicians focus on discovering and translating scientific breakthroughs about the brain’s capacity and potential to get stronger, work more efficiently and last longer.

I’m doing fine – I’m generally healthy. How would I benefit if I join the Project?
You are precisely the kind of participant the Project needs! Unlike most other studies related to the brain, The BrainHealth Project is focused on health and tapping into the brain’s ability to improve. Even high performers can increase their capacity and mental efficiency. You can be a trailblazer by taking action with a proactive approach to your brain’s health and fitness.

By joining the Project, you will learn the strategies and techniques that have been scientifically demonstrated to be effective – and you can apply them and benefit from them your whole life

We don’t wait until we have a mouth full of cavities to start brushing our teeth; we don’t wait until we get skin cancer to start applying sunscreen; we should not wait to experience cognitive decline before we start taking care of our brains.

How much time will this take? My days are already crammed.
The good news is that you don’t have to make more time in your day; adopting brain-healthy habits is about changing how you go about your day, being intentional about how you apply your mental effort.

Through the Project’s e-learning modules, you can learn strategies and techniques to adopt brain-healthy habits. Each module is typically about 10 minutes long. You will get periodic nudges and tips to help you practice along the way, with suggested activities that generally take less than five minutes each.

The extent to which you practice these brain-healthy techniques is entirely up to you!

How does it work?

  1. Create your online account
  2. Take the online assessments (a small percentage of participants will have additional services)
  3. Get your online BrainHealth Index, with a virtual feedback session with a trained clinician
  4. Start learning brain-healthy habits on the platform and practicing them in your day-to-day life
  5. Have periodic, virtual sessions with a trained coach to track progress toward individualized goals
  6. Get your next online BrainHealth Index, and start tracking your improvement over time
  7. Keep learning and practicing, and check in periodically with your coach through a video conference
  8. Proactively tend to your brain’s health and performance year by year and take advantage of continuous discoveries

The Project is currently in pilot phase testing. Sign up to be notified when enrollment expands.

I would do this if it helped my memory – does it?
Memory is a key aspect of our sense of self and a way we gauge our general well-being. It is also just one of many elements that make up our brain’s health.

The brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, full of dynamic connections. Taking care of its health and performance entails more than just bolstering its capacity for memory, but the good news is that the benefits you can gain from learning, practicing and adopting brain-healthy habits include memory!

I already do brain games and puzzles; how is this different?
Brain games and puzzles can have certain entertainment value, but very few of them are grounded in rigorous science.

The game-like activities that are part of The BrainHealth Project were created by a unique collaboration between scientists, clinicians, behavioral experts and gaming developers. They are unique in that they help you practice new brain-healthy habits that can have lifelong benefits for your brain’s ability to reason, problem-solve, innovate and adapt.

How will you use my data?
The privacy and security of participants’ data are extremely important to us. All information participants provide as part of this study will be protected and held in confidence, in accordance with the law and institutional regulation.

We stand to learn more than we ever have before about the intricate workings of the brain across different ages and demographics. The Project is a research study of landmark scale that will collect a treasure trove of data related to the brain’s health and function. These data will feed an untold number of research discoveries and motivate novel areas of study, which have the potential to advance cognitive neuroscience, brain health and related fields in transformative ways.

What devices and browsers are supported?
The BrainHealth Project was created to be delivered entirely online, to make it accessible to the largest number of people possible. You can access it on most cell phones (iPhone or Android), tablets, laptops and desktops.

For the best experience, we recommend the latest versions of these web browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge.

What do I do if I forget my password or have technical issues?
Please use the “Forgot Password” option in the log-in screen, or you may submit a request for help using our online chat tool (located in the bottom right of the sign-in screen or platform) or via this link: https://brainhealthproject.on.spiceworks.com/portal/tickets

What are the goals of the Youth BrainHealth Project pilot study?
Youth/adolescent participants will be part of the Youth BrainHealth Project™, a landmark scientific study that will redefine our understanding of brain health and our lifelong ability to impact its fitness.

