Psychiatrist gives brain development presentation to joint faculty meeting

David Lim

Dr. Daniel Siegel gave a presentation to a joint faculty meeting Oct. 16 about the neuroscience behind learning.

The two-hour after school presentation, titled “The Impact of Education on Development of the Brain during Adolescence,” covered topics such as the “neuroplasticity of the human brain” and how to increase student attention, Director of Studies Elizabeth Resnick said.

A professor of clinical psychiatry at UCLA, Siegel has lectured frequently on what he calls “interpersonal neurobiology” at conferences such as TED  and Google University as well as for dignitaries such as Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama.

“I am very interested in continuing to learn and grow as an educator, and he offered many things for consideration, through few concrete ideas,” Resnick said. “There were certainly things he raised of which I was unaware, and that, to me, is the value of what he offered.”

Siegel founded and currently heads the Mindsight Institute.

His website describes the Midnight Institute as  “an educational organization which offers online learning and in-person lectures that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes.”

Science teacher Antonio Nassar was surprised by Siegel’s comments on neuroplasticity.

“I remember very well from [Siegel’s presentation] that you can get smarter as you get older throughout your entire life,” Nassar said. “Your brain does not go down the drain. It is constantly changing and developing.”