The Brain: An Owner’s Guide, the Center’s annual February lecture series, delivers groundbreaking brain health research from experts across the nation.

Please note: The pre-lecture reception from 6:15 – 7 PM will take place in the Brain Performance Institute’s Jane and Bud Smith Grand Lobby. The lectures will be in the Brain Performance Institute’s Ellipse and in the Center for BrainHealth’s Auditorium. Lectures will start at 7 PM and the doors will open at 6:15 PM.

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The Craving Mind: Why We Get Hooked and How to Hack our Minds to Break Bad Habits
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

We are all vulnerable to craving – whether it’s a compulsion to constantly check social media, binge eat, smoke, or other behaviors we may find ourselves uncontrollably repeating. Why are bad habits so hard to overcome? Do our own minds hold the key to conquer the cravings we know are unhealthy for us?

Using examples from clinical studies, Dr. Brewer will describe why habits are formed and how to tap into the mechanisms that encourage habitual behaviors in order to overcome them. He will also show how we can use these to build our natural capacities of awareness, kindness, and curiosity.


Surprising Approaches to Boost Brain Power for You and Your Kids
Adele Diamond, PhD

Explore ways to think outside the box and question some of the things you thought you knew about how to improve thinking, reasoning, or self-control. Learn why the special properties of the dopamine system in the prefrontal cortex play such a central role. Understand and see the whole person (mind and body, intellect and emotions) as fundamentally interrelated. Dr. Diamond will look at different approaches, such as computerized training, neurofeedback, physical activity, and mindfulness, as well as the roles of stress, pride, hope, shame, and belonging.

The Bank of Texas Lecture

Curing Dementia: From Basic Science to Global Health
Bruce Miller, PhD

Learn about the latest breakthroughs in frontotemporal dementia research and approaches to reduce the impact of dementia worldwide. While Alzheimer’s disease is common in older people, frontotemporal dementia is the most common cause of dementia in people under the age of 60. The search for reliable, specific biomarkers and treatments is urgently moving ahead through the work of innovative collaborations between laboratory scientists and clinical scientists using tools from genetics, proteomics, and molecular imaging. Bring your empathy, hope, and excitement to learn more about the frontal lobes and their essential role in human life.

The Gratitude Fund Lecture

Virtual Reality: A New Window into Health and Clinical Treatment
Skip Rizzo, PhD

Learn about Virtual Reality and the evolution of Clinical VR. It has produced encouraging results when applied to cognitive, psychological, motor, and functional impairments across a wide range of clinical health conditions. While there is still much research needed to advance the science, Clinical VR applications are set to become indispensable tools in the toolbox of healthcare researchers and practitioners.

This talk will be helpful for people who are just learning about VR and want to know how it can be usefully applied in the pro-social area of healthcare, beyond just gaming and entertainment applications. Experts in VR or healthcare will get an informed perspective on the state of the field moving into the future.