The Peanuts Teacher, Research Articles, and What Really Matters

A friend of mine finished his PhD as I was just getting started. He gave me a great piece of advice saying, “No one will ever be as excited about your research as you are.” He was right! And I’m so thankful he warned me. In fact, I’ve decided that not only are people not as excited as I am about my research but that they are not even excited AT ALL. But whyyyyyy???? How can something so ground-breaking and hope-filled not make you hang on every word in my description of the sample, the intervention, the advanced multivariate statistical procedures I use to determine efficacy, and the clear and undeniable discussion of the benefits, strengths, limitations, and implications for future research that I so painstakingly include in every single scientific article I publish? Why. doesn’t. that. excite. you?

“No one will ever be as excited about your research as you are.” Kevin Basik, PhD

When I talk about my research, I watch eyes glaze over as if I’m talking like the Peanuts teacher. I’ll say, “The mechanism of change in cognitive rehabilitation training is the concept of neuroplasticity and neural reassignment.” The person I’m sharing such information with appears to be hearing, “Waa waa wa waaa waa waaaaaa.” This is soooo cool. How can he NOT wanna hear more? What’s wrong with him?

Being the curious and determined scientist that I am, I begin dissecting the problem. I consider ALL the variables that might contribute to this quandary I have. Can it really be as simple as an unequal level of interest about my topic? If so, how can I balance the scale and increase the interest of my listener/reader? How can I make him love this as much as I do? (Because, well, shouldn’t he?) Think you have the answer? I don’t. I even tried Googling it. (Really, I did.) Nothing. Nada. Zilch. There is NO answer to this question. It just is what it is. No one will ever be as excited about your research are you are. Sigh.

But, in an a-ha! moment after wallowing in sorrow over not finding a solution I realized that what does leave an impression is the fact that you did the research, you published the research, and the world has a little bit more knowledge because of your research. And what’s more? In my work, we help people in our research. Not zebrafish or sea elegans or mice or monkeys. People. And those people don’t have to read the article to know the benefits. They live them. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. My work…not the article ABOUT my work…mattered. I can live with that.

From my brain to yours-

Dr. Amy

My Fox21 Interview: Another Brain Training Success Story

Check out my interview on Fox21’s Living Local.  An amazing brain training success story:
Jim suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a biking accident.  Eight years later, he found LearningRx brain training.  Along with Dr. Amy Moore, he shares his story this morning on Fox21’s Living Local. Link to story: Empower your brain with LearningRx

Train Your Brain, Transform Your Tomorrow

I recently gave a talk at the 2019 LearningRx Annual Convention to a wonderful group of brain trainers and LearningRx center owners from around the country. My message? Based on my research, I have learned a few important lessons about the conditions under which brain training is most effective. First, brain training has to be complex. Next, brain training must be intense. And third, brain training needs to be delivered by a human…not by a computer. Want to see my talk to learn more?

Video of my talk: Train Your Brain, Transform Your Tomorrow

Enjoy! Questions? Just ask!

Dr. Amy

Amy Lawson Moore, PhD
Cognitive & Educational Psychologist
Research Director at Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research

About Dr. Amy

Just Get Over It

Your Brain Needs Less Stress

A friend of mine struggled with childhood trauma for many years until one day her therapist said, “You need to get over it.” What? As a psychologist, my first reaction was to tell her to find a new therapist. You can’t dismiss a client’s trauma like that. What happened to validating her feelings? But she said something very profound that changed my mind in an instant. She said,

“I didn’t know you could do that. Just get over it. It had never crossed my mind that it was an option. Once he gave me permission to do it, I could. I’d had years of therapy and it was time. So, I got over it.”

Wow! What a game changer! The answer to stress management? Maybe. Will it be that simple for everyone? Maybe not. But it’s intriguing and hopeful. That’s a start.

I wrote the article below on the impact of stress on the brain last year for Modern Brain Journal. For those of you who need a scientific reason or two to convince you to get over all things stressful, read on…

Train your brain to get into college?

Open Letter to College Admission Offices:

The Contribution of Cognitive Training to Improved College Entrance Exam Performance

Research has shown us again and again that cognitive skills correlate with standardized math and language arts test scores, and that IQ scores are significant predictors of performance on college entrance exams. Thus, it is not only plausible but probable that strengthening the individual cognitive skills that comprise the composite IQ score can contribute to increased performance on standardized tests.  Cognitive skill deficits—especially deficits in working memory, processing speed, and executive functions—are common among struggling students.  Because cognitive skills are significant predictors of academic performance, interventions that remediate cognitive deficits are critical to maximizing a student’s academic success.  continue reading…

The ADHD Brain

I’m honored that Metro Learning Solutions featured our work on cognitive profiles in ADHD: http://www.metrolearningsolutions.com/the-adhd-brain/. What an exciting study. We examined IQ test results from more than 5000 people with ADHD to look for trends in cognitive strengths and weaknesses across age groups. What we found was that attention was NOT the weakest cognitive skills in any of the age groups! Instead, we found that working memory, long-term memory, and processing speed were consistently the lowest skills across the lifespan. Take a look:

As you can see, “attention” was right in the middle. So, what does that mean for clinicians? We are targeting the wrong problem with our mainstream ADHD treatments. We need to choose interventions that address the greatest deficits. (And perhaps reconsider the name of the disorder in the first place. Is it really a deficit in attention??) Check out cognitive training for ADHD and the research supporting it. More to come…

From my brain to yours-

Dr. Amy

Amy Lawson Moore, PhD
Cognitive & Educational Psychologist
Research Director at Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research

About Dr. Amy

Welcome to She’s Brainy!

Stop by often for insights, research updates, interviews, and tips on brain health, thinking, and learning!

This site is home to cognitive & educational psychologist Amy Lawson Moore, PhD (with an occasional contribution by clinical neuroscientist Christina Ledbetter, PhD). I share my research on brain training and assessment, other brain health research, and my thoughts and opinions on all things neuroscience, psychology, and education.

See what we do at: