• New for 2012: Brain Coach Live for Schools Buddy Scheme

    I gave my inaugural Brain Coach Live talk at the Chilton Trinity Technology College in Somerset for students about to take their G.C.S.E’s in the 2010-2011 academic year and another for their teachers. The students went on to score the best results the school had ever produced. Clearly I cannot take sole responsible for this brilliant achievement – the lion’s share of the credit must, of course, go to the fanastic work of teaching staff and determination of their pupils, alike. That said, there is every reason to suspect that the hour of Brain Coaching I gave those 200 or so bright young minds may well have contributed to this record breaking performance in some small but fundamental way.

    “Dr Jack’s presentation was thought-provoking and engaging. With great clarity he reviewed the core functions of the brain and the implications for us as professional in terms of motivating student to learn. He provided both teaching and support staff with very useful, practical tips for engaging students and helping them “boost their brain power”.

    Dr Jack also ran a brilliant workshop for students who took on board the messages he gave them about how to learn, revise and generally get ready for their GCSEs in the most effective way. Feedback from students collecting their examination results in the Summer highlighted the impact he had had on their attitudes to learning and their preparation. Indeed, a number said that they had gone into the exams feeling much more confident about how to show what they knew. They were certainly inspired!”

    Understanding the hidden processes at work deep inside our brains as we acquire skills and learn a wide variety of information helps to motivate people, whether young or old, to stick to their guns for long enough to make a difference.

    Being able to visualise the very brain areas that are physically changed by the cumulative mental exertion across many hundreds of hours can really capture the imagination of young minds – making the imperceptible, and often frustratingly gradual, improvements that their efforts ultimately result in, much more tangible.

    A firm grasp of the key ingredients required to make a memory truly stick in the neural networks dedicated to storing and recalling information is captured by a variety of mnemonic techniques that make revision more fun, more effective and less of a grind.

    And the 10 Brain Optimisation Principles (BOPs) that top and tail every Brain Coach Live presentation provide hints and tips that help everyone in the audience keep their brain firing on all cyclinders each and every day, for the rest of their lives.

    On Tues 7th February 2012 I will be giving a Brain Coach Live talk at London’s Dulwich College as part of a new Buy One Get One Free Buddy Scheme (“BOGOF Buddy Scheme”) launched this year to enable all schools to get Brain Coach Live in front of their pupils.

    This  system simply allows any school who chooses to book a Brain Coach Live presentation at their school to elect another nearby school where the very same talk will be given for free. The concept is based on the idea that fee-paying schools, more likely to have funds for such extra-curricular activities, might cover costs both for themselves and a local non-fee paying school as a gesture of good will.

    Dulwich College have chosen Kingsdale Foundation as their Buddy School, which was featured in episode 2 of Channel 4’s “The Secret Life of Buildings” to showcase its innovative architecture. So I’m particularly glad to be giving a talk at Kingsdale so that I can see for myself how their innovative use of space helps the school to function better.

    Coincidentally, this was exactly the same episode which I contributed to by performing an EEG experiment in an open plan office to demonstrate how our brains are constantly processing the sensory distractions around us regardless of whether we are aware of it or not!

    If your school would like me to come and give this talk I would be more than happy to consider your application. To get in touch please email me by clicking here.

    If you wish to leave a comment below it would be happily received but you must also email me to let me know you have done this immediately afterwards. The reason for this is that I have lost the battle against the spambots. I currently have 15,000 comments waiting for approval and it simply takes too much time to go through them all to find the 1 in 200 that was actually generated by a real human being. So long as you email me to let me know what time your comment was posted I can identify and approve it straight away.

