Super Brain Summit 2016

The inaugural online Super Brain Summit was hosted by the Center for Collaborative Brain Research and Bradley University, April 28-30, 2016. This live three day online video conferencing extravaganza showcased thirteen internationally known experts on many, diverse wonders of the brain. The speakers work in Australia, Mexico, Portugal and the United States. After the live portion of the Super Brain Summit, the recorded lectures are still available through May 20, 2016.

The major goal of the Super Brain Summit was to discuss and teach emotional and physiological self-regulation skills that everyone can use to take charge on our own brain and body. Each session topic focused on some aspect of intrinsic control to help in becoming the best we can be.

Each featured speaker shared a 40-minute session with a 20 minute Question and Answer period on individual areas of expertise ranging from peak performance to therapeutic life changes to treatment resistant depression techniques. During the live sessions, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of the experts. The lecturers volunteered their time, and all registration fees went to future brain health research studies.

Five organizations sponsored the Super Brain Summit: Illinois Neurological Institute, Stens Corporation, Evoke Neuroscience, Neurotherapy Institute of Central Illinois and BCIA. A special thank you to our sponsors and Bradley’s Continuing Education and Instructional Technology staff.

Here are 13 fascinating ideas that I learned from the lectures.

  1. Dr. Leslie Sherlin spoke about peak performance and suggested that we are all performers all the time. Learning how to calm the over aroused parts of us is essential to performing at our optimal levels.
  2. Dr. Allen Ivey discussed 7 valuable therapeutic lifestyle changes that every person needs to incorporate into daily living. One example was the importance of daily exercise citing that exercise may stop up to 30% of cancers.
  3. Dr. John Ratey’s research illustrates how exercise regulates our emotions and optimizes the brain’s capacity for learning. One minute of your daily exercise needs to be a high intensity interval training improving the microenvironments at a cellular level. Exercise enhances neuroplasticity and new neuronal growth.
  4. Dr. Laura Jones lectured about the influence of sex hormones on neurophysiological functioning and mental health. An incredible statistic about trauma and gender was that females are twice as likely to develop PTSD as men.
  5. Dr. Matthew Bambling from Australia lectured on treatment resistant depression. His research on nutraceuticals to enhance treatments was hopeful and fascinating. One suggestion was to include the natural compound of SAMe to help with inflammation and depression. He also suggested we all could benefit from eating more yogurt to help our microbiome.
  6. Dr. Oscar Goncalves from Portugal described his research on the obsessive compulsive brain. His brain imaging scans illustrated how the obsessive compulsive brain has structural and functional abnormalties in both the white and gray matter. OCD treatment needs to focus on the difficulties with cognitive flexibility.
  7. Dr. Ted Chapin focused on the many techniques and skills that each person could practice for better emotional and physiological self-regulation. One example was establishing better sleep hygiene of 8-9 hours of sleep each night. This allows the microglial cells to rid the brain of toxins.
  8. Physicist Douglas Dailey discussed our need for understanding life complexities especially in the areas of energy, mind and flow. Complexity evolves when differing systems come together. Sickness occurs when the complexity and flow diminishes.
  9. Dr. Stephen Porges emphasized that species survive through collaborative connectedness with face to face bonding and interactions. Therefore, put away your i-technologies or at least limit their usage. One statistics suggested that 25% of young adults are texting during sex. We must do more neuroexercises that involve social bonding and engagement to create a safe environment.
  10. Professor Ana Lilia Villafuertes Montiel from Mexico took us through an art history journey from the beginning of art/sculpture to modern day. The pictures illustrated how art is a universal language, helps with harmony and life balance and shares cultural knowledge. The art depicted higher-level thinking as the brain evolved over time.
  11. Dr. Thom Field discussed how emotional memory from early childhood impacts our adult relationships. Often under stress and trauma, glutathiones or glucocortisoid genes, the body’s master antioxidants are harmed. This, too, impacts our attachments styles. We tend to continue to seek out the pre-conscious patterns from early childhood. Counseling can often repair and develop a secondary attachment relationship.
  12. Dr. Frank Bourke shared his research with the Recall of Traumatic Memories reimaging technique. His team published a 2016 article in the Journal of Military, Veterans and Family Health describing a pilot study with male veterans that removed 90% of PTSD symptoms in less than 5 hours and without drugs.
  13. Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin discussed a pilot study with children diagnosed with ADHD using neurofeedback and fMRI. Results showed improvements of SMR amplitudes and activation of the default mode network after neurofeedback treatment.

Get ready for next year’s Super Brain Summit!