Harvard Professor to Discuss Aerobic Exercise, Learning

John Ratey, best-selling co-author of Drive to Distraction, will discuss how aerobic exercise enhances brain functioning for students with learning and attention disabilities in a seminar on Wednesday at Carolina.

Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, will be keynote speaker for the ninth annual Timothy B. and Jane A. Burnett Seminar for Academic Achievement. The seminars are co-sponsored by the GAA and the academic success program for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a service of UNC’s Learning Center in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The free seminar, at 1:30 p.m. in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center, is targeted to high school and college students diagnosed with LD and/or ADHD. It also is designed for parents, teachers, administrators, college professors, psychologists and others. All UNC students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

In his newest book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Ratey argues that “to keep our brains at peak performance, our bodies need to work hard.” He explores new research showing the neurobiological connection between exercise and the brain’s performance, and he explains how aerobic exercise can supercharge mental circuits to beat stress and depression.

More information about the seminar and registration is available online. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged because space is limited, and Ratey has been known to attract large audiences. Information about the Learning Center’s academic success program for students with LD/ADHD also is available online. For more about Ratey, see his website.

The seminar is made possible by a gift to UNC by the Timothy B. and Jane A. Burnett Seminar for Academic Achievement, which is funded with private gifts from Juliet H. Davis, Tim Burnett’s mother, and her late husband, W. Burke Davis ’37. Support also comes from the Burnetts, who graduated from UNC in 1962. All are from Greensboro.

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