Island Wise

In 1973, neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D. (played by Robin Williams in the 1990 film), published Awakenings, about people who contracted “sleeping sickness” and lay dormant for decades before returning to consciousness. Since then, the brain’s ability to recover from damage has become a subject of popular fascination.

Studies of the brain’s neuroplasticity have revealed wonders. Scans can now see actual thoughts as neurons light up in various areas. Charlotte Tomaino, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist who works with patients suffering loss of brain function, applies the science to the self-help genre with her new book, Awakening the Brain: The Neurospychology of Grace (2012, Beyond Words/Atria Books). Her premise is that through positive, channeled thought one can change the brain’s structure.

In a free lecture on Friday, Tomaino will discuss how to reach your full potential, spiritually as well as intellectually.

“Awakening the Brain for Wellness,” Central Union Church, Parish Hall, 1660 S. Beretania St., Fri., 8/24, 5:30pm, 941-0957