Select Page



MON, 31 OCT // 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Primary Content Focus:  Brain Injury

Secondary Content Focus:  Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience), Clinical practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP)

This workshop teaches how the use of visual puzzles and non-traditional eyeglasses affect brain plasticity. Research shows how brain function can be affected by retinal stimulation. Several pathways are activated by light (1) Clues are processed consciously, (2) Cues are processed subconsciously, (3) Cruise Control signals are processed reflexively by brainstem and limbic structures. Reactions and responses from those pathways differ depending on individual personality traits.  Lenses, prisms or filters can engage necessary pathways, and puzzles can rehearse to form new habits, triggering brain plasticity. Participants will leave with the understanding of how important environmental cues are during rehabilitation activities.


  1. Understand how the three modes of processing (conscious, subconscious and unconscious) can be assessed during a routine evaluation
  2. Learn how to quickly assess patients for visual spatial dysfunctions in order to provide specific tools to develop new neural pathways for critical thinking
  3. Discover how and why visual stimulation affects brain adaptability in ALL patient populations
  4. Experience the power of puzzles specifically designed to maximize intelligence and to enhance the capacity to learn.  Understand how specialized eyeglasses affect both external eyesight and internal systems, i.e. comfort, anxiety, fatigue, depression
  5. Understand that specialized eyeglasses can affect the INTERNAL systems in people, not simply the external eyesight.


  • Spatial Processing [F01.145.875.830]
  • Visual Pathways [A08.612.220.860]
  • Motor Skills [F02.808.260]


Deborah Zelinsky, OD, FNORA, FCOVD
Clinician and Researcher, The Mind-Eye Connection

Dr. Zelinsky graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1985 and founded the Mind-Eye Connection in 1993. She has spent the past thirty years developing methods for assessment of brain function with emphasis on the often untested linkage between eyes and ears. When visual and auditory pathways are not solidly interacting, reading and spelling abilities suffer, as do social skills. Customized eyeglasses can be used to stabilize the eye/ear connection, enhancing brain function and learning abilities. Dr. Zelinsky’s cutting-edge research in retinal circuitry and three patents in novel usages of retinal stimulation have been described in physical medicine and rehabilitation journals and books on brain trauma. Her research has stimulated the demand for optometric courses worldwide. Currently she is a reviewer for the Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) and has been a scientific grant reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program five times. In 2013, she was presented with the Founding Father’s Award from NORA (Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association) and is an active member of the World Brain Mapping Association and the Society of Neuroscience. Her books include Open your Eyes and Listen and An Insight to Vision. Along with Donalee Markus, PhD (, Deborah Zelinsky is featured in the 2015 book The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and the New Science of Brain Plasticity Brought it Back by Dr. Clark Elliott (

Donalee MarkusDonalee Markus, PhD
Principle, Donalee Markus and Associates

Dr. Markus earned her PhD from Northwestern University in 1983. Between 1983 and 1993, she did post-doctorate work with renowned Israeli psychologist Reuven Feuerstein. Since then, she has dedicated her life’s work to changing people’s lives through brain plasticity. Dr. Markus created Designs for Strong Minds, a cognitive restructuring program designed for high-functioning people was inspired by professor Feuerstein’s work. The theoretical framework for the program is based on how the brain learns. Dr. Markus has been a pioneer in the field of cognitive science for over 25 years, with numerous  local, regional, national and international presentations. Her work has been recognized by NASA as “the only graphically-based problem-solving program that uses context-free game-like exercises that create the disposition for critical thinking and creativity.” Corporate clients have included Los Alamos National Laboratory, McDonals, Ameritech, Quaker Oats, among others. She has authored several books on maximizing intelligence by building new brain pathways. Markus’ book, Retrain Your Business Brain: Outsmart the Corporate Competition was published by Dearborn Press in 2003. Dr. Markus’ article “Cognitive Rehabilitation for Mild to Moderate Post-Traumatic Head Injuries” appeared in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America (February 2007, Volume 18, N.1p.109-131). In total,  Donalee Markus  created over 18,000 cognitive restructuring exercises. In an effort to enhance treatment of TBI patients she  developed five iPhone applications which develop the foundation of cognitive restructuring, the meta cognitive conversation, and an iPad application based on the NASA  programs.

CLICK to Register Now

One full day of Instructional Courses: $199 // Three full days: $399

WORLD PASS (from $599) is the best value if you attend the CORE Conference and just one instructional course.
CLICK HERE for pricing detail.





*Although significant changes are not anticipated, all schedules, sessions, and presenters posted on this website are subject to change.