Conference update — We’re so excited!!!

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The 4th Brain Development and Learning (BDL) Conference is only a little over 6 months away. It runs from  July 24-28 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, Canada. For more information about making reservations at the Westin Bayshore Hotel for the conference, click here. If you register before Feb. 15, you’ll receive the early bird discount and save enough for some great sightseeing and dining out when you get here!!

Below you’ll find a sample of ONE popular conference theme and subtopics together with some wonderful speakers who’ll be presenting on that theme. [Note: this is just ONE. You’ll find the others — both themes and speakers — in the conference brochure.]

  • Mind-Body Interrelations & Holistic Approaches to Health and Healing: that for good health, school success, and personal development it is critical to address ALL the aspects of a person — social, cultural, spiritual, cognitive, physical, and emotional.
  • Childhood Trauma: understanding its deep and diverse effects but especially how we can help children recover, prosper, and shine
  •  Maternal Depression: effects of a mother’s depression on her child and what to do about it
  •  Neuroplasticity: the brain is plastic; it changes throughout life based on what you do and experience
  • Epigenetics: most of your genes are turned off; experience affects ‘gene expression,’ that is, it affects which genes get turned on and when

Some of the Amazing Speakers who have agreed to speak at BDL 2013 on one or more of the above topics include:

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Past Conference Presenters: Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone

Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, the Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and the Director of the Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center.

At the 2008 BDL Conference he led a talk entitled “The Plastic Human Brain: Implications for Translational Neuroscience and Education”.  The presentation focused on the mechanisms of brain plasticity at the systems level as they relate to the acquisition of new skills and memories across the lifespan. He also discusses brain plasticity as a ‘double-edge sword’ with consequences that can be adaptive or maladaptive for the individual.  He introduces the concept of modulating or guiding plasticity to promote the optimal behavioral outcome for each individual, and discusses non-invasive brain stimulation methods as a means for guiding plasticity.

Below is a ten minute excerpt from his talk:

Past Conference Presenters: Dr. Sonia Lupien

The 2008 BDL Conference focused on stress and the prefrontal cortex. Dr. Sonia Lupien is at the forefront of research regarding stress.

Dr. Lupien is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at Douglas Hospital in Montreal, Canada. She leads the Laboratory of Human Stress Research that specializes in measuring the acute and chronic impact of stress hormones on learning and memory.

She led talk entitled “Shaping Who We Are: Effects of Stress on Cognitive Development” The presentation focused on summarizing the state of knowledge in the field of stress and its impact on brain development, the scientific definition of stress and the positive and negative effects of stress hormones on the human brain.

Results from studies performed in children and assessing stress hormones were also described as well as the model of allostatic load and how it can impact on child development. In the conclusion of the talk, Dr. Lupien explained the ‘DeStress for Success’ program that the Centre for Studies on Human Stress developed and which aims at educating children and teenagers about stress and its impact on learning and memory in order to give them the tools they need to grow up while managing the stress of their lives.

Below are two excerpts from her talk:

Here is a link to an article related to the talk.

Past Conference Presenters: Dr. Margaret Weiss

The BDL conference is characterized by high quality speaker presentations that are both informative and inspiring.  This blog will highlight some past talks and let you know what to expect from the speakers in 2010.

Dr. Margaret Weiss is a Clinical Full Professor at the University of British Columbia, the Director of Research for the Division of Child Psychiatry and the Director of the Provincial ADHD Program.

At the 2008 BDL Conference she led a talk entitled “Optimizing and Individualizing Treatment for ADHD”.  The presentation focused on defining the methodology of efficacy vs. effectiveness outcomes for ADHD, reviewing the literature on what we know about optimizing outcomes from an effectiveness point of view and identifying key areas in which the individualization of treatment is essential to optimizing outcome.

Below is a ten minute excerpt from her talk:

Here is a link to an article related to the talk.