Brain Training takes Center Stage at NATO Symposium on Human Performance

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES


ROME, Oct. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Merzenich will be the keynote speaker on brain plasticity at a NATO symposium on Applying Neuroscience to Performance, October 11th and 12th in Rome, Italy. Dr. Merzenich is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Science Officer of Posit Science, which makes the BrainHQ brain training app used by the military of some NATO members, such as the United States and Italy.

Dr. Merzenich is renowned among neuroscientists for his discovery that the brain remains “plastic” – capable of chemical, structural, and functional change – throughout life. He also is the first to have harnessed brain plasticity for human benefit, in his co-invention of the cochlear implant, which has restored hearing to 100,000s with deafness, and, in his pioneering work on plasticity-based computerized brain exercises, which have been shown to have broad impact on measures of human performance. For his work, Dr. Merzenich has received the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience (considered by many to be the greatest honor in his field), as well as numerous others awards. He may be best known in the United States for his nine specials on the brain on public television.

Dr. Merzenich will address the usefulness of brain exercises in improving both the health of the brain as an organ and in improving functional abilities – drawing from the hundreds of published studies on the benefits from the exercises and assessments he has helped develop.

Those benefits include gains in standard measures of cognition (attention, speed, memory, executive function, social cognition), in standard measures of quality of life (mood, confidence and control, health-related quality of life), in measures of chemical and structural brain health (connectivity, neuromodulation, mylineation, efficiency), and in real world activities (gait, balance, driving, everyday cognition, work).

Military applications of BrainHQ cross the spectrum from readiness to resilience to recovery. BrainHQ is being deployed in evaluating and preparing recruits, training servicemembers in the skills needed to excel in their jobs, training elite forces for peak performance, training and conditioning servicemembers for resilience, and assisting in recovery from injuries and clinical conditions.

“We have shown that virtually every brain can be made faster and more accurate,” said Dr. Merzenich, “and that means greater readiness for any task, greater resilience in the face of challenges, and more complete and faster recovery from the troubles that life can throw in your way.”

Hundreds of published studies of BrainHQ exercises have shown benefits across varied populations. BrainHQ is now offered, without charge to end-users, by employers in varied workplace settings; by leading health plans; and by clinics, libraries, and communities. Consumers can also try BrainHQ for free at http://www.brainhq.com.