Exercise Promotes Brain Plasticity (BSP 111)

John Ratey, MD
Click picture to hear interview

According to psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey the best way to improve brain plasticity is by exercise.  I spoke to him shortly after he published his best-seller Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008). He commented that even compared to drugs "Exercise is the champ."

Download BSP 111

Since then Dr. Ratey has been traveling the world promoting the value of exercise for people of all ages, but his main focus has been on young people and on trying to restore and invigorate physical education programs in the schools. In Spark he provided some of the preliminary evidence that vigorous exercise promotes better academic performance, but that evidence had continued to mount.

Besides improving academic performance regular exercise also helps over all mental health. Exercise is especially effective for problems like depression and ADHD. Our brains rely on a complex mixture of neuroactive chemicals (neurotransmitters, etc.), but since our understanding of these is still very primitive, treatment with drugs can be unpredictable. Dr. Ratey feels that medications can be an important part of treating problems like ADHD, but that exercise should be included as an essential element.

Of course, even those of us who don't struggle with mental illnes are concerned with keeping our brains healthy as we age. Here again Dr. Ratey argues that exercise is essential. He speculates that exercise tricks your brain "into thinking that you're younger and that you still need to grow, as opposed to being stationary and having atrophy occur." Also, when you keep on learning (new things) your brain continues to respond and build new pathways. This is very similar to what Dr. Michael Merzenich (one of the pioneers of brain plasticity) told us in BSP 105.

Dr. Ratey is working on a new book that will be an update on the science that has been done since Spark was published, but his 2008 interview remains one of my favorites. That's why I just released an updated version of this interview as BSP 111. 

How to get this episode:

References and Links

Related Episodes:

Announcements:

  • Reminder: The Brain Science Podcast mobile app is now FREE for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. Click here to learn more.

  • This is the first time I have reposted an older episode. I need listener suggestions about what other older episodes you would like me to share with new listeners.

  • Don't forget to check out my other podcast Books and Ideas.

  • Please share your feedback about this episode by sending email to brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com or going to the Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum at http://brainscienceforum.com. You can also post to our fan pages on Facebook or Google+.

Brain Plasticity with Michael Merzenich (BSP 105)

                              Michael Merzenich

                              Michael Merzenich

If you have read anything about brain plasticity you have seen the name Michael Merzenich. Dr. Merzenich is one of the pioneers in this field, having spent over 30 years documenting that the human brain (and that of other mammals) continues to change throughout life. I interviewed Dr. Merzenich several years ago (BSP 54), but the publication of his first book Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life gave us another opportunity to talk about how we can apply these discoveries in our daily lives.

According to Dr. Merzenich, "No matter how much you've struggled, no matter where you've been in your life, you're in charge of your life going forward.  And you have the capacity; you have the resources to change things for the better—always have that capacity.  And that's what the book is trying to emphasize. “ (BSP 105)

I found Soft-wired very compelling because it combines a clear explanation of the science with many stories about real people facing a wide variety of cognitive challenges. The overall tone of the book is very optimistic even though it also considers the way bad choices can contribute to cognitive decline. 

How to get this episode:

  • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)
  • Buy Transcript for $1.
  • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
  • The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

Related Episodes:

  • BSP 10: Introduction to Brain Plasticity.
  • BSP 17: Discussion of The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older by Elkhonon Goldberg.
  • BSP 28: Interview with Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself.
  • BSP 33: Interview with Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
  • BSP 54: Interview with Dr. Michael Merzenich, author of Soft-wired.
  • BSP 87: Interview with Dr. Pam Greenwood, co-author of Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind.

Further Reading:

2013 Neuroscience Highlights (BSP 104)

Ginger Campbell with Rusty and Greta

Ginger Campbell with Rusty and Greta

Its time for the Brain Science Podcast's seventh annual review episode. In 2013 we had the chance to talk with ten scientists, including three returning guests. We also celebrated our 100th episode and passed 5 million downloads.

BSP 104 is a review of some of the key ideas we explored in 2013. I also announced the launch of a new Premium Subscription program. Beginning around December 30 the twenty-five most recent episodes will remain free while the rest of the 100+ podcasts and transcripts will be available either by subscription or for individual purchase. 

Click here to learn more about our new Premium Content.

How to get this episode:

  • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)
  • Buy Transcript for $1.
  • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
  • The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

2013 Episodes and Books

Announcements

Send feedback to Dr. Campbell at brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com.