    In addition to these regular brainposts you can get my daily #braintweets, which draw attention to recent breakthroughs in brain science and related subjects, by following me on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Demonic Possession or Just Epilepsy? by Dr Jack

    Dramatic reconstructions of our ancestors' superstitious beliefs in a great new series

    This brain post has been written to complement a recent appearance on Tony Robinson’s brilliant new Channel 4 series. Monsters and Demons (watch now on 4OD) investigates our ancestors’ belief in the supernatural through a series of dramatic reconstuctions of recorded historical events. In episode 2 (Sat 3rd Dec 2011) Tony and I discussed how, in times before modern medical knowledge had figured out the facts and made them broadly available to all, certain forms of epileptic seizure could easily have been mistakenly attributed to evil spirits. In particular, temporal lobe epilepsy (these days better known as complex partial seizure disorder) can trigger vivid, sometimes deeply distressing hallucinations. Tonic-clonic seizures, a very common symptom of several different forms of epilepsy, often leads to involuntary production of grotesque-looking and often extremely powerful bodily contortions that, in times of old, could easily have been mistaken for possession by malevolent spirits .

    Hyperexcitability in vunerable brain areas produce synchronised pulses of electrical activity which can spread across the brain

    The human brain is a massively interconnected, intricately woven ball of cellular wires that under normal circumstances sends millions of electrical signals buzzing through billions of interconnected networks. For this to result in purposeful thought, perception and feeling, split second control over the rate at which electrical messages travel along each brain cell is required to allow orderly communication between different brain areas. During an epileptic seizure, powerful surges of electrical signals within a certain vulnerable part of the brain spontaneously begin to synchronise. A positive feedback loop quickly allows this epicentre of activity to force adjacent patches of brain tissue into the same dangerous rhythm. Very quickly this process of “kindling” can begin to overpowers the usual checks and balances inherent in the molecular design of synapses (the site of connection between one brain cell and the next) allowing the torrent of hyperexcitable activity to spread throughout the brain like wildfire.

    Jack Lewis explaining to Tony Robinson the similarities between the contortions of a possessed person and stages of a typical epileptic seizure

    Tony Robison’s brilliant new series explores how our ancestors might have come to believe in magic, Gods and Monsters. Up until a handful of decades ago medicine, and particularly brain medicine, was still riddled with misunderstanding and ignorance. Over the centuries our ancestors would have had little help from doctors when it came to understanding the bizarre and seemingly frightening array of human behaviours that we now know stem from diseases of the brain. And of course for much of mankind’s history, most normal everyday people did not have access to a proper doctor anyway. Instead the masses turned to whatever intellectual authority was available to them in their local community and whether shamans, soothsayers, vicars or priest mankind’s imagination filled in where it’s knowledge got blurry and they inevitably ended up getting sucked into supernatural explanations.

    The phenomenon of epilepsy has been recognised since the time of the Romans (and even before). For centuries it was known as the “falling sickness.” However the many different forms of epilepsy weren’t accurately defined until the 20th Century and so in all previous centuries the causes of many forms of epilepsy may well have been misdisagnosed. In the late 19th Century Yorkshireman John Hughlings Jackson finally put medicine on the right track in terms of understanding the true system of cause and effect in epilepsy describing it as a: “sudden, excessive and rapid discharge” of brain cells.

    The actress in the demonic possession scene was working from a particularly well-documented historical account and her performance had all the hallmarks of a tonic-clonic seizure. A few seconds of “tonic” stiffening of muscles, causing sudden rigidity throughout the whole body, which often yields a blood-curdling scream as air is forced out of the lungs, is quickly followed by a “clonic” phase where the muscles powerfully and repetitively contract and relax, producing grotesque movements of the face and body.

    In the tonic phase of a tonic-clonic seizure all the body's muscles contract simultaneously

    Clearly I jumped at the chance to work with a TV legend like Tony Robinson. Particularly as the project seemed to be taking such an ambitious approach to the age-old tradition of re-creating a story from the history books. Then again, perhaps this shouldn’t have come as such a surprise given his excellent pedigree in making various obscure aspects of history accessible to the widest possible audience. That said the last thing I expected to find myself doing that day was assisting a man (whom for a decade had been known to me only as Baldrick) dressed as a Catholic priest in a staged exorcism!

