The public is invited to attend the sixth annual Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series.

Michael Merzenich

Michael Merzenich

Events will take place Monday, Sept. 22 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort by Hilton at 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

This year’s topic is “A New Path to Brain Health” presented by Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer of Posit Science Corporation in San Francisco and author of the acclaimed book Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life.

According to Dr. Merzenich, “Our brains are continually a work in progress.” This public event will feature his research, unique insights about the brain and exercises to help rejuvenate cognitive abilities and get started on a better, safer path to brain health.

From 6 to 7 p.m., Dr. Merzenich will give a presentation, and from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., he will participate in a panel discussion with local experts after dinner.

For nearly five decades, Dr. Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. In the late 1980s, he was on the team that invented the cochlear implant (a surgically implanted electronic device providing a sense of sound for someone profoundly deaf or severely hard-of -hearing).

In 1996, Dr. Merzenich was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corp., which markets and distributes software applying principles of brain plasticity to assist children with language learning and reading. He has published more than 150 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals (such as Science and Nature), received numerous awards and been granted nearly 100 patents. His work is often covered in the popular press and he appears extensively on television including four PBS specials.

Dr. Merzenich earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Portland and his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before becoming a professor at UC San Francisco and retired in 2007 to focus on writing and research.

Tickets for this special event series are now available for the presentation only for $25 per person/$15 per student and for the presentation, dinner and expert panel discussion for $250 per person. Tickets are available online by clicking here or by calling Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation at 805.569.8999 x82143.

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of the CRHF Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series is to share important information with the community about current topics and research and to advance understanding of medical rehabilitation.

— Laura Kath is a public relations coordinator for the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.