ASH Welcomes Professor of Neuropsychology, Dr. Erik Scherder

Over 300 members of the ASH and wider Wassenaar community filled our theater to learn from Dr. Erik Scherder on March 26. The renowned professor of Neuropsychology talked about the journey of brain development in children and young adults, explaining factors that might benefit or harm the brain as our children grow up.

A key takeaway on how to protect our brains was to stay active. We’re living in times where screen time is becoming longer and reaching younger audiences each time. At the same time, physical activity throughout the day is also decreasing. 

Dr. Scherder explained that we can support our children’s brain health, as well as our own, by staying active and curious; to try new and challenging things to strengthen our brain, something that he mentioned that ASH already does with its students. According to the professor, our brain is best served by a variety of activities that combine physical and mental effort, such as playing an instrument one moment and exercising outdoors the next. The professor did note that screen time is not bad for the brain, as long as it’s limited.

Dr. Scherder teaches at VU University Amsterdam, where he walks the talk and always pauses his lectures midway to engage his students in a 3-minute exercise of physical movement, something that is quite common across ASH classrooms.During the presentation, Dr. Scherder got the audience up on their feet to demonstrate what a 3-minute break could look like. From leg squats to spelling out words with both their arms, it was clear that taking care of your brain can not only be fun and quick, but also a good way to think creatively.