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Michael Merzenich, PhD

Michael Merzenich, PhD with BPI neuron sculpture in purple light. Distinguished BrainHealth Collaborator

Distinguished BrainHealth Collaborator

Dr. Michael Merzenich believes we can truly change how our society manages brain health. Novel, small-scale cognitive training programs have yielded exciting breakthroughs – showing it is possible to improve cognitive performance and real-world function in healthy adults as well as people with clinically significant cognitive disorders. The next step is to get this out of the laboratory and into the lives of people.

Key Research and Publications

A leading pioneer in brain plasticity research, Dr. Merzenich has published nearly 300 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous recognitions – including the Russ Prize, Ipsen Prize, Zülch Prize, Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, Purkinje Medal, and the Kavli Prize (one of the world’s top neuroscience honors). His work has been highlighted in hundreds of books about the brain, learning, rehabilitation and plasticity.

Michael Merzenich during an interview on the Kamla Show

Principles of Neuroplasticity-Based Rehabilitation

Neuroscientific foundations of brain plasticity-based training to restore brain health and advance neurological functionality in healthy and neurologically struggling populations.

Digital image recreation of a human brain glowing orange with white lines & dots connecting and surrounding it

Brain Plasticity-based Therapeutics

Strategies to address neurological impairments and to grow resilience in people at risk for a progression to psychiatric or neurological disorders.

A floating light bulb that has white smoke with a teal background.

Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life

Advances in neurological science providing a basis for a practical explanation about how to advance and sustain your brain powers and your organic brain health.

Blue 3D See Through Brain Image on Black Background

Cortical Plasticity: From Synapses to Maps

The neurological origins of brain plasticity, which results in individuated neurological specialization that accounts for our own special repertoire of mastered skills and abilities—our operational personhoods.

Illustration of a brain, icon.

Recovery of Functional and Structural Age-related Changes in the Rat Primary Auditory Cortex with Operant Training

The first demonstration that ALL aspects of our basic neurology are ‘plastic’ – designed to change positively or negatively – TOGETHER.

More Information

Dr. Michael Merzenich on Neuroplasticity

Dr. Michael Merzenich talks about neuroplasticity and the capacity of the brain to change no matter your age. Previously the thinking was that brains mature and the wiring is fixed for life, but that is not the case as Dr. Merzenich points out. “We each have a unique machine (brain) that is just made for us,“ shares Dr. Merzenich. It turns out that the human brain is not fixed for life. As he points out, the ability to change is a life-long process.

Mike Merzenich - What Makes Brains Conscious?

Everything we know, think and feel—everything!—comes from our brains. But consciousness, our private sense of inner awareness, remains a mystery. Brain activities—spiking of neuronal impulses, sloshing of neurochemicals—are not at all the same thing as sights, sounds, smells, emotions. How on earth can our inner experiences be explained in physical terms?

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