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INSPIRE #328: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Help You & Those with Brain Injuries!

Dr.Clark Elliott, PhD, shares his journey from traumatic brain injury to perfect brain health!

Listen to the podcast below!




If you’ve ever had a head injury, concussion, learning disability such as ADHD, or know someone who does, then do we have the concussive show for you.

Today, I’ll be talking with Clark Elliott, PhD, brilliant artificial intelligence researcher and professor, and the author of an incredibly powerful book, and perhaps one of my most important reads of the last year, maybe of ever… The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back.

And that’s just what we’ll talk about today, about head injuries and what that really means, and how we can get our lives back, or our minds back, after we’ve suffered one…even after many years or misdiagnoses later.

That plus we’ll talk about the dangers of follow mode, the importance of knowing you don’t have a dog, why a toddler’s first words may have been, “Do it myself, do it myself.” Why Clark is the man who never gives up, ever, ever, ever, ever, the danger of scanner beeps, and when you should never ever ride a roller coaster.

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Clark Elliott, Depaul University, PhD, has been a professor of Artificial Intelligence at DePaul University for twenty-seven years. In 1999, he suffered a concussion when his car was rear-ended. Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day. At times he couldn’t walk across a room, or even name his five children. Doctors told him he would never fully recover. After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a single parent, finally became more than he could manage. As a result of one final effort to recover, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians—one an optometrist emphasizing neurodevelopmental techniques, the other a cognitive psychologist—working on the leading edge of brain plasticity. Within weeks the ghost of who he had been started to re-emerge.

Remarkably, Elliott kept detailed notes throughout his experience, from the moment of impact to the final stages of his recovery, astounding documentation that is the basis of this fascinating book. The Ghost in My Brain gives hope to the millions who suffer from head injuries each year, and provides a unique and informative window into the world’s most complex computational device: the human brain


Clark Elliott, PhD Online: Website 

Reader’s Comments:

Key Topics:

  • How running has helped his healing.
  • What were things looking like prior to September 1999
  • How he taught Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Sciences at DePaul University in Chicago
  • What was the accident that injured his brain
  • Why he had such difficulty getting a proper diagnosis
  • What happens when his brain fatigues.
  • What are the three main batteries for the brain
  • Why he put his head injury notes of brain thoughts into the book.
  • How Clark Elliott had become spiritual, and what happened once he had a head injury
  • What does The Ghost in My Brain mean, and who or what was the ghost?
  • A big shout out to Donna Lee and Deborah Zelinsky for Clark Elliot’s healing
  • Where did self-love fall into the equation
  • How did Clark Elliott keep from being depressed?
  • How he managed to accept things, and let go, just as it was
  • What was Clark Elliott’s secret weapon?
  • What happened on a surprise trip to a Thai monastery?
  • How Donalee Markus understood him and knew what to do to help Clark Elliott
  • How Donalee helped retrain Clark Elliott’s brain.
  • What a brain injury means or looks like
  • What brain injuries and traumatic brain injuries have to do with balance issues
  • What may learning disabilities have to do with learning disabilities such as ADHD
  • Go see a neurodevelopmental optometrist, – website go to Nora
  • Why there are so many hidden concussions in school sports


Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #237: How to Hack Your Brain for Greater Happiness & Success! + Guided Meditation (Dr. Wendi Suzuki, “Healthy Brain, Happy Life”)

INSPIRE #178: Make Your Brain Smarter At Any Age (Dr. Michael Merzenich, Posit Science)


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