Dr. Adele Diamond, one of the founders of the field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, delivered the annual Pickering Lecture on Thursday March 3rd, with the topic: Training the Brain: Improving Attention and Self-regulation.

Dr. Diamond is the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is one of the world’s leading researchers on the development of the cognitive functions of the brain and, since 1980, has studied these functions from their earliest beginnings in infancy throughout peoples’ lifespans.

Dr. Diamond takes a “Yes You Can” approach to learning. By teaching a concept in new ways or posing questions differently, she believes a child who may have had previous difficulties can succeed.

Her research has shown that cognitive control abilities, such as selective attention and self-regulation, can be improved through training and practice. But they are particularly susceptible to stress, lack of sleep, loneliness or lack of exercise.