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? This is our challenge.

Pilot Enrollment

Enrollment is now open for a pre-launch pilot, being conducted February-July 2020 with 200 generally healthy adults based in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The pilot will focus on participants who qualify for functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans. More information on what is involved with an fMRI is available on the Imaging Center page of our website under the FAQs tab. Please register for the pilot or to receive updates about the 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

Overview: Inside The BrainHealth Project


The BrainHealth Project™ undertakes the grandest challenge of our time: unlocking human potential by measurably improving the brain’s health and performance over the lifespan.

This is a bold, large-scale, multi-year endeavor led by a team of brain health experts and change-makers from leading universities across the country and abroad who have committed their life’s work to translating ground-breaking neuroscience discoveries into scalable solutions.

Join Us! Please sign up to receive updates about The BrainHealth Project™ and for more information about enrolling in the study.

Until very recently, it was thought that the brain’s structure and capacity were fixed and that one’s IQ was a true and permanent measure of cognitive capacity. But IQ does not test the upper limits of brain potential; further, it perpetuates an outdated idea of fixed ability, which is a major stumbling block to improving its performance. The BrainHealth Project™ will help overturn this misconception by rapidly translating recent scientific discoveries into widespread practice that will keep our brains healthier, stronger and longer lasting. We will galvanize a new generation of clinicians and scientists to focus on actualizing human potential rather than only diagnosing and managing brain disease and injury.


The brain’s frontal networks are the last to develop – undergoing rapid growth during the teen and young adult years. This period provides rich opportunities for advancement of frontal lobe reasoning, planning, social bonding and creative capacities, while also being an intensely vulnerable time for developing addictions, depression, anxiety, social isolation and poor judgment.

Our evidence shows it is possible to achieve better frontal network function, increased reasoning, greater innovation and more successful school performance with training, improving chances of thriving in a rapidly changing job market.


The frontal lobes are the most vulnerable brain areas to stress, brain injury and sleep disruption.

Our research with military, veterans, first responders and athletes shows that our proprietary Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) can strengthen and enhance frontal networks and help work around injury to rebuild lost functions, regardless of time since brain problems emerged.


The brain’s frontal lobes start declining in our early 40s, shortening the window of peak brain performance and affecting decision-making, speed of learning and mental efficiency. As a result, adults live out the last half of their lives with their brains in a state of decline.

Age-related decline in brain performance is NOT inevitable. It is possible to regain the neural efficiency of a younger brain, with all the wisdom of experience that age affords.

Our research shows that older adults can regain two decades or more of neural health of frontal networks, and those gains are linked to higherorder reasoning and innovation.

Established in 1999, the Center for BrainHealth® is a proud part of The University of Texas at Dallas, a top-tier research university. While others focus on medical and pharmaceutical treatments for disease and injury, our driving ethos is brain health and how to extend the quality of our longer lives.

Our team has grown to more than 125 researchers, clinicians and other experts. With more than 1,000 publications, our research continues to break boundaries.

In 2017, we opened the Brain Performance Institute™ to translate the science into public programs. We have shown more than 81,000 people how they can enhance their brain performance.

Our boldest initiative yet, The BrainHealth Project™, launches the largest ever multi-site endeavor for people everywhere to proactively achieve personal brain health.

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).
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Founder and Chief Director,
Center for BrainHealth; Dee
Wyly Distinguished University
Professor, Behavioral and Brain
Sciences at The University of
Texas at Dallas.
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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.
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Former Chief Executive
Officer of Kaplan, Inc.; former
Chairman and CEO of Turner
Corp.; Mayor of Dallas from
2007 to 2011.
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