Dr. Leaf

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology from the University of Pretoria and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology from the University of Cape Town, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology. Since the early 1980's she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection and did some of the initial research back in the late 80s showing the neuroplasticity of the brain. [1] During her years in clinical practice and her work with thousands of underprivileged teachers and students in South Africa and the USA as a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist, she developed an original theory of the science of thought, as well tools and processes based on this research. This real-world neuroscience research Dr Leaf did back then, and which is becoming popular now as a research tool, helps people develop and change their thinking and subsequent behavior. Her science of thought techniques have transformed the lives of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD), autism, the dementias, emotional traumas and mental health issues and has shown thousands of students of all ages, and adults and corporations how to use their minds to detox and develop their brains.

She has presented her unique Switch on Your Brain with the 5-Step Learning Process® and the Metacognitive-Map™ learning tool to thousands of students and corporations worldwide. She developed the Geodesic Learning™ theory and the metacognitive-mapping approach (how we think and process information), which has been shown to increase thinking, behavioral and academic performance by 35-75%. This revolutionary theory has contributed to how we understand the science of thought, explaining how thoughts form, how we process information, the power of the non-conscious mind and the relationship between the non-conscious and conscious. The theory proposes that everything you say and do is first a physical thought in the physical brain, a thought which you built with your mind. You think, and then you do, which cycles back to the original thought, changing it, and the thoughts connected to it, in a dynamic interrelationship. 

Dr. Leaf has published a number of articles in academic journals and consumer magazines, and has been widely interviewed in newspapers, on radio and on television shows about her research and theories. 

Her passion is to help people see the power of the mind and teach them how to control their thoughts and emotions, and learn how to think and find their sense of purpose in life.

She frequently lectures to audiences worldwide, linking scientific principles of the brain to spiritual, intellectual and emotional issues in simple and practical ways. She speaks on diverse topics relating to how the mind controls the brain through optimal thinking, and hence improved brain performance. These topics include:

1. Thinking and learning

2. Controlling your thought life through mind management 

3. Managing toxic stress

4. Managing toxic thoughts and trauma through the 5-step Neurocycle process

5. Overcoming mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges 

6. Identifying your unique way of thinking through the UQ profile

[1] Leaf, Uys, and Louw. “Mind-Mapping approach (MMA)”; Leaf, Uys, and Louw. “The development of a model for geodesic learning"; Dr Caroline Leaf. “The Switch on Your Brain 5-Step Learning Process-Classroom Results.” Retrieved from http://drleaf.com/download-dispatch/?fn=/Web-page-AA-research-project-3.pdf; Dr. Caroline Leaf. “Curriculum Vitae.” Dr. Leaf. Retrieved from http://drleaf.com/assets/files/DrCarolineLeaf_CurriculumVitae1.pdf; Dr. Caroline Leaf. “Ridiculous.” TEDx. March 16, 2015. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/yjhANyrKpv8.


University of Cape Town South Africa Degree of Bachelor of Science (Logopaedics) - December 1985

University of Pretoria South Africa Masters in Communication Pathology with distinction/cum laude - June 1990

University of Pretoria South Africa Doctor Philosophiae with specialization in Communication Pathology With distinction/cum laude and academic honors - May 1997

Dr. Leaf's research started 38 years ago with her master’s thesis and her PhD dissertation work. From her graduate work, she moved to applied clinical work in the field with educators, students, government organizations, and patients in South Africa. Dr. Leaf’s passion for improving mental health and learning led her to focus her early career in clinical and community settings to get her program to as many people as possible. Much of this work is highlighted in her books and we are currently in development of a historical timeline outlining these applied projects and their results to showcase Dr. Leaf’s historical research on the website. Be on the lookout for an email announcing it later this summer!

In addition, over the last five years she has partnered with Elite Research, LLC (a research and statistical consulting firm) to support additional scientific research and publications of the Neurocycle program.  They have completed an instrument validation and an RCT pilot longitudinal study to assess the program’s impact on brain mapping with QEEG, blood measures, and psycho-social measures.  While they have been delayed in publishing due to COVID, they have two of these publications under review with more on the way. In addition, they are currently in data collection of a longitudinal national study of the Neurocycle program users, and planning some upcoming work with teachers, parents and children, all of which they will publish in peer-reviewed journals as soon as they are complete. 


The information offered in Dr Leafs books and materials are intended to serve as guidelines for managing toxic thoughts, emotions and bodies and not as a replacement for professional medical advice. Please discuss specific symptoms and medical conditions with your doctor. Any use of this information is at the user’s discretion. Switch on Your Brain LLC and the author make no representations or warranties that any individual will achieve a particular result. Any and all express or implied warranties, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are disclaimed. Switch on your brain LLC and the author specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained in these materials. 

Dr. Leaf is not a medical doctor, and nothing on this page should be seen as individual medical advice. She is a researcher and cognitive (mind) scientist, and this page is meant to be informational and encouraging in a general sense, and is based off Dr. Leaf's self-help products (see store.drleaf.com). 

If you are considering withdrawing from any medication, please do so under the guidance of a professional as withdrawal can be a dangerous process. 

If you have a medical matter or emergency, please contact a local medical professional immediately. 

Switch On Your Brain® and Switch On Your Brain with the 5-Step Learning Process® are registered trademarks of Switch On Your Brain International, LLC.