Profs and Pints Richmond presents: “Brain Sculpting,” a look at groundbreaking research on how to improve and extend cognitive abilities, with Kelly Lambert, professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Richmond and researcher of neuroplasticity.
Are our brains fixed or fluid? Join brain researcher Kelly Lambert for a fascinating talk in which she’ll provide evidence that our brains are plastic and we can change them, including in ways that stave off age-related cognitive impairment and neural disease.
She’ll discuss research on brain elasticity involving laboratory and wild rats, raccoons, and, most recently, the mouse lemurs of Madagascar. She’ll talk about how rats with brains enriched by challenges and stimulation become more prepared to take on new tasks such as driving rodent-operated vehicles. (Yes. Rats can be equipped with their own little cars and taught to drive them. You’re learning new things already!) Gaining mastery of a task has been observed leading to a sense of control and less stress in response to challenges, laying the groundwork for additional beneficial neuroplasticity.
Applying her experience-based neuroplasticity research to humans, Professor Lambert will discuss how enriched experiences that challenge our brains build neural reserves to protect against age-related declines in cognitive ability, confirming the phrase, “use it or lose it.” Offering an alternative to the pharmaceuticals that represent the most common approach to preventing and treating brain disease, she'll introduce the term “behaviorceutical” to discuss how varying behavioral experiences affect the neurochemical profiles associated with neural and mental well-being.
Your brain might end up better off in both the short- and long-term as a result of attending this talk by Dr. Lambert, an award-winning teacher and author of Well-Grounded: The Neurobiology of Rational Decisions and Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist's Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain's Healing Power. If nothing else, she’ll show you how we are accountable for our brains and can take steps on our own to remain intellectually active and engaged. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
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