December 11, 2007

Neuroplasticity on PBS

A recent Mind Hacks post alerted me to the upcoming PBS series Brain Fitness Program, to be shown as part of the December 2007 pledge drive. From the PBS Press Release: "Dr. [Michael] Merzenich, of the University of California San Francisco, has been leading the effort to design the scientifically based set of brain exercises that are demonstrated in this program."

Alvaro, at the blog Sharp Brains, reports on this as well, and suggests that there will be a video available as part of the pledge drive, available for a $120 donation to PBS. I'm a member of PBS; I'm hoping the show will be available as a podcast as well.

(see the trailer from YouTube)

The PBS press release describes Merzenich's work:

"Dr. Michael Merzenich and his colleagues worked together to create a system for strengthening the brain and making it perform with more agility, speed and comprehension. The Brain Fitness Program is based on neuro-plasticity — the ability of the brain to change, adapt and even rewire itself. The brain remains highly malleable or 'plastic' throughout life, and by presenting the brain with the proper stimuli, scientists can drive beneficial physical and functional change. In the past two years, this global team of scientists has developed computer-based stimulus sets (or 'exercises') that drive beneficial changes in the brain. This methodology is being expanded to address auditory and visual processing and memory, dealing with complexity and the neurological basis for difficulties in hand movement, posture, balance and mobility."

For those in my tv viewing area, this will be shown on the afternoon of December 15, or you can check your local listings.

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