This packet was created in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, which falls in March every year. Hosted by the Dana Foundation, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global campaign with the goal of increasing public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

Ever since I read Diane Ackerman’s ‘Ode to the Brain’ poem, I have had this sort of love affair with, as Diane called it, our “shiny mound of being.” The brain is our neural engine, and clearly, we can link its circuitry to our movements, our physical senses, and other behaviors, yet, also, the brain encapsulates our mind, which is such an abstract concept in comparison.

During my PhD, I focused on neuropsychology, and after that, I did a two-year neuropsychology postdoc. As a neuropsychologist, I am trained to parse out how our cognitive strengths and weaknesses possibly interplay with our emotional and physical functioning, as well as how they impact our relationships with ourselves and others.

In this packet my goal is to share the basics of our brain structure and function so that we can better understand the important ways we can keep our brain sharp for years to come. 

To brain – and self – awareness,

Dr. Jen/Jennifer Wolkin, PhD