Brain Fitness with Alvaro Fernandez (BSP 100)

Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains

Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains

I have been using the SharpBrains website as a source of information and ideas since the early days of my Brain Science Podcast, so it seemed fitting to invite SharpBrains co-founder Alvaro Fernandez to be my guest for Episode 100.   We talked about the second edition of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age, which he co-authored with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg (BSP 18). The goal of this book is to give people from all backgrounds a practical guide for evaluating the current science and establishing their own "brain fitness" regimen, much in the way that each of us must choose a physical fitness that meets our individual needs and lifestyle.

Brain Fitness should not just be a concern for older people, it should become a key component of a healthy lifestyle at any age. The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness is a great first step.

How to get this episode:

 

  • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)
  • Buy Transcript for $1.
  • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
  • The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

Links and References: 

Celebrating BSP 100

To celebrate Episode 100 of the Brain Science Podcast I invited listeners to contribute audio to the show. I couldn't use everything, but I want to thank everyone who submitted content.  The following listeners are featured:  

  •  "I Got a Brain" Written and Performed by Dr. Jay Einhorn
  • Interview with Darryl Ferges
  • "Mindfire" (new theme music) by Tony Cotraccia
  • Audio comments:  Leon Mcgahee, MD., Eric Lindley, Julio Dantos, Hamish Kebb, and Adelia Moore, PhD
  • Email from Jana Johnson

Send Feedback to brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com. 

      "The Autistic Brain" by Temple Grandin (BSP 98)

       The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum  by Temple Grandin (with Richard Panek), is a tremendous gift, not just to patients and their families, but also to teachers, mentors, friends, and everyone who is interested in understanding how our brains make us who we are.

      I think that this is a book everyone should read because as we come to appreciate the fact that the strengths and challenges of autism occur across a broad spectrum, we may also realize that some of these issues actually affect people who aren't considered autistic.  It is not the label that matters.  What does matter is recognizing that each of us has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, but thanks to brain plasticity, we all have the potential to nurture our strengths and, when necessary, accommodate our weaknesses.

       

      How to get this episode:

      • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)
      • Buy Transcript for $1.
      • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
      • The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

      References and Related Episodes:

      Announcements: 

      • I am still trying to schedule an interview with Dr. Temple Grandin, but there is a possibility that the next episode of the Brain Science Podcast will not come out until August 2013.
      • The Deadline for listener submissions to Episode 100 is August 1, 2013.
      • Several products are not available directly on this website including the PDF version of Are You Sure? The Unconscious Origins of Certainty by Ginger Campbell, MD and a zip file contain BSP 1-10. Click here to learn more.
      • Be sure to sign up for the Brain Science Podcast Newsletter so that you can receive show notes automatically and NEVER miss a new episode. (But there was a glitch last month, so if you did not get the show notes for BSP 97, please click here.

      Neuroanthropolgy: What Is It and WHY Should You Care? (BSP 97)

      You may be tired of seeing the prefix "neuro" used to describe every new fad, but The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology [2012] edited by Daniel H. Lende and Greg Downey makes an impassioned argument for why neuroscience and anthropology should be working together to unravel the ongoing mystery of how our brains make us who we are.  The latest Brain Science Podcast  (BSP 97) is a thought-provoking conversation with Downey and Lende.  After explaining that anthropology can offer neuroscience field data about "brains in the wild," we explore two case studies that demonstrate the promise of this new partnership.

      How to get this episode:

      • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)
      • Buy Transcript for $1.
      • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
      • The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files

      Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast or listen on the BSP Mobile app.

      References and Links:

      Announcements:

      • he Brain Science Podcast is nearing episode 100! I want to include listener comments. Send your emails and mp3 files to brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com or click here to learn more.
      • The Brain Science Podcast Newsletter has moved to Mailchimp. Click here for the new sign-up form.
      • Please nominate the Brain Science Podcast as one of the best science podcasts on the web at http://www.thesciencestudio.org.
      • Keep an eye out for the latest BSP News!

      Brain Aging Research with Dr. Pamela Greenwood (BSP 87)

      greenwood.jpg

      Pamela Greenwood, PhD

      Nuturing the Older Brain and Mind, by Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuaman provides a comprehensive review of the current research in cognitive aging.  In the latest Brain Science Podcast (BSP 87)Dr. Greenwood explains that brain aging and cognitive aging are not the same thing; the typical brain changes that are associated with normal brain aging (such as shrinkage) are not reliable predictors of cognitive decline. Fortunately, even though normal brain aging is still not well understood, the discovery of brain plasticity is shifting the focus of research. Not only does brain plasticity offer new hope for people who suffer strokes and other brain injuries, it also suggests that life style choices influence cognitive function at all ages.

      Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind is intended for an academic audience but it is accessible to everyone. This month's interview with Dr. Greenwood (BSP 87) focuses on dispelling the most stubborn myths about brain aging. We also talk about the practical steps we can all take to help maintain our cognitive performance.

      How to get this episode:

      Related Episodes:

      • BSP 10: Introduction to Brain Plasticity.
      • BSP 26: Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science.
      • BSP 28: Edward Taub: applying brain plasticity to stroke rehabilitation.
      • BSP 68: Peter Whitehouse on dementia versus normal brain aging.

      References:

      • Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind, by Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman (2012).
      • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Doidge.
      • Greenwood, P. M. (2007) Functional Plasticity in Cognitive Aging: Review and Hypothesis. Neuropsychology  21(6) 657–673.
      • Greenwood, P. M., and Parashauraman, R. (2010) Neuronal and cognitive plasticity: A neurocognitive framework for ameliorating cognitive aging. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2: 150.
      • Gould, E. and Gross, C.G. (2002) Neurogenesis in adult mammals: Some progress and problems. Journal of Neuroscience 22 (3): 619-623.
      • Taub, E., Uswatte, G., and Elbert, T. (2002) New treatments in neurorehabilitation founded on basic research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3 (3): 228-236.
      • Grady, C. L., McIntosh, A.R., and Craik, F.I. (2003) Age-related differences in the functional connectivity of the hippocampus during memory encoding. Hippocampus 13 (5): 572-586.
      • Colcombe, S.J., A.F. Kramer, K.I. Erickson, P. Scalf, E. McAuley, N.J. Cohen, A. Webb, et al.,
      • Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2004. 101(9): p. 3316-21.
      • Hertzog, C., Kramer, A. F., Wilson, R. S. and Lindenberger, U. (2009) Enrichment effects on adult cognitive development: Can the functional capacity of older adults be preserved and enhanced? Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9 (1): 1-65.
      • Kramer, A.F., Larish, J. F.,  and Strayer, D. L. (1995) Training for attentional control in dual tasking settings: A comparison of young and older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 1: 50-76.
      • Nagamatsu, L.S., Handy, T. C., et. al. 2012. Resistance Training Promotes Cognitive and Functional Brain Plasticity in Seniors With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment.Archives of Internal Medicine 172 (8) 666-668.
      • Liu-Ambrosea, T.,  Nagamatsua, L.S., Vosse, M.W.,  Khanc, K.M., and. Handy, T. C. (2012) Resistance training and functional plasticity of the aging brain: a 12-month randomized controlled trial. Neurobiology of Aging 33: 1690 –1698.
      • Willis, S.L. et. al (2006) Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association 296 (23): 2805-2814.
      • For more references: see Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind and the free transcript of BSP 87.

      Announcements:

      Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD (BSP 79)

      Nicolelis-200.jpg

      Dr. Miguel Nicolelis

      iguel Nicolelis at Duke University is pioneering brain-machine interfaces.  In his book, Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines---and How It Will Change Our Lives, he puts his groundbreaking work into an historical context.  I discussed his book briefly in BSP 78, but I have now posted an in-depth interview.  The focus of our conversation is on why his work challenges longstanding assumptions about the primacy of the single neuron in brain function.

      How to get this episode:

      References:

      Announcements:

      David Eagleman on The Secret Lives of the Brain (BSP 75)

      Eagleman.jpg

      David Eagleman, PhD

      In his new book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brainneuroscientist, David Eagleman, describes consciousness as "the smallest player in the operations of the brain" (page 5) because most of what the brain does is outside conscious awareness (and control).  In a recent interview (BSP 75), Dr. Eagleman reviews some of the evidence for this startling position, as well as the implications both for the average person and for social policy.

      How to get this episode:

      References:

      Related Episodes of BSP:

      • BSP 13: Our first discussion of unconscious decisions.
      • BSP 15: Interview with Read Montague, PhD, author of Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions.
      • BSP 19: Review of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, by Gerd Gigerenzer.
      • BSP 42: Review of On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not, by Robert Burton.
      • BSP 43: Interview with Robert Burton, MD.

      Send me feedback at brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com.

      "Why Neuroscience Matters"

      Ginger_0197-crop.jpg

      On May 11, 2011 I gave a talk entitled "Why Neuroscience Matters" at the London Skeptics in the Pub.  Episode 42 of Books and Ideas is an edited version of that talk, including the lively Q and A with the audience.

      References

      From the Brain Science Podcast

      Announcements:

      • Dr. Campbell will be a speaker at The Amazing Meeting 9, which is coming up in Las Vegas, Nevada July 14-17.