    The demoniac resists Rev Robinson's attempts to administer the holy potion

    My conclusion from this bizarre experience? I learned that it is much better to find yourself trying to cope with epilepsy in the 21st century. These days most diseases of the brain can be defined fairly rapidly and according to which illness is identified the best available treatments can be instigated – many of which are extremely effective. In the 16th century, however, rather than enabling people struggling with epileptic seizures to get it under control and to help them cope better, the religious authorities of the time opted instead for effectively torturing the afflicted with vile concoctions, toxic fumes and pain in a futile attempt to prise a non-existant demon out. With the benefit of heinsight it is easy to say this now. No doubt were I alive back then, in the absence of a better explanation, I may well have found myself sucked into all the religious fervour like everyone else.

    I would love to receive any comments you might wish to make on this post (see below). If you do choose to leave a comment would you please also click “contact” in the top right hand corner and send me a quick message so that I can make your comment visible. Spambots are now leaving so many fake comments that it has become too time consuming to pick through them all to find the genuine ones. Apologies for the extra step but I will definitely okay all comments made by actual human beings if you’d simply let me know straight after you’ve submitted. Thanks!

    In addition to these brainposts you can get my daily #braintweet by following me on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Dr Jack offers a little more neuro-informed date training

    MTV is the last place you’d expect to find a neuroscientist, right? Wrong! Tonight (Wed 16th Nov 2011) at 8pm GMT I make my second appearance on MTV’s Plain Jane. Yes, I know, it’s a makeover show. You may well be of the opinion that I should choose the series I contribute to better. And you might be right. However, in my defence I would say that, as my aim is to make neuroscience interesting and accessible to the widest possible audience, contributing to such a show allows me to reach people that are wholly unlikely to tune into anything vaguely scientific whether on the BBC, Channel 4, Sky or Discovery.  So I saw Plain Jane as an opportunity to raise the profile of neuroscience in the minds of a new audience and to offer my knowledge of dating behaviour that increases the chances of getting the brain of a young lady’s romantic target into the state we know as love.

    Tonight’s candidate, Jamie from Chicago, is a lovely girl with a big crush on a young man by the name of Adam. She lacks nothing but a bit of self-confidence and few fashion tips from Louise. As part of the preparation for her big date in Lake Como (lucky girl) we met in Spitalfield’s Market one windy Sunday last summer in trendy London’s favourite shopping/nightspot – Shoreditch.

    I set her the rather unusual challenge of offering unsuspecting passers by a hand massage to give her the opportunity to practice some flirting tactics. Sounds a bit odd admittedly but my thinking was this. Number 1: if she was physically holding onto them then they couldn’t get away until she was done with them. Number 2: physical contact between two humans causes the release of oxytocin in the brain.

    If you’re trying to get someone to fall in love with you oxytocin-release is what you’re after. It is a vital neurohormone for creating a social bond between two humans as it makes a person feel safe, happy and secure. There are many things you can do to increase release of oxytocin in a person brain: offer words of support when a person is scared or vulnerable, do someone a favour in their time of need – pretty much any altruistic gesture of support will do it. But physical contact is certainly one of the most potent ways to achieve this goal when standing in the middle of a pedestrianised shopping precinct.

    The other tip was to avoid typical topics of conversation that flit into a person’s head when they haven’t really thought about it: like what a person does for a living, what they had for breakfast etc. Of course, the aim of effective flirting is to excite the date not bore them to death.

    On the whole people love nothing more than to hear the sound of their own voice; ideally talking about themselves. So I encouraged her to give them ample opportunity to do so by steering them onto subject matters that are likely to boost their self-esteem. Using a simple mnemonic technique using the Palm of the hand, Thumb and Forefinger I suggested that she try and steer them into topics involving their Passions, Talents and Fantasies. That way the brain areas involved in creating feelings of excitement and pleasure should be maximally stimulated. The idea is to forge subconscious associations between being in your presence and positive emotional states to make them want more of the same.

