With 86 billion neurons and 500 trillion connections passing through our brain, it is the most complex organ in our body! Dr. David Eagleman is a renowned Neuroscientist who teaches at Stanford University, author, and CEO of Neosensory, so he was the perfect person to help us learn more about the brain. Thus, we travelled to Congregation Emanu El, a Synagogue in Houston, which was a new setting and experience for all of us.
Entering the beautiful synagogue, the LEAP Ambassadors were introduced to Randall Morton, the President and founder of The Progressive Forum, who then began the introduction of Dr. Aziz Shabani, a Clinical Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Shabani provided the program attendees with medical sciences and its revolutionary take on modern-day society.
Aziz Shabani energetically and proudly introduced the man of the evening, Dr. David Eagleman! In his presentation, Eagleman explained the functions of a normal brain and gave us a short lesson on each part of the brain cortexes. In addition, he explained that, “brain plasticity” is a term used to describe the expansion of the cortexes, although he prefers the term “liveware.”
The LEAP Ambassadors were fascinated by the study and research conducted by Dr. Eagleman and his team. Their studies specifically focused on people who have sensory loss, such as loss of hearing, blindness, and people with underdeveloped limbs. As a result, Dr. Eagleman expanded greatly on his brand Neosensory, promoting an affordable replacement of cochlear ear plants and a wristband that provides senses to those who have difficulty hearing, seeing, and even touching.
After Dr. Eagleman shared his insight on the human brain and its wonders, Randall Morton, Dr. Aziz Shabani, and Dr. Eagleman gathered for a short Q&A session. The questions exchanged between the three were, “What advice do you have for self-discovery?” Dr. Eagleman answered beautifully and said, “Always go with your gut feeling, and whatever makes you get up in the morning filled with excitement, do it.” Dr. Shabani corresponded with another question asking about how our own brains expand. He answered with, “to serve your brain, we must change our routine,” implying that daily challenges will only make our brain smarter and help our longevity. He began with simple suggestions, such as changing the hand you wear your watch on, and moved to more complex routine alterations.
After the event, the LEAP Ambassadors were able to meet Dr. Eagleman. He even signed our copies of his book, Livewire! Dr. Eagleman then spent a few moments with us, asking where we are in our story. We were also able to take a picture with Eagleman after our conversation!
We grew our neural plasticity by seeking new settings such as a synagogue and afterwards, an excellent restaurant called Star Pizza; a pizzeria in the heart of Houston that serves both Chicago deep-pan pizza and New York-style pizza.
Before we dove into the delicious assortments of pizzas, we had to start off with shareable appetizers. As we dug into the baked goat cheese served with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and French bread, we kept wanting more. The appetizers kept coming, and our eyes widened as the waiter brought garlic bread with cheese. Everything was perfectly cooked. Even the cheese had a golden-brown tint that you could feel oozing in your mouth.
At last, we ordered the Cowbell deep dish with slow-smoked BBQ beef brisket, topped with BBQ Sauce and cheddar, provolone, and mozzarella cheese. As well as the New York-style Margherita with pineapple. Having both pizzas to try provided the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The crust was toasty, and the heart of the pizza was warm with all the BBQ flavors coming together with the cheese and the Roma tomatoes, creating an excellent combination.
We not only left with a full stomach but were also able to develop our minds by trying new things and not consuming the chain food every college student eats.