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Dr. Barbara Sahakian from Cambridge University will be presenting: Good Brain Health, Cognition and Wellbeing.

Talk abstract:

Many people consider their physical health and regularly exercise and wear devices to count their steps, and to take other physiological measures. However, to realise our potential throughout our life and to ensure a flourishing society, it is important to focus on good brain health and wellbeing.  Environmental factors and our behaviour can improve our brains, cognition and mental health or detract from it. Our diet, our sleep and our social support systems are all key to improving brain health and cognition and reducing the risk of dementia. At the other end of the age spectrum, social connectedness with friends and early reading can be beneficial for brain structure, cognition and wellbeing in adolescence. One potential way to improve cognition is through cognitive training using games on iPads or mobile phones, which has been shown to be beneficial for attention, learning and memory in healthy people or patients with schizophrenia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or stroke.


Professor Barbara Sahakian is Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is a past president of the International Neuroethics Society and of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. According to Research.com she is one of the very top researchers worldwide in the fields of neuroscience and psychology.

She has over 550 publications in scientific journals, including Science, Nature and The Lancet. According to Google Scholar she has an h-index of 159. She has also been a leader in Government Policy on neuroscience and mental health, including on the UK Government Foresight Project on “Mental Capital and Wellbeing” and has spoken in Davos at the World Economic Forum in 2014.

She has co-authored two popular science books published by Oxford University Press “Bad Moves: How Decision Making Goes Wrong and the Ethics of Smart Drugs” and “Sex, Lies & Brain Scans”. “Sex, Lies & Brain Scans” won the British Psychological Society Popular Book Award. She regularly writes for The Conversation.

She is co-Inventor of the Cambridge Cognition CANTAB computerized cognitive tests which are used around the world and the PEAK Wizard Memory Game and Decoder Attention and Concentration Game. She is also co-inventor of the EMOTICOM computerized tests of social and emotional cognition.

Professor Sahakian holds PhD and DSc degrees from the University of Cambridge. She is also a Clinical Psychologist. She is a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

This talk will be in person (Rudy North Lecture Theatre) and also via Zoom.

Zoom details:

  • Open https://ubc.zoom.us/ and click on ‘Join a Meeting’.
  • Meeting ID: 91067 093313
  • Passcode: 093313


July 20, 2023
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Rudy North Lecture Theatre, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
2215 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3 Canada

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