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THE INC. LIFE

5 Innovative People Improving Brain Health and Performance

Discover how to improve your brain’s health and fitness.

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BY Matthew Jones - 19 Aug 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Beneath the drive for professional success is the desire for personal growth. This drive towards fulfillment that we all experience--in one form or another--motivates us to continue learning so that we can achieve our true potential. And one crucial part of continued growth is researching one of our most vital organs--the brain.

As a life coach and licensed therapist, one of the most important things I've learned is how malleable the brain is over time. Old theories imagined that after young adulthood our brains stopped growing and were resistant to change. Now, the rapid growth of neuroscience shows us that brain plasticity, or its ability to continue rewiring itself with new experience, continues throughout the lifetime.

One organization that aims to share important, unbiased knowledge about the brain is BrainFutures, who is hosting an international conference in Washington, D.C. this September 6th and 7th. This conference aims to provide information on brain science and brain health to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

Here are five BrainFutures presenters who are doing very cool science-backed things with the brain:

1. Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD.

Dr. Gazzaley is the founding director of Neuroscape, which is involved with bridging the gap between neuroscience and technology. Using video game treatments, Dr. Gazzaley and his team are advancing treatments for brain disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease.

Neuroscape is a state-of-the-art research site that studies brain-based therapies, with the goal of applying neuroscience to the real world--resulting in improved brain health and the ability to perform at our highest possible levels.

2. Michael Merzenich, PhD.

A leading pioneer in brain plasticity research, Dr. Merzenich is the brilliant mind behind BrainHQ. Using his 30 years of research in neurological science, BrainHQ is an online brain-training system that aims to create cognitive improvements based on unique brain workouts tailored to meet individual needs. Trust me, you'll want to hear this speech.

3. Bruce Wexler, MD.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard and then studying at the most prestigious institutes in psychiatry and neurology, Dr. Wexler is a world leader in using neuroplasticity to improve cognition through brain exercises. He created an integrated program of brain and body exercises to activate, develop, and strengthen the brain systems important for executive functions. In shorthand, Dr. Wexler's programs improve your brain's performance.

4. Naomi Steiner, MD.

Dr. Steiner not only brings her 20 years of experience working with families and patients with mental health challenges to the stage, but is also an international leader in the field of training attention through neurofeedback. She designed a program using biofeedback, neurofeedback, yoga, and relaxation exercises to help improve attention, increase self-awareness, and enhance lives. This focus on improving mental and physical wellbeing using current technologies has the potential to reach millions of people struggling with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.

5. Michelle Carlson, PhD.

Dr. Carlson pioneered the application of brain imaging to study the complex ways in which relationships and social interactions impact the brains of elderly individuals. She founded the Carlson Lab, which integrates functional neuroimaging and mobile technologies to design mobile applications. These applications, combined with innovative lifestyle approaches, aim to delay and prevent the onset of dementias using the brain's natural regenerative potentials--something of vital importance as age expectancy continues increasing.

As brain-based research continues its march towards innovation, the leaders on the forefront of that research and its practical applications, become of greater importance. Just as older perspectives on brain plasticity have been replaced by our modern understandings, the field of brain research will continue to evolve over time.

Learning more about how to improve the health and performance of your brain is one way you can experience greater personal growth and achieve your professional goals.

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