2 years ago
Shivani Sharma
Mercury Staff
Center for Brain Health
Courtesy

Brain performance institute makes research topic of interest

The groundbreaking of the Brain Performance Institute, a facility that will serve as the extension of the Center for Brain Health, took place on Oct.14.

The $33 million, 62,000-square-foot construction project will be finished in about two years and will be housed next to the Center’s current headquarters on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.

One of the main roles of the Brain Performance Institute is to connect the public with the research that takes place in the Center for Brain Health.

“(The goal) is to provide the evidence-based programs provided by the Center of Brain Health to the public,” said Eric Bennett, the executive director of the Brain Performance Institute.

“We want to be a leader in bringing research to the public’s awareness and for them to have access to it.”

Dee O’Neill-Warren, a senior clinician for the Center of BrainHealth and Brain Performance Institute, said that the Brain Performance Institute will have a unique role as a bridge between research and application.

“I’ve worked in neuroscience for fifteen years, and research and clinical application have always been two separate worlds,” she said. “Just the impact of those being together under the same umbrella is pretty groundbreaking.”

Bennett said this is especially important due to the rapidity with which brain research is expected to change. 

“There’s going to be so much new research that comes out on the brain in the next five to 10 years, and we want to be in the position to really make sure the public has access to it,” he said.

Through the awareness brought about by the Institute, authorities aim to make preventative brain health an important topic for individuals.

“You know your teeth get more attention than your brain,” Bennett said. “We want brain health to be part of the discussion of health. So that’s a big part of our mission.”

Features of the Institute will include cognitive brain training, cognitive brain assessments and an imaging suite.

The architecture of the Institute’s building is also unique.

“The ellipse (shape of the building atrium) represents the frontal lobe of your brain. Researchers here have determined that a strong frontal lobe is vital to overall brain health and brain recovery in case of injury,” Bennett said. “Since we do so much work that’s frontal lobe focused, we thought it was appropriate to have a building that has something symbolic of the shape of a frontal lobe.”

The building will be surrounded by large, glass pane windows and will also house an expansive entryway in its lobby.

Bennett affirmed that they planned the architecture of the building intentionally.

“Even though we have clinicians there, we don’t want it to feel like a clinic,” he said. “We want it to be a learning, empowering, inspiring environment so people walk in and feel that they’re in there to learn and improve, not to be treated.”