    I have no idea whether she employed any of that advice in her luxurious date on the banks of Lake Como. Regardless, my main aim was that these neuro-informed brain tips would help viewers find romance in their real lives and realise that knowing how the brain works can be both interesting and come in useful from time to time. The very artificial and impersonal set up Jamie had to endure was always going to make her job of kindling love under the bright lights and watchful eye of cameras very difficult. My fingers are crossed that, despite the tough circumstances, she manages to get her guy tonight at 8pm GMT on MTV.

    In addition to these fortnightly brainposts you can get a daily #braintweet by following me on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Brain-Informed Flirting: Dr Jack’s Debut on MTV

    Dr Jack appears on MTV’s Plain Jane, 9pm, Wed 2nd Nov 2011

    On Tues 2nd November a beautifully shot episode of “Plain Jane” airs across Europe on MTV at 21.00 (GMT). British fashion journalist, Louise Roe, takes sweet but slightly awkward, inelegant young women and transforms them into confident, gorgeous divas.

    The aim: to hone their raw potential into a final product that enables them to win their secret crush.

    In a nutshell: Louise meets “Jane” who explains why she just can’t seem to make a good impression, they go shopping, “Jane” gets some expert date training, confronts phobias via adrenaline sport and then turns up to a lavish date in an exotic location to seduce her man – a man who has no idea who his date for the night will be. Sure, you’ve heard it all before, except that in this particular makeover show they’ve injected some brain science!

    Last summer, MTV invited me out to the beautiful alpine lake town of Montreaux (directly opposite the iconic mountains of Evian bottle fame) to provide a little brain-informed date training.

    Having a neuroscientist provide inspiration to a girl trying to get ahead in the love game may sound a bit odd, but at the end of the day it is the brain after all that produces the experience of love in the first place.

    The “Plain Jane” of this episode goes by the name of Sarah – a tomboy by day and a little bit too slutty by night. Her difficulty essentially boils down to the fact that she simply tries too hard and becomes clumsy when in the company of guys she really likes.

    Once her shopping trip to Geneva and morning at the local Swiss finishing school were successfully completed, I coached her with a few choice tips on how to get the best out of her brain when chatting with the hottest young gentlemen that the Swiss Alps had to offer.

    She was given the opportunity to practice putting this advice into action with a medley of men from the European brat pack in a beautiful hotel that looks out across the serene grace of Lake Geneva.

    Lake Geneva for a spot of brain-informed flirt training

    On a date, if one person perceives the other to be uncomfortable then that makes them feel uncomfortable too, setting up a downward spiral.

    However by thinking about the signals that your body language, tone of voice, enthusiasm with which you embrace certain topics of conversation sends out, an explosion of dopamine and serotonin can be triggered in the other person’s brain to make them feel comfortable and happy.

    I explained to Sarah the mechanisms at work in her brain that lead to her trying too hard to impress and the influence that this subsequently has on her date’s brain state. I spoke with her about how the adrenaline and cortisol release that can put a person on edge can also be harnessed to produce a spark of excitement. I explained ways in which she can wield the power of the oxytocin neurohormone that, when released in the brain, leads to feelings of trust, comfort and bonding; luring that man into her spell.

    How much of this ends up hitting the cutting room floor and how much into the final cut remains to be seen.  Either way I think that MTV deserves a little credit for being forward-thinking enough to employ a neuroscientist as one of their dating coaches in the first place! Personally I’m going to be watching on Wed at 9pm because I’m really keen to find out whether or not she got her guy. She was firing on all cylinders when I last saw her so I’m cautiously confident that it might just have gone her way. Plain Jane, 9pm, Wed 2nd Nov, MTV.

