Conference Selects Cognitive Control As Its Focus
UT Dallas BrainHealth Center Plays Integral Role in California Symposium
Mar. 8, 2011
The Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium, an annual research- and treatment-focused conference organized in part by UT Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth, will concentrate this year on cognitive control.
Scheduled for March 24, the event will take place at the University of California, Berkeley.
Researchers will present findings on the neurochemistry of the adaptive mind, the prefrontal cortex and memory, controlling the contents of our thoughts, the role of reward signals in different prefrontal regions, and cognitive and pharmacological therapies for deficits in cognitive control.
The Center for BrainHealth’s Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman will discuss reversing cognitive control deficits in healthy aging and brain injury. Chapman and her team have been studying the effects of Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) in various populations and have found that the program, which focuses on cognitive training in three areas – strategic attention, innovation and mental flexibility – has positive results regardless of age, injury or disease. SMART was developed at the Center for BrainHealth.
“What we have been able to see through our research is that not only does the SMART training program have positive effects in the areas of the brain that are targeted, but that there is a measurable spillover effect,” said Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center. “Our research has shown that the training improves brain function in areas that are not specifically targeted through the program, thus creating greater benefit in cognitive performance.”
Since 2003, the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas has organized an international symposium – first with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and now with The University of California, Berkeley – to present new discoveries and novel approaches to enhancing brain repair in humans.
“The goal of the Symposium is to bring together the most pioneering minds in neuroscience from both the research and medical fields to share the latest research and treatment options,” said Dr. Mark D’Esposito of the University of California, Berkeley.
The Symposium has featured some of the most distinguished neuroscientists and medical investigators in the country. This year’s keynote speaker will be Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award recipient Dr. Joaquin Fuster of the University of California, Los Angeles. The Award was created in 2010 to honor neuroscientists who have made tremendous breakthroughs in brain discoveries and are pioneers in the area of brain research.
Fuster is one of the leading scientists in the field of cognitive neuroscience. In 1971, he made the seminal discovery of “memory cells” in the frontal lobes, and since then has contributed greatly to the understanding of the frontal lobe function in behavior and cognition.
The Center for BrainHealth’s Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman will discuss reversing cognitive control deficits in healthy aging and brain injury.
Dr. Jacquelyn Gamino and other researchers at the Center for BrainHealth have been studying the effects of Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) in various populations.