Dopamine: put this brain chemical to your advantage

Your brain communicates between nerve cells by way of chemical called “neurotransmitters”. There’s a lot of them and one very interesting one is called dopamine. There’s actually a whole dopamine system, the brain’s reward system, which functions as the engine of pleasure and motivation. When it is released in large amounts, it creates feelings of […]

Training the brain in sport and exercise: it’s not that complicated…

I just began the tenth leg of the Dallas Vertical Mile which involves running up the stairs of a 50-floor skyscraper twelve times in a row, non-stop (except for the elevator ride back down). It is 600 floors in total with a time limit of 2.5 hours. That’s right, 2.5 hours of maximal exertion. The […]

The role of the brain in physical performance…it’s more than you think

Anyone who has participated in an athletic event who was trying to seriously beat the other contestants knows of exercise fatigue, a.k.a. “hitting the wall” or “bonking”. Your legs feel like lead, you can’t breathe fast enough for your oxygen starved body and your heart feels like it’s going to explode. Is it the same […]

Practice makes perfect

I have been a student of the guitar since I was 14. You would think by now I could play like Jimi Hendrix but no surprise I’m not even close (or in the same universe as he).  To my defense I was never able to devote tons of time to practice, not that it would […]

Why aren’t I making more progress in therapy?

When a person has a brain injury or neurologic dysfunction, treatment needs to address the structures producing the motor dysfunction. Movement comes from the interaction of multiple systems including those related to sensation, cognition and motor planning.  Research that began in the 1930’s described two ways motor control can go awry: 1) the release of […]