      Please send your feedback to Dr. Campbell at gincampbel at mac dot com, or post a comment on the Facebook Fan Page.

      Don't forget to sign up for Ginger Campbell's Newsletter so you can get show notes for every podcast.

      Michael Merzenich Talks About Neuroplasticity (BSP 54)

      Brain Science Podcast #54 is an interview with Dr. Michael Merzenich, one of the pioneers of neuroplasticity.  We talk about how the success of the cochlear implant revealed unexpected plasticity in adult brains and about how brain plasticity can be tapped to improve a wide variety of problems including dyslexia, autism, damage from disease and injury.  Healthy people of all ages can also tap the resource of brain plasticity to help maintain and improve their mental functions.

      How to get this episode:

      Links and References

      Previous Episodes on Brain Plasticity

      Send email feedback to Ginger Campbell, MD at brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com

      "All in the Mind" Looks at Brain Plasticity

      Recently Natasha Mitchell did an excellent two-part All in the Mind  podcast about brain plasticity.  In Part 1, she interviewed Jeffrey Schwartz, MD and Norman Doidge, MD.  Dr. Schwartz is the author of The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, and Dr. Doidge wrote the recent bestseller,The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science.

      In Part 2, Mitchell interviews Dr. Doidge further.  One of the topics they explore is the "dark side" of plasticity.  Since neuroplasticity is a dynamic, competitive process, it is actually a factor in how we form our habits, both good and bad . This interview is an excellent follow-up to the interview Dr. Doidge did for the Brain Science Podcast back in Episode 26.

      You can listen to the podcasts and get transcripts at the All in the Mind website.

      From SharpBrains: Neurogenesis and Brain Plasiticity

      In her latest post for SharpBrains Laurie Bartels reviews some of the principles of brain plasticity.  One principle that she mentions that I think deserves more attention is the importance of learning new things.

      Adults may have a tendency to get set in their ways – I’ve been doing it this way for a long time and it works, so why change?  Turns out, though, that change can be a way to keep aging brains healthy.  At the April Learning & the Brain conference, the theme of which was neuroplasticity, I attended several sessions on adult learning. (Click here to read Laurie's post.)

      She goes on to review the highlights of the Learning and Brain Conference.  You can read the full post at: http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/08/07/neurogenesis-and-brain-plasticity-in-adult-brains/

      Edward Taub's Revolutionary Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation (BSP 28)

      taubpic.jpg

      Edward Taub, PhD, pioneer of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy

      Episode 28 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Dr. Edward Taub, who for the last 20+ years has been pioneering the use of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in the rehabilitation of stroke and other neurological disabilities.  I have talked about his work in previous episodes (including Episode 10 and Episode 26) as an important example of the practical implications of brain plasticity. 

      In this interview,  Dr. Taub shares his personal experiences in the front lines of clinical research, including both its rewards and frustrations.  He also explains the basics of how constraint-induced therapy (CI Therapy) works and how his work is being expanded to help patients with a wide variety of problems including cerebral palsy, head trauma, multiple sclerosis, and focal hand dystonia.

      How to get this episode:

      brainsciencestore.gif

      Links and References:

      Dr. Taub recommends that interested listeners do their own Google search under "constraint-induced movement therapy" or CI Therapy, but I have included a few links below:

      About Dr. Taub:

      Other Links:

      References:

      Year-end Review for 2007 (BSP 27)

      brainscience-logo1.jpg

      Episode 27 is a look back on the first 26 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast.

      I look back on some of the main topics that we have explored including memory, consciousness, emotions, decision-making, body maps, and plasticity.  Then I talk a little about what I hope to do in the covering year.  This episode is a little more personal than most, and will mainly be of interest to regular listeners.  It includes some ideas about how you can help the Brain Science Podcast grow and prosper.

      However, in preparing this episode, I went back over the past year's episodes, and I have prepared a list of all the episodes so far and the main topics.  This should help both new listeners and regulars to find episodes that pertain to particular topics.

      How to get this episode:

      brainsciencestore.gif

      Neuroplasticity with Dr. Norman Doidge (BSP 26)

      brainthatchangesitself.jpg

      Episode 26 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Dr. Norman Doidge, MD, author of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (2007).  Dr. Doidge and I agree that neuroplasticity is the most important discovery about the brain that has been made in several hundred years.  In his interview, Dr. Doidge talks about some of the obstacles that delayed this discovery including what he calls the "plastic paradox," which is the fact that plasticity itself can contribute to the development of rigid behaviors, including addictions and bad habits.