    In addition to these fortnightly brainposts you can also get my daily #braintweet – pearls of brain science that I distil into 140 characters – by following me on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Dr Jack’s Presenter Showreel (Click The Image)


    Showreel 2010

    A short film describing neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis’s first 3 years in television. As well as science consultancy for the Emmy award winning documentary “The Living Body” on National Geographic / Channel 4 and primetime quiz show Britain’s Best Brain on Channel 5, Jack has presented several TV series. His most recent roles do not feature in this showreel, but are described briefly in italics below. This showreel features highlights from Dr Jack’s broadcast output up to and including 2010:

    • Dr Jack co-presented a prime-time SkyOne series called Body Language Secrets (aired 2010-2011) exploring the themes of selling, attraction, winning, laughter, power, lying and money.
    • Jack’s first big break as a presenter came with People Watchers (aired 2008), a BBC2 series exploring the quirks of social psychology via a wide variety of different hidden camera experiments set throughout London.
    • In his role as the Face of Faraday 2008 Dr Jack presented 4 short films which aired on Teacher’s TV and were centred around the theme Technology for Life. These films were specifically created to be played during science lessons across the whole United Kingdom in an effort to encourage 12-16 year old pupils to pursue careers in STEM subjects (i.e. science, technology, engineering and maths.)
    • Jack hanging out with David Ginola and scenes from the modelling shoot were Naked Britain – another prime time SkyOne series that took a lighthearted look at British attitudes to nudity. Nothing to do with science, but a good opportunity to hone the old interviewing skills.

    [Coming soon: Dr Jack is now the resident neuroscientist on ITV1‘s flagship magazine show This Morning where he presents live monthly items for the brand new “Don’t Be A Slave To Your Brain” strand. Jack has also recently appeared in two Channel 4 documentaries presented respectively by Tom Dyckhoff (Secret Life of Buildings) and Tony Robinson (Superstition). THE TECH SHOW on Discovery Science is Jack’s first solo presenting gig to air across multiple continents; beaming out across Europe, Africa and the Middle East throughout 2011]

    Read more »
  • Health Benefits of Parks vs Anti-Social Behaviour by Dr Jack

    Dr Jack is on The One Show on Mon 1st Aug 2011 at 7pm

    What do green spaces (parks, fields, commons etc.) do to the human brain? Why do people drop litter? How does visible evidence of anti-social behaviour affect the way other people behave? How would people behave if those responsible for keeping one of London’s finest Royal Parks clean were to down tools for an entire weekend?

    All of these questions were asked of Dr Jack by The One Show reporter Justin Rowlatt in Hyde Park where the Keep Britain Tidy campaign ran an interesting experiment over the weekend to see how people would react if the rubbish they dropped was left to accumulate. This brainpost details some of the background to Dr Jack’s comments on The One Show (Mon 1st Aug, BBC1, 7pm).

    Spending time in green spaces reduces blood pressure, increases self-reported happiness ratings and even boosts self-confidence. And this is not just because being in clean and tidy natural environments encourages people to take exercise. Neither, it seems, do you have to actually be physically outdoors in these spaces to benefit from these life-enriching effects. Merely having a view over a natural green space is sufficient to influence the rate of healing and the perception of pain. In a famous Science study published in 1984 by Roger S. Ulrich, patients whose recovery room had either a view of a small copse of trees or a brown brick wall were compared, retrospectively, in terms of duration of their stay in hospital and strength of analgesia required to deal with the pain induced by gall bladder surgery performed in the same Pennsylvanian hospital. They found that on average those with the view of a green space spent on average one less day in hospital and required much fewer moderate or strong doses of pain killers compared to those with a view of the brick wall.

    Getting out in green spaces is good for your mood AND your health (image courtesy of Nuttakit)

    Numerous studies have been conducted since to try to establish what aspects of the natural environment have the strongest benefits to our wellbeing. Virgnia I Lohr, of Washington State University, describes studies suggesting that bright green colours synonymous with luscious vegetation make us feel happier than light greens and yellows that could indicate plant nutrient deficiencies. Furthermore not only does mood improve when we look at trees but we even have a preference for trees with spreading canopies over short and stubby bush like trees typically found in arid areas and tall / narrow trees typically found in areas of very high rainfall. The explanation Lohr offers for these preferences for bright greens and trees with spreading canopies is that such visual stimuli are indicative of conditions suitable for the proliferation of human life. In other words an innate appreciation of such visual characteristics conferred a survival advantage to early humans as they would have been attracted to environments with flourishing plantlife and thus food sources, whilst others would have perished in environments that were either too dry or to wet.

