May 6, 2021
Lindsey Elmore Show
Lindsey Elmore

Dr. Michael Merzenich is the professor emeritus neuroscientist at the University of California San Francisco. He is also a co-founder, chairman and chief scientific officer of Posit Science, the makers of BrainHQ, an online brain exercises and assessments program. The BrainHQ app is used in more than 150 countries to help users improve their brain health.

Dr. Merzenich is credited with the seminal experiments that showed the brain is “plastic” – capable of chemical, physical and functional change – throughout life. Prior to his work, scientists believed the brain was only plastic during the development stage of childhood and then was destined to wear out over time.

He is also the first person to harness plasticity for human benefit with his co-invention of the cochlear implant which has restored hearing to hundreds of thousands of people with deafness for the past 30 years. He is the author and co-author of more than 100 science and medical journal articles and is on more than 100 patents. Dr. Merzenich has also helped to co-author several science and medical books for lay audiences. He wrote the book ‘Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life.’

Topics covered in this episode:

  •  What does it mean to have a “plastic” brain?
  • What are some of the bad habits that are causing the brain to age faster?
  • The positive effects of the outdoors and loving people.
  • Exercise your brain to speed it up.
  • What kind of brain exercises are in the BrainHQ app?
  • How the brain can change itself even in an illness like Autism.

Referenced in the episode:

  • ‘The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science’ by Norman Doidge
  • ‘Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by: Angela Duckworth
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda

For Dr. Merzenich’s BrainHQ app, head over to: