Special thanks to Alex Lyda, UTD's Center for Vital Longevity, for this contribution.
Fifty students plus the five pillars of brain health equaled a stimulating morning for an inquisitive group of high school teenagers who recently visited the Brain Performance Institute (BPI) at the Center for BrainHealth.
AP Psychology students from ESD stopped by the BPI on a crisp mid-November morning to learn more about optimizing brain performance, the effects of stress on the brain, and the heart-mind connection that is so crucial to overall health. Dr. Lori Cook, Director of Clinical Research, shared those five pillars: neural health, cognitive health, psychological health, social health, and thriving real-life functions.
“How the heart and brain are connected and how the corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain is very interesting,” one student said. “And I can definitely relate to how stress can interfere with your cognitive processes, which I didn’t really know before.”
Stress and its effect of cognition was the topic of Research Associate Jessi Gould, who underscored that some level of stress can actually be good. The students learned about the “sweet spot” between stress and calm that can drive a person to higher levels of performance and achievement – something surely on the minds of these students as they enter college application season.