The Youth BrainHealth Project pilot study will inform and fine-tune the assessment protocols and follow-up procedures that will be used in the larger Youth BrainHealth Project. The 100 participants chosen for the pilot study will be given the first opportunity to opt in to the larger study that offers additional features such as training to enhance brain health and performance.

Why join the pilot?

  1. Become a citizen scientist, accelerating further discovery about the brain’s ability to change, adapt and get stronger over time.
  2. To be a founding participant in the longest and largest-ever study to measure human cognitive capacity, which will enroll 120,000 people (20,000 of which will be youth/adolescents), measure, train and track their brain performance over time.

What ages qualify for the pilot study?
The pilot study is designed for youth ages 8-17. 

What is involved, and how long does the pilot last?
The Youth BrainHealth Project pilot will be conducted entirely online. It involves a cognitive assessment to be completed by the youth participant, as well as questionnaires that address social interaction, well-being and daily life – to be completed by the youth participant as well as their parents. Specifically:

  • Day 1: A cognitive assessment that takes 45 minutes to complete, plus breaks
  • Days 2-5: A 30-minute questionnaire each day
  • As part of the pilot, we are testing the possible inclusion of complementary measures called ACE Explorer and Activate. Participants who are invited to complete ACE or Activate will have a few additional system requirements and instructions, which are listed here.
  • 4-6 weeks later: a second round of assessments and questionnaires 

What is the Youth BrainHealth Index (Y-BHI)?
The BrainHealth Index is a multi-faceted, science-backed snapshot of your brain’s performance across a variety of domains (cognitive, daily life, well-being, and social interactions). Delivered online, it is intended to be taken at regular intervals in order to measure and track performance over time. The information garnered from the BHI allows you to identify key areas to tend to proactively, with the goal of increasing and extending your brain’s health and peak performance.

The assessments that make up the BHI are scientifically validated measures developed by Center for BrainHealth researchers and clinicians, as well as other established metrics of the brain’s functioning and capacity.

The Youth BrainHealth Index addresses the same brain health components as the Adult version:  Cognition, Well-being, Daily Life, and Social Interaction. Many of the same measures are included, with age-appropriate versions or modifications included when necessary. See above for details.

What online considerations are made for youth?
All participants in this study are minors. Therefore, all communication – including study participation consent forms – will be directed to the parent or guardian’s email address. Parents or legal guardians are asked to forward the emails with assessments and questionnaires to their youth participant for completion.

What devices and browsers are supported?
The assessments and questionnaires can be accessed on most tablets, laptops and desktops (the Youth BrainHealth Index is not compatible with mobile phones).

The latest version of Chrome is the suggested web browser and will provide the best experience.

What do I do if I forget my password or have technical issues?
Please email youthbrainhealthproject@utdallas.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Established in 1999, the Center for BrainHealth® is a proud part of The University of Texas at Dallas, a top-tier research university. Our driving ethos is discovering and translating scientific breakthroughs into practical strategies that increase brain health and performance in meaningful ways.


The BrainHealth team has grown to more than 125 researchers, clinicians and other experts. With more than 1,000 publications, our research continues to break boundaries. And we have reached close to 100,000 people to date with programs and trainings that teach strategies to build the brain’s capacity, strengthen resilience and enhance performance.


The BrainHealth Project™ launches the largest ever endeavor for people everywhere to proactively extend their brain’s potential. Grounded in science, the Project is a collaboration of the world’s leading experts in brain health (see collaborators).


US Army Colonel (ret.)
Professor and physician,
Johns Hopkins; Professor of
Uniformed Services
University of Health Sciences;
Founding Director, Biological
Technologies Office at
Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA).
Read Bio
Founder and Chief Director,
Center for BrainHealth; Dee
Wyly Distinguished University
Professor, Behavioral and Brain
Sciences at The University of
Texas at Dallas.
Read Bio
T. Boone Pickens
Distinguished Scientist,
Center for BrainHealth; Co-
Director, Global Brain Health
Institute; Professor Emeritus,
Trinity College Dublin and
founding director of its
Institute of Neuroscience.
Read Bio
Former Chief Executive
Officer of Kaplan, Inc.; former
Chairman and CEO of Turner
Corp.; Mayor of Dallas from
2007 to 2011.
Read Bio