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Brain and Hearing Pioneer, Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. to Speak at Case Western Reserve University
Date:10/16/2008

CLEVELAND, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University announced today that Dr. Michael Merzenich, one of the world's premier researchers on brain development will be the featured speaker at the semi-annual Allen and Constance Ford Distinguished Lectureship Series on November 4, 2008 in Cleveland. The program "A revolution in neuro-therapeutics: Brain plasticity-based strategies targeting neurological and psychiatric illness" is free and open to the public. Merzenich led the research team that developed the first commercial cochlear implant to restore hearing for the severely deaf and has more recently developed several software-based therapies for language disabled children and aged populations.

"Dr. Merzenich is perhaps the most recognizable figure in brain plasticity and how one develops competence through experience and learning," said Dominique M. Durand, Ph.D., Chairman of the lecture series and Elmer Lindseth Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. "It is through this applied learning that Dr. Merzenich has been able to work with not only the hearing-impaired, but also autistic children and others with cognitive learning disabilities."

"Through the use of our mind, we are able to train, shape and transition how our mind will work, how we will respond and how all of that becomes a part of us. In essence, our cognitive experiences become directly reflective of who we are," said Dr. Merzenich. "As we understand how the brain responds under a variety of circumstances, how we can more fully utilize our brain capacity, we begin to better understand how to help those with learning challenges and develop therapies that will enable us to overcome cognitive challenges."

Dr. Merzenich was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine and has received awards and prizes including the Ipsen Prize, Zulch Prize of the Max Planck Institute, Thomas Alva Edison Pa
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SOURCE Case Western Reserve University Department of BiomedicalEngineering
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