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Mark Olson, Ph.D.

Contributed Piece:Wired to Love

Mark Olson, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist, bodyworker, sustainability advocate, and the director of the Pacific Center for Awareness and Bodywork in Kaua`i. He has an M.A. in Education and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois, specializing in the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuropsychology and Neuroanatomy of memory, attention, and eye movements. He also conducted research with the Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Landscape Architecture to explore environmental values and aesthetic preferences for outdoor scenes. Dr. Olson is also an aquatic therapist, a certified permaculture instructor, the former operations manager for a sustainability education bicycle tour company, and a massage and anatomy instructor for numerous yoga and bodywork programs, including the Harbin School of Healing Arts. He volunteers his time as both the vice­president of Kauai Path and the project manager for the Kauai Food Forest, which he co­designed.

Dr. Olson is passionate about exploring the human condition through the lens of Neuroscience and cultivating the knowledge and skills necessary to grow a compassionate, sustainability­focused, touch­positive culture. Toward that end he offers two programs: Connective Bodywork, a massage training program that integrates bodywork with mindfulness, communication skills, and psychotherapeutic tools; and NeuroTreks, a series of courses that encourage the thoughtful exploration of personal and societal issues from a neuroscience perspective. NeuroTreks topics include sexuality and relationships; mindfulness, meditation, and interoceptive awareness; emotions, empathy, and happiness; memory, the self, and behavior; visual awareness and patternicity; and cognitive biases, politics, and social permaculture.


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