The Center for BrainHealth’s annual February lecture series, The Brain: An Owner’s Guide, delivers groundbreaking brain health research from experts across the nation.
The 2019 Series featured an exciting lineup of talented researchers from across the country (recaps of each lecture below). Thank you to our fantastic speakers and to all who attended!
We are also deeply grateful to our presenting sponsor, The Container Store, for supporting the series for the 12th year in a row.
We hope to see everyone back in February 2020!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
The BUDHAGIRL Lecture
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 explained why habits are formed and how to tap into the mechanisms that encourage habitual behaviors in order to overcome destructive habits. He also showed how we can use these to build our natural capacity to become more self-aware, curious and kind.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019
Surprising Approaches to Boost Brain Power for You and Your Kids
Adele Diamond, PhD
Dr. Diamond’s talk focused on different approaches to improve thinking, reasoning, and self-control, such as computerized training, physical activity, and mindfulness. Attendees learned why the special properties of the dopamine system in the brain’s prefrontal cortex play such a central role in these cognitive functions, as well as the interrelated roles that stress, pride, hope, shame, and belonging play in one’s health and wellbeing.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2019
The Bank of Texas Lecture
Curing Dementia: From Basic Science to Global Health
Bruce Miller, MD
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. Dr. Miller spoke about the latest breakthroughs in frontotemporal dementia research and approaches to reduce the impact of dementia worldwide. In particular, he discussed the work of innovative collaborations between laboratory scientists and clinical scientists using tools from genetics, proteomics, and molecular imaging.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019
The Gratitude Fund Lecture
Virtual Reality: A New Window into Health and Clinical Treatment
Skip Rizzo, PhD
Clinical Virtual Reality (VR) 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.
Dr. Rizzo provided an overview of VR, including ways that it can be usefully applied in the pro-social area of healthcare. He also discussed the field’s current landscape relative to future developments on the horizon.