      The Brain That Changes Itself includes the work of the key scientists of neuroplasticity.  In my conversation with Dr. Doidge, we talked about the work of Paul Bach-y-Rita, Edward Taub, and VS Ramachandran.  Dr. Doidge also shared how his own work is being affected, and why he thinks neuroplasticity has the potential to lead to more important discoveries.

      I will be talking to Dr. Taub in Episode 28.  If you are new to the Brain Science Podcast, you may want to go back and listen to Episode 10, which is where I first introduced neuroplasticity in my discussion of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, by Sharon Begley.

      You can learn more about Dr. Doidge's work at his website: http://normandoidge.com

      How to get this episode:

      brainsciencestore.gif

      Sandra Blakeslee (BSP 23)

      sblackslee.jpg

      This episode is an interview with Sandra Blakeslee, co-author (with her son Matthew) of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps Help You Do (almost) Everything Better, which we discussed in Episode 21.

      How to get this episode:

      Show Notes

      I asked Blakeslee to tell me a little bit of her background as a science writer.  She wrote for the New York Times for many years and was the co-author of both Jeff Hawkins groundbreaking book, On Intelligenceand VS Ramachandran's modern classic Phantoms in the Brain (1998), which was one of the first books to explore neuroplasticity.

      In this interview, we explored the relationship between body maps and neuroplasticity, as well as questions from listeners about out of body experiences and other oddities once considered "paranormal."  We talked about how body maps are relevant to understanding why some methods of alternative healing appear to be effective.

      I asked her to tell me which scientist she met made the biggest impression.  Here are a few of those she mentioned:

      Blakeslee told me about some of the pioneering work that Merzenich is doing to apply his discoveries to help people, both those with disabilities and those who just want to combat aging.  You can learn more about his work at http://www.positscience.com/.

      If you would like to contact Sandra Blakeslee to give her feedback or ask her questions, she has a contact form on her books website at http://www.thebodyhasamindofitsown.com/.  She is going to let me know when she gets the references posted on the site.

      brainsciencestore.gif

      A review of "The Body Has a Mind of Its Own" (BSP 21)

      Featured in this episode: The Body has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better (2007), by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee.  (Also available on from Audible.com)

      How to get this episode:

      SHOW NOTES

      Topics:

      • Body maps and the role of embodiment.
      • Basic ideas about the body maps in the brain.
      • Mapping the world around us.
      • How body maps differ between species.
      • Body schema and body image.
      • The role of body maps in disease.
      • The role of belief in health and illness.
      • How body maps explain non-traditional healing methods and unusual experiences.
      • The role of motor imagery in improving motor skills.
      • Mirror Neurons and grid neurons in the hippocampus  (see more on Scholarpedia).
      • How sensation and emotions come together (the role of the insula).

      Scientists mentioned in the podcast:

      Other scientists mentioned in The Body has a Mind of Its Own:

      Note: This list is not exhaustive.  I know I left off VS Ramachandran and several others, but those listed above did work that was addressed, directly or indirectly, in my podcast.

      Brain Structures (links include diagrams of the brain):

      Author Sharon Begley Talks About Neuroplasticity

      Science writer, Sharon Begley, was interviewed about neuroplasticity. on the August 7 episode of Science Talk, the podcast from Scientific American.

      I discussed her book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, on Episode 10 of the Brain Science Podcast.

      Listen to Science Talk interview of Sharon Begley

      Listen to the Brain Science Podcast #10: Neuroplasticity

      You can also find more on neuroplasticity, including links to some of the scientists she mentions in her interview here.

      Interview with Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD (BSP 18)

      elkhonongoldberg.gif

      Episode 18 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD.

      Show Notes:

      • I apologize for the uneven sound quality of this episode.  If any one out there has any suggestions, please drop me an email.
      • Dr. Goldberg shared a little bit about the breadth of his work as a neuropsychologist.
      • We talked about his rather unique perspective on the difference between the right and left brain hemispheres.  He explained why he feels that as we get older we move from reliance on the right hemisphere, which he feels is the novelty hemisphere, to a reliance on the left hemisphere, where our lifetime store of patterns enables us to use pattern recognition as a short cut in problem solving.
      • We talked about the importance of constant mental challenge, and Dr. Goldberg gives his advice about how we can keep our brains healthy through out our lives.

      Links:

      The following are two companies that Dr. Goldberg is working with to provide information to the public and also tools for cognitive enhancement:

      • SharpBrains:  This is a clearing house for information, and they evaluate many of the products currently being offered.
      • HeadStrong Cognitive Fitness:  This Australian company offers a net-based program for cognitive enhancement based on Dr. Goldberg's research.  I am hoping to test their products in the near future.

      How to get this episode: