It’s no exaggeration to say that the human brain is an incredible organ.
With 86 billion neurons, and enough synaptic wiring to wrap around planet earth four times, it’s the most complex structure in the known universe.
But are you using yours to its full potential?
Or could increasing your understanding of it, and how it functions, help you operate at a much higher level?
In this series of talks, leading neuroscientists and psychologists, will share evidence based insights you can use to rewire your brain to work in a higher gear.
You’ll learn how these insights can help you maximise the potential of your own mind, and also how to help others do the same.
Everybody wants to get better at something. Some even aspire to elite level performance. Here’s the good news: psychology and neuroscience have worked out proven ways you can improve and reach elite levels of performance in your chosen field. Once you have a skill, the next thing to worry about is being able to do it under pressure. More good news: there’s also a science of how to perform optimally under pressure.
Now the bad news: there is no ‘neuro-magic pill’ to high level performance. The science will be useful to you, but only if you’re willing to apply what you learn.
Vincent Walsh is Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London. He leads the Applied Cognitive Neuroscience (ACN) research group which aims to use neuroscience to improve high performance in sport, high pressure decision making and advancing human brain stimulation in cognition and health.
For the past decade he has focused on applying his knowledge to the real world. In particular, he has taken a special interest in elite performance (working with football clubs, international rugby and Team GB squads, as well as businesses and the military), creativity (working with concert musicians, artists and business professionals), and sleep (working with sleepdeep, and focusing on sleep and learning, sleep and the menopause, and the role of sleep in learning and creativity). You can follow him on twitter @vinwalsh.
Your brain is constantly changing. Did you have much better memory as a child? Were you able to concentrate on reading a book for a long period of time whereas now you can barely finish a full article on the Internet? Do you tend to procrastinate and feel unable to stop no matter how hard you try? Were you once a much more optimistic person, but now you struggle to feel happy about your life?
These are just a few examples of how your brain changes based on what it experiences most often (scientists call this “activity-dependent brain plasticity”). In this talk, neuroscientist Dr. Gabija Toleikyte will explain the mechanisms underlying high performance, memory formation, attention and productivity. You’ll learn how you can use these insights to be more efficient and effective at work, boost your memory, overcome procrastination, and optimise your cognitive functioning to get more done with less effort and in less time.
Dr Gabija Toleikyte is a neuroscientist and business coach. She completed her PhD at the University College London on the neuronal basis of memory and navigation. During her PhD, Gabija acquired a business coach qualification and worked as an internal coach at UCL for senior academics and administrative staff.
Combining coaching experience with neuroscience insights allows Gabija to develop unique seminars, where solid neuroscience research is presented in the context of the topics relevant for individuals and organisations. You can keep up to date with Gabija’s work on her website: www.mybrainduringtheday.com.
Strong motivation has to be part of any formula for achieving what you want in life. In this talk, Dr Raj Persaud will reveal the surprising science at the heart of motivation that can take you across the finishing line – no matter where that might be. To be compelled by a forceful drive is vital for a life worth living. It’s the key tool you need for achieving your goals. But beyond that, above all its material benefits, motivation is advantageous because at a spiritual or transcendent level, it brings real meaning to our lives.
However, motivation also has a dark side that can drive us to the deepest despair in the face of disappointment. The clinically depressed and suicidal are often the casualties of failed aspiration. Dr Persaud will examine this issue in the talk, and suggest ways of avoiding the pitfalls associated with a strong sense of being impelled forward. The key is to be in charge of your motivation, rather than for it to be in control of you.
So, motivation is clearly a psychological conundrum because on the one hand it can take us towards what is most meaningful to us in life, but on the other, it can plunge us into the abyss of hopelessness when we encounter setbacks.
I contend in this talk that the answer to the conundrum won’t come from motivational gurus, but instead lies firmly in the scientific study of the psyche.
Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist who has worked at some of the leading teaching, research and clinical institutions in psychiatry in Europe and the USA, including; the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley NHS Hospitals in London, and the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. He is a fellow of The University College London, and has been a Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA and the Institute of Neurology at Queens Square.
Unusually for a psychiatrist, Dr Persaud also holds a degree in psychology has been awarded over 8 degrees and diplomas including a Masters in Statistics. He has been awarded the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Medal, The Maudsley Hospital’s Denis Hill Prize and the Osler Medal.
He is the author of several bestselling books, including ‘The Mind: A User’s Guide’, ‘Staying Sane’, and ‘The Motivated Mind’.You can keep up to date with Dr Persaud’s work on his website: www.drrajpersaud.com
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