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John Ratey, Expert on How Exercise Improves Learning, to Give Scholarly Lecture at Springfield College

April 16, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 16, 2008 – Dr. John J. Ratey, Harvard Medical School clinical associate professor of psychiatry and author of the new book, “Spark, the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” will speak on “The Impact of Exercise on Learning,” on April 24, at 7 p.m., in Marsh Memorial, at Springfield College.

Ratey will be the featured speaker at this year’s third Karpovich Lecture hosted by the Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. Open to the public free of charge, the Karpovich Lecture annually brings top experts in exercise physiology and sport science to the college for the benefit of students, professionals in these fields, and the community.

In “Spark,” published in January 2008, Ratey explored how exercise supercharges mental circuits to sharpen thinking, enhance memory, beat stress, and more. The book draws together emerging findings from neuroscientific, biomedical and educational research.

An advocate of regular, aerobic-based physical education in schools, Ratey received the 2006 Excellence in Advocacy award from the not-for-profit group PE4Life. Since 1988, he has also been named by his peers each year as one of the best doctors in America.

Ratey has written extensively on attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, and brain differences that affect social skills. He is the author of more than 60 scientific publications and seven books. He is co-author of the bestseller “Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood,” the first in a series of books that demystify the disorder.

In 1986, he founded the Boston Center for the Study of Autism, and in 1988 he founded a new study group of the American Psychiatric Association for the study of aggression. He is an instructor in Harvard’s continuing medical education program and, for more than a decade, taught residents and Harvard medical students as the assistant director of resident training at Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Springfield College established the Karpovich Lecture in 1973 in memory of its former faculty member Peter V. Karpovich, who was an internationally recognized exercise physiologist and one of the principal founders of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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