Meeting of the Minds

by Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin
College of Education and Health Sciences, Bradley University

The inaugural online Super Brain Summit, hosted by the Center for Collaborative Brain Research and Bradley University in April, showcased 13 international experts on the diverse wonders of the brain. Sharing emotional and physiological self-regulation skills that everyone can use to take charge of their own brain and body, the speakers volunteered their time, and all registration fees went to future brain health research studies. Sponsored by the Illinois Neurological Institute, Stens Corporation, Evoke Neuroscience, Neurotherapy Institute of Central Illinois and BCIA, here are some unique and fascinating ideas that I learned from the lectures:

  • Dr. Allen Ivey discussed seven therapeutic lifestyle changes to incorporate into our daily lives, citing that regular daily exercise may stop up to 30 percent of cancers.
  • Dr. John Ratey’s research shows how exercise regulates our emotions and optimizes the brain’s capacity for learning. One minute a day of high-intensity interval training improves the brain at a cellular level, while exercise enhances neuroplasticity and new neuron growth.
  • Dr. Oscar Goncalves illustrated how the obsessive-compulsive brain has structural and functional abnormalities in both the white and gray matter. OCD treatment should focus on the difficulties with cognitive flexibility.
  • Dr. Ted Chapin focused on the techniques and skills that individuals could practice for better emotional and physiological self-regulation. Establishing a better sleep regiment of eight or nine hours of sleep each night, for example, allows the microglial cells to rid the brain of toxins.
  • Dr. Stephen Porges emphasized that species survive through collaborative connectedness, with face-to-face bonding and interactions. One statistic cited that 25 percent of young adults text during sex. We must do more neuro-exercises that involve social bonding and engagement to create a safe environment.
  • Dr. Thom Field discussed how emotional memory from early childhood can impact our adult relationships. Under stress and trauma, the body’s master antioxidants are harmed, thus impacting our attachment styles. We typically seek out the pre-conscious patterns from early childhood, but with counseling, can often repair and develop a secondary attachment relationship. iBi

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