A group of Amarillo Police Department officers gathered at the Panhandle War Memorial Center on Wednesday to gain insight regarding bolstering focus, creativity and mental efficiency via enhanced cognitive performance. Officials said the endeavor is part of a two-day initiative offered by the Brain Performance Institute’s High Performance Cognitive Training program, under the umbrella of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health.

“This training is about teaching you how to improve your brain health by the way you use your brain every single day,” Katie Hinds, lead clinician at the Brain Performance Institute’s Warrior Initiative, said. “Similar to the manner in which we can improve our bodies through physical fitness, it’s important to do the same cognitively. We want to help you boost your cognitive abilities and put in the practice those habits that can help you capitalize on your brain’s untapped potential.”

Officials said the High Performance Cognitive Training program’s interactive sessions, which encourage dialogue, creative thinking and practical application, serve as a tool for law enforcement personnel who also have military experience. Strategic Attention, Innovative Reasoning and Innovation were among the primary points of emphasis during Wednesday’s program.

Strategic Attention focuses upon how to calibrate mental resources,” Hinds said. “It’s about recognizing every day we only have so many mental resources. So we have to determine how those resources are going to be dedicated daily. Meanwhile, Innovative Reasoning is the big picture thinking. It involves looking at things and not getting bogged down in the details.” She said Innovation is not just about ideas, but internal challenges and making daily improvements.

The Brain Performance Institute has been working with veterans and active duty military service members across the country, since 2013, officials said, educating them about brain health and equipping them with practical, tactical tools for improving brain performance.

After participating in BPI’s cognitive training, officials said the program has yielded improvements in decision-making, judgment, emotional management, focus and creative thinking. A by-product of improvements in those areas is reductions in symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression…

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