Message From Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President And Scientific Director Of OBI

Your brain is always changing. It is constantly processing information from your body and making sense of the world around you. And in doing so, your brain itself is changing. In fact it continues changing throughout your lifetime. You experience this change with every new skill you learn, and every old memory you forget. Neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, is a primary driver of this change: cells are born then differentiate into a specific type of neuron, migrate to their destination in the brain, and then finally integrate into a new or existing network. As the new President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Brain Institute, I feel this is a fitting way to introduce myself to all of you. Continue reading “Message From Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President And Scientific Director Of OBI”

Turning Knowledge Into Action

Knowledge is an important resource that can be used to affect behaviour and cause positive change.  OBI’s Outreach initiatives focus on harnessing what we know to: tell stories, build community, connect evidence and care, and evaluate our work – all to make an impact on brain health in Ontario. Continue reading “Turning Knowledge Into Action”

Brain Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness

Facing the realities of a new life after experiencing a brain injury can be a source of struggle, pain, and a journey of self-discovery. Simple pleasures like playing with your children, making a delicious meal, or biking with a friend can be stripped away in an instant with injuries to the brain following motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and assaults.  June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada and the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) offers important services for the community including education, awareness, and support. Continue reading “Brain Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness”

Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI

Of all the mysteries in neuroscience, memory is among the most heavily researched.  There is an important distinction between semantic( basic general knowledge; e.g., Paris is the capital of France) and episodic, or personal, memories (tied to time, place, people; e.g., last Saturday night, my wife and I had a fantastic dinner of mushroom risotto at a restaurant near the market).  Because episodic memory is personal, it is the connection to our past, and who we are now.  But it is also a core to our vision of the future. And the more salient and emotional the memory, the more it becomes embedded in who we are. Continue reading “Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI”

Brain: The Ontario Story

This is the first thing you see as you enter ‘Brain: The Inside Story’ exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre. It is a metaphor— a reminder that your brain is constantly at work, sending signals through wiry fibres called axons that connect the 86 billion neurons and gives rise to everything you think, feel, and do. It is truly remarkable that the brain does so much, and this exhibition dives deep into how the brain senses, emotes, thinks, ages, and how emerging or existing technologies will change our brains in the 21st century. Continue reading “Brain: The Ontario Story”