    Parks and open spaces are clearly very beneficial in terms of improving health and quality of life. However if it wasn’t for the armies of park staff who clean up after members of the public who routinely leave their litter behind, these green spaces would soon become the last place you would want to spend your spare time. The question is, why do people leave their litter behind for somebody else to clear up? All human behaviour is governed by predictions of reward and punishment. We are subconsciously guided towards behaviours that maximise rewards whilst minimising punishments.

    Will people keep Hyde Park tidy when the cleaning staff down their tools for a weekend?

    The pleasure pathways of the brain, in particular the nucleus accumbens, are involved in attaching a reward prediction to a certain course of action based on past experience. Drinking water when thirsty or eating food when hungry are examples of behaviours hardwired to produce powerful sensations of pleasure because they help to keep us alive. However the sense of pleasure that people get from putting rubbish in the bin is not innate, like drinking and eating, but instead it must be learned. Nonetheless, even in the absence of a sense of reward from putting rubbish in the bin, if littering is consistently punished then that too can steer people away from anti-social and towards pro-social behaviours. Whilst most parents are still apt to discipline their children for littering, which provides valuable experience of the punishments that follow such anti-social behaviour, parents aren’t always around. In the past adults felt at liberty to scold, or even physically punish, any child that they happened to see dropping litter, but in the modern climate of political correctness this is becoming a thing of the past. Young people no longer learn that punishment reliably follows the act of dropping litter and so their brains do not generate the sense of discomfort, anxiety or unease (generated by the anterior insula) that would precede acts of anti-social behaviour that they know through experience is likely to be punished. So in the absence of any negative emotions associated with the act of littering, nor positive emotions associated with the act of putting litter in the bin, rubbish ends up being lobbed around willy nilly, even when a bin is conveniently located just a few steps away.

    When children are brought up with a strong sense of social responsibility then in later life they may get sensations of what might be called “righteous” pleasure from doing the “right thing.” The point is that to get a feeling of satisfaction from performing pro-social behaviours you must have been trained over prolonged periods of time by parents, carers, teachers and/or peers in order to get a kick out of it. If society wants to encourage pro-social behaviours we’ve either got to praise young people more for putting litter in the bin, or make them very uncomfortable when they just drop it for someone else to deal with.

    A fascinating study, again from the journal Science (Keizer et al, 2008), indicates that evidence of other people’s antisocial behaviour can make others more likely to be antisocial themselves. This would suggest that the problem with litter goes beyond just rubbish on the streets and in our parks. In one of their experiments they demonstrated that environments in which anti-social behaviour was evident, e.g. litter strewn around on the pavement, graffitti sprayed on the walls or fire crackers set off in the background, not only makes people more likely to litter themselves, but also to commit more serious anti-social behaviours like theft. It seems that people modulate their own behaviour according to cues regarding the degree of anti-social behaviours committed by others.

    It is for this reason that Dr Jack predicted that whilst Hyde Park is pristine and clean people will be (slightly) more likely to put their rubbish in the bin. However as the rubbish builds up people will probably become more and more likely to leave their rubbish behind. Furthermore, based on the findings of Keizer and colleagues, the more the rubbish builds up, the more likely people will be to commit other forms of anti-social behaviour. To find out if Jack’s predictions were right, tune into BBC1 tonight at 7pm.

    In addition to these weekly brainposts you can follow Dr Jack’s daily #braintweet on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Dr Jack represented by Gordon Poole Speaker Agency

    Dr Jack's services as a motivational speaker can now be booked through leading speaker's bureau Gordon Poole

    Since the success of Dr Jack’s inaugural live speaking events in late 2010 and early 2011, he is now represented by Britain’s largest speaker bureau. The Gordon Poole Agency has been running for almost half a century and they represent most of the biggest names on the live speaking circuit. From celebrity after dinner speakers to business and motivational speakers, they provide corporate clients with a wide variety of options to choose from.

