Michael Merzenich, PhD

Professor of the School of Medicine
Otolaryngology Department
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Merzenich’s research interests have included the functional organization of the somatosensory and auditory nervous systems; the neurological bases of — and rules governing — learning-induced cortical plasticity; and the neurological origins of and remediation of developmental and acquired impairments in language, reading, memory, attention, cognitive control, and movement. His research teams have extensively modeled changes induced in the brain a) following brain injury and stroke; b) resulting from distorted experiential history leading to acquired impairments, psychotic illness and addiction; and c) contributing to pathological neurological regression in aging. All have been studied as platforms for developing brain plasticity-based medical therapeutics to treat those conditions in human populations. Dr. Merzenich led a research team that created a widely commercially applied cochlear implant (Advanced Bionics’ Symbion). In 1996, he co-founded Scientific Learning, a company dedicated to delivering remedial therapies to address language, reading, attention, and cognitive impairments in school age children. Its programs have been applied to help more than 5 million children. In 2002, he co-founded Posit Science, which produces and delivers computer-delivered therapies applied to help aging, psychiatrically-impaired, and brain-injured populations. In 2009, he co-founded the Brain Plasticity Institute, a research company focused on developing new treatment strategies for children and adults with severe neurological impairments.

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