London’s Corinthia hotel claims to be the first in the world to have a resident neuroscientist. It began partnering with leadership coach and senior lecturer at MIT Dr Tara Swart earlier this month (November 2016) in a bid to research the mental resilience of people from a variety of business sectors, as well as launch a new Brain Power package for guests.
The year-long “Neuroscientist in Residence” programme will not only monitor staff at the Corinthia but regular guests, too, to see how well they cope with stress. In doing so, her research will contribute to a better understanding of brain performance and how we can maximize our potential as human beings.
Swart says: “As a neuroscientist, I am fascinated by how the human brain works, specifically in people whose professions or lifestyle mean that mental resilience is essential and expected. It’s hugely exciting to be researching this in partnership with Corinthia Hotel London.
“Developing resilience in the workplace is about investing in the development of people and ensuring the brain-body connection is taken into account in an integrated approach to leadership and work.”
According to scientists, seven to nine hours of good quality sleep a night is essential to the optimal functioning of the brain’s glymphatic (waste clearance) system. Have a bad night’s sleep, and your IQ could drop by five to eight points.
The Corinthia says: “The adult brain remains plastic, or changeable. When applied to business, neuroscience can help achieve peak brain performance, allowing individuals and teams to get a competitive edge by understanding and improving the physical condition of their brains.
“This encourages positive leadership and best practice, adding value to all areas of the workplace and workforce, not least in reducing absenteeism which represents a huge cost to employers. Companies investing in resilience programmes report benefits including reduced stress, improved work satisfaction and increased productivity.”
Tapping into the “IQ economy” trend, up until the end of the year, the Corinthia will be selling a Brain Power package that incorporates special food and drink, bedroom amenities and spa treatments to aid peak performance.
Costing £618 per night, per person, the Brain Power package includes an overnight stay in a Superior King room, a dinner and breakfast from the Brain Power Menu, a two-hour Mindful Massage with Yoga Nidra (to dissipate physical, mental and emotional tensions), and access to ESPA Life state-of-the-art facilities including the extensive Thermal Floor, gym and sleep pods. There is also a £280 day package.
The Corinthia says: “Research shows that dehydration can impair short and long-term memory functions in the brain. Even a 1-3 per cent change in hydration levels can result in decreases in memory, concentration and decision-making power. A menu based around ‘neuronutrition’ will boost the health and performance of the brain.”
Brain Power package menus, designed by Swart in conjunction with executive chef Adriano Cavagnini, feature organic salmon with green mango carpaccio, blueberries, toasted almonds and lemon compote; carrot with turmeric cream, barley, flax seeds and black olives; walnut-crusted baked mackerel with avocado and monkfish liver toast, red grape, Merlot vinegar sauce; and green tea veal fillet Paillard with spinach, puy lentils, cocoa and black pepper sauce.
Alcohol-free drinks include the “Seratonin Sling” made with blackberries, blueberries, date syrup, coconut water and full-fat dairy or almond milk; and the “Melatonic”, a “soporific drink” of warm milk, manuka honey and ground turmeric”.