    Uniquely, Dr Jack’s live talks centre around revealing the mysteries of the most complex organ in the known universe – your brain. By casting light on the hidden mechanisms by which we perceive the world, communicate, think and decide, human behaviour is thrown into sharp relief. Understanding how the brain generates behaviour is extremely valuble to anyone trying to make a success of themselves in the business world. Understanding what makes others tick, how they make decisions and give away clues to what they are really thinking through subconsciously-orchestrated, subtle body language, really gives those privvy to this valuable knowledge the competitive edge.

    As businesses struggle to remain successful in an increasingly competitive and difficult marketplace, they have an unfortunate tendency to squeeze more and more out of their existing workforce.  The increased pressure and working hours elevate stress levels to a point where they can be debilitating to a person’s health and their productivity. Dr Jack’s Brain Coach Live talks provide the audience with a complete toolbox of brain tips and tricks that enable them to get the most out of their brains each and every day. This includes practical advice regarding how you can ensure your brain receives all the nourishment, rest and exercise it requires to operate at full potential throughout the day. Strategies to improve memory, alleviate stress, enhance communication skills and boost creative thinking are suggested and consolidated with an explanation of why these techniques enable our brains to work better. This helps employees rise to the challenge of the business world’s ever-moving goalposts, every single day.

    If you wish to book Dr Jack to speak at a conference, meeting or dinner please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gordon Poole to check his availability:

    Tel: 01275 463222
    Fax: 01275 462252

    E-Mail: agents@gordonpoole.com

    Gordon Poole Agency Ltd
    The Limes
    Brockley
    Bristol, BS48 3BB
    United Kingdom

    In addition to these weekly BrainPosts you can catch Dr Jack’s daily #braintweet by following him on Twitter.

    Read more »
  • Dr Jack Double Whammy on Mon 4th July

    On Monday 4th July Dr Jack will be back on This Morning between 10.30-12.30 (ITV1). If you’d like to recap on the memory tricks you can see his first contribution all over again by clicking here.

    Later on that evening at 20.00 the first episode of his new series “The Tech Show” is launched (Discovery Science), followed immediately afterwards by the second episode at 20.30.

    Dr Jack's 2nd appearance on THIS MORNING: Mon 4th July

    Monday’s item on This Morning will be all about decisions. Whether deciding what to have for lunch, what route to take to reach a destination, whether or not to resist the temptation to make that impulse purchase or the best way to avoid getting in trouble – all of us have to make literally hundreds of decisions every day.

    The problem is that our brains, having remained pretty much unchanged since the Stone Age, rarely make decisions that maximise long term returns. The default setting of the brain tends towards choosing quickly, based on gut feelings, about the currently available options. People often can’t be bothered to put the effort in to figure out what’s really the best choice in the long run. So we just go on our impulses and make up explanations that fit with the choice after the decision has been made.

    When hungry, stressed, excited or in a rush, people rely even more on hot, emotional, short-sighted desires to immediately get what we want. This is the state that supermarkets and other shops want you to be in so that you’re tempted by the seemingly great deals. Dr Jack will describe why the only way to make good decisions is to do it in a cold, far-sighted, rational state of mind where we can calmly consider only best option in light of what we really need in the long run. He will suggest a variety of strategies people can use to get themselves in this state of mind in order to SAVE YOU MONEY!

    Dr Jack's also on Discovery Science at 20.00, Mon 4th July

    Just a few hours later, at 20.00 over on Discovery Science, Dr Jack showcases some of the most fascinating, amazing and sometimes bizarre new inventions, discoveries and breakthroughs from the world of science, technology and engineering enterprise. “The Tech Show” will run as pairs of back-to-back half hour episodes at 20.00, and then again at 01.00, 09.00, 12.00, 15.00… so it will fit into your schedule no matter how busy you are. As you are flicking through the channels on your satellite or cable box over the summer, don’t forget to have a little scan through the Discovery channels to see if you can catch an episode. The tone of this particular series was specifically directed to be upbeat, friendly and lighthearted, so viewers should find it stimulating without becoming overwhelmed by too much boring “techie” information. This is a flagship show for Discovery and they have high hopes for it so fingers crossed many people will get stuck in and hopefully watch the whole series. That way there’s a chance that Dr Jack will be back on Discovery for another series in the not so distant future.

