Drs. Michael Merzenich and Paul Swingle presented six lectures at the live portion of the 2017 Super Brain Summit in March. I learned so many wonderful facts and ideas from them and the audience. One of the most intriguing concepts is our brain is certainly plastic and adaptable, but it can also be blastic. Dr. Merzenich talked about the blastic brain. When our brain is healthy and in the zone, flow or groove, we are much more receptive to brain health and brain growth.  Here are a few fun facts that I wanted to share with you from the Super Brain Summit to help our brains move in the direction of blasticity!  Most importantly we all need to train our brain to be efficient at every brainwave speed.  I have been teaching clients and students that we must be able to "have the right brainwave for the right task at the right time."  Dr. Merzenich suggested these eight steps for brain blasticity.

Lori Russell-Chapin
Source: Lori Russell-Chapin

1.  Calibrate yourself and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Ensure that your life goals are useful and interesting to you.

3. Create a holistic plan of action for your brain health.

4. Constantly recalibrate your goals and make necessary changes.

5. Take the Brain HQ assessment at brainhq.com to assist in the training.

6. Face up to life and practice.

7. Improve all of your brain systems.

8.  Train most to succeed, but mistakes are important too.

Here are several more fun facts from the lectures.

Presentations by Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD 

Lecture #1: A Practical Guide to Your Brain's Plasticity
There's been a revolution in brain science that provides us with a new understanding of the basis of origin of our unique individual personhoods. That science also helps us understand 'what goes wrong’ in an accounting for developmental or acquired neurological impairments, loss, and 'disease.’ We'll review this science on the path to considering some aspects of its practical importance for you and for human societies.

Fun Facts: Plasticity is bi-directional. We can train our brain to improve or degrade our abilities. Remember what wires together fires together, so we want to change our wiring for accuracy and fidelity; power and strength and complexity and richness.

Lecture #2: Managing Your Brain Health
We now know that the decline in performance abilities in 'normal aging' and in the progression of most neurological and psychiatric maladies is substantially a product of natural, progressive "negative" brain remodeling. New strategies have been developed to index - and, if necessary, improve - organic brain function and health.  We’ll learn how these strategies are expected to lead to a transformative "managed brain health" era for psychiatric and neurological medicine.

Fun Facts: The health of your brain impacts the health of your body. Work the brain for better processing speed, accuracy, and reliability of information. Rid your brain of excess chatter and noise such as lack of exercise, no engagement with life and relying on too much technology and GPS systems.

Lecture #3: Living Life to the Advantage of Your Brain!
How can you apply this new science of the brain to make the most out of YOUR life?   We'll discuss how you might think about better exploiting this great neurological gift - your 'plastic' brain - to better sustain brain health, and potentially, to grow or rejuvenate your personal brain power. 

Fun Facts: Negative learning powerfully contributes to functional decline such as looking down while walking. The goal of a healthy brain is safely knowing that you can deal with the unexpected. Always make your life goals, and make them interesting and useful.

Presentations by Dr. Paul G. Swingle, Ph.D.

Lecture #4: The Brain Tells Us Everything
Envisage that after about six minutes of recording you can tell clients why they came for treatment! The precision of the ClinicalQ (an EEG assessment calculated on a clinical database) is quite remarkable in identifying clinical conditions and some of the neurological as well as experiential causes. Once identified, neurotherapy (including neurofeedback and braindriving) is treatment of choice to treat the dysregulated brain activity. Therapies appropriate for treating the experiential factors are also discussed.

Fun Facts: Challenging the brain with new skills and ideas increases the low-frequency waves in the brain. Some of these predominantly low-frequency brain waves may cause depression, especially in the left pre-frontal cortex.

Lecture #5: When The ADHD Diagnosis is Wrong
The advantages of bottom-up rather than top-down diagnostic procedures are well illustrated in cases of children who are inattentive and struggling in school. Academically struggling children are routinely saddled with this wastebasket diagnosis and then treated (e.g., medicated) for the wrong condition. Children have attention difficulties for all sorts of reasons, some of which are, in fact, AD(H)D but most are not. The ClinicalQ rapid brain assessment precisely identifies the neurological conditions of AD(H)D as well as other causes of the child’s academic difficulties.

Fun Facts: Listen to what your brain is telling you.  We often try to self-soothe to calm symptoms. As an example children with ADHD will move around constantly to keep their theta waves down.

Lecture #6: Neurotherapy for Mood Disorders and Sequelae of Emotional Trauma
The data are quite sobering. Over fifty percent of children have been exposed to at least one Potentially Traumatizing Experience. About 1 in 6 adults takes psychotropic medication, and this number increases to over 25% with seniors. Neurotherapy is a treatment of choice for these conditions and has a very impressive record.

Fun Facts: All types of trauma will affect short-term memory and impact the brain’s ability to retain information. Trauma needs to be released through neurotherapy, braindriving, neurofeedback, counseling and even massages.

If you want to learn more, there is still time to register online for all recorded or individual sessions at www.bradley.edu/superbrainsummit

Each session is $50 including one CEU for each lecture.  All proceeds go to the Center for Collaborative Brain Research for future fMRI brain research. These sessions will be available through the end of April, 2017.  Each session has been word captured for easier viewing.  For additional questions, please contact Christy Haeffele at chaeffele@fsmail.bradley.edu

For information check out Bradley’s Online Master’s in Counseling.

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