    If you’d like to follow Dr Jack’s daily #braintweets please click here.

    Read more »
  • Dr Jack’s Memory Clinic on ITV1’s THIS MORNING – Mon 13th June 2011

    Dr Jack will be MAKING YOUR BRAIN BETTER FOR LONGER live on ITV1’s THIS MORNING

    Dr Jack’s first appearance was on Mon 13th June covering the topic of how to improve your memory

    Over the summer I’ll be making a series of contributions to ITV’s THIS MORNING. The aim is to get the nation interested in how their brains work and ultimately to help YOU get the most out of YOUR brain. I’ll offer easy-to-follow advice on how to get your brain firing on all cylinders each and every day.

    I’ll be answering the questions that YOU want answered. Is your brain not what it used to be? Want to know what you can do about it? Bad with money? Ever wondered why you can’t kick your habits? Ever worry about your children’s development? You can either get in touch with your questions directly by clicking here, or get in touch with THIS MORNING via The Hub.

    Topics I’ll be covering in detail will range from money management to memory, from love to hate, from happiness to sorrow, and all the way from child development to holding onto your marbles in old age. You most definitely CAN teach an old dog new tricks and it is never too late to start getting more out of your brain!

    Each item will kick off with a discussion with Phillip Schofield and Co. on the sofa to explore ways in which they feel their own brains’ work well and not-so-well.  We’ll then be asking members of the public to participate in experiments live in the studio. And we’ll meet some extraordinary people who’ll either demonstrate some amazing abilities or some shocking disabilities. Each item will be packed with useful tips, nudges and strategies for optimising your brain function. So, each week, you’ll be able to put my advice to the test to see how it can benefit your life by boosting your brain power.

    Most people would agree that their memories are far from perfect. So, on Monday 13th June 2011, I’ll be showing you what part of your brain creates a MEMORY for people, places, facts and faces. I’ll be putting some members of the public through their paces to see how much information a noraml “working” memory can hold. You’ll even be able to join in the fun and play along at home. I’ll reveal a classic memory trick that is virtually guaranteed to boost anyone’s memory for lists of facts or any other kind of information you might need to remember.

    So tune into ITV1 from 10:30-12:30 and SORT YOUR BRAIN OUT!

    Academic credentials:

    • Jack has studied Brain Biology for nearly 20 years
    • Jack has a First Class batchelor’s degree in Neuroscience from The University Of Nottingham
    • Jack earned his PhD in the Laboratory of Neurobiology at University College London
    • Last year, Jack published a paper in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience describing human brain scanning experiments that investigated multisensory perception; carried out during a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
    • Despite Jack’s extensive knowledge about the human brain, he is NOT medically qualified and so will not be able to answer questions relating to medical care.
    Read more »
  • THE TECH SHOW on Discovery Science presented by Dr Jack

    On Friday nights at 8pm starting in July 2011 Dr Jack Lewis presents THE TECH SHOW on the Discovery Science channel. Here is the promotional video that Discovery will be running across Europe, Africa and the Middle East to pique people’s curiosity about this brand new flagship series:

    Across 26 half-hour episodes Jack takes viewers on a journey through some of the latest technological breakthroughs in engineering, science and biomedicine. We explore new developments in robotics, renewable energy and tornado physics. We encounter a wide variety of nutty inventors, hell-bent on creating the most bizarre water, land and air-borne vehicles the world has ever seen. We see how engineering can be guided by the latest biological research by getting to the bottom of how evolution has solved various threats to survival by giving certain creatures some uniquely brilliant abilities. And we even discover what neuroscience can learn from the art of magic!

    My personal favourites include the young American scientist who creates tornados in his garage, the crazy German pilot who can loop-the-loop in a helicopter and the ingenious lizard that can evade predators by burrowing into tightly packed sand in the blink of an eye by turning its body into a wave generator!

    Read more »