Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Brain Enhancement in the Digital Age (December 5-7th, 2017)

Will we soon have an “annual brain check-up” — and what may it look like? How can we harness lifelong neuroplasticity to thrive in the digital age? Under what conditions may specific brain stimulation/ training/ enhancement methods work? How can digital platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) enable Mental Health 2.0? Which firms, technologies and solutions are gaining the most traction, and what are best practices for appropriate use?

The 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (December 5-7th, 2017) will feature over forty of the world’s top experts and innovators working on ways to enhance our brain health and performance in light of emerging neuroscience and digital technologies.

(10%-off promotional code for SharpBrains readers: sharp2017)

Summit Agenda

The Summit will explore and advance the core themes discussed in the article Five reasons the future of brain enhancement is digital, pervasive and (hopefully) bright. All times below indicate US Pacific Time; San Francisco, CA.

December 5th: Navigating the Opportunities and Risks Ahead

8.30-10am. What do 7.5 billion human brains need to thrive in the Digital Age?

  • Álvaro Fernández, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of SharpBrains
  • Sarah Lenz Lock, Senior Vice President for Policy at AARP and Executive Director of the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH)
  • Mark Pollock, athlete, author, speaker, and first blind man to race to the South Pole
  • Tara Thiagarajan, Founder and Chief Scientist at Sapien Labs

10-11.30am. Lifelong neuroplasticity means all those brains can be enhanced…so what’s next?

  • Dr. David Bartrés-Faz, Principal Investigator of the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI)
  • Dr. Álvaro Pascual-Leone, Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Dr. Graeme Moffat, VP of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at Interaxon
  • Dr. Simone Schurle, Assistant Professor for Responsive Biomedical Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

11:30am-12:30pm. Lunch break

12.30-2pm. How can we harness digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to upgrade research, assessments and interventions? 

  • Belén Guerra-Carrillo, NSF Fellow and graduate student researcher at University of Califonia, Berkeley
  • Dr. Oliver Harrison. Chief Executive of the Health Moonshot at Telefónica Innovation
  • Nancy Briefs, President and CEO of Digital Cognition Technologies 
  • Dr. Olivier Oullier, Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at Aix-Marseille University 
  • Chaired byPooja Wagh, Director of the Health Community at MIT Solve

2-3pm. Watercooler Chats

  • We’ll spend some time connecting with other participants, discussing highlights, and exchanging ideas and contact information.

3-4.30pm. How will the Schools, Companies, Clinicians, and Consumers of the Future ensure appropriate use of brain enhancement methods?

  • Dr. Eddie Martucci, Co-Founder and CEO of Akili Interactive Labs
  • Dr. Peter Reiner, Co-Founder of the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia
  • Nikhil Sriraman, IP Analyst at SharpBrains
  • Chaired byDr. Alison Fenney, Executive Director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO)

December 6th: Brainnovations Pitch Contest

The Summit will host a Brainnovations Pitch Contest (Guidelines, FAQs and submission form HERE) to spark innovation and collaborations. Startups will submit their applications prior to the event and 12 Finalists will get to pitch their idea to the Judges below–our very own “Sharp Tank“– and to all Summit participants, in one of four categories: Healthcare, Workplace, Education, and Quality of Life. Summit participants will get to meet and discuss the most promising startups and emerging solutions, and startups will get very relevant visibility, feedback and connections.

The Sharp Tank will select a Winner per category, facilitated by Alvaro Fernandez, SharpBrains‘ CEO & Editor-in-Chief, and Dr. Bob Bilder, Director of the UCLA Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity.

8.15-9.15am. The Future of Mental Health…Today

  • Dr. Tom Insel, President and Co-Founder of Mindstrong Health

9.15-10.45am. Top Brainnovations in Healthcare, judged by:

  • Dr. Adam Haim, PhD, Chief of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Dr. David Barash, Chief Medical Officer and ED of Global Health at GE Foundation
  • Dr. Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director at Merck Ventures
  • Dr. Karen Postal, President of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN)

10.45-11.45am. Watercooler Chats/ Nourishment break

  • We’ll spend some time connecting with other participants, discussing highlights, and exchanging ideas and contact information.

11.45am-1.15pm. Top Brainnovations in the Workplace, judged by:

  • Charlie Hartwell, Operating Partner at Bridge Builders Collaborative
  • Danny Dankner, CEO and Co-founder of Applied Cognitive Engineering
  • Lisa Neuberger, Managing Director of Strategy + Innovation at Accenture Corporate Citizenship
  • Kathleen Herath, Associate Vice President Health & Productivity at Nationwide Insurance

1.15-2.45pm. Top Brainnovations in Education, judged by:

  • Bill Tucker, Senior Advisor to the K12 Education Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eduardo Briceño, CEO and Co-founder of Mindset Works
  • Neil Allison, Director of Business Model Innovation at Pearson North America
  • John Cammack, Angel Investor

3-4.30pm. Top Brainnovations for Quality of Life, judged by:

  • Alexandra Morehouse, Chief Marketing Officer at Banner Health
  • Ariel Garten, Founder and Chief Evangelism Officer at InteraXon
  • Dr. Bill Reichman, President and CEO of Baycrest
  • Colin Milner, Founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
  • Zack Lynch, General Partner at JAZZ Venture Partners


December 7th: Expo Day

Selected Summit Sponsors and Partners will showcase their most promising brain health & enhancement solutions and initiatives.

8.30-9am. Adam Gazzaley, UCSF Professor of Neurology, will present Neuroscape

9-9.30am. Álvaro Fernández, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of SharpBrains, will present a new market report

9.30-10am. Vielight will present its wearable photobiomodulation technology

10.30-11am. Lumos Labs will present its expanding vision for brain training, including mindfulness

11-11.30am. EMOTIV will present new applications of their EEG-based solutions

11.30am-noon. The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF) will present its new Brain Longevity Therapy Training

Noon-12.30pm. The Arrowsmith Program will present plans to better equip 100+ schools helping students with special needs.

12.30-1pm. The Center for BrainHealth at UT-Dallas will present its new Brain Performance Institute

More coming soon…

Summit Sponsors and Partners

Gold Sponsors

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families. Its Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), founded in collaboration with Age UK, is an independent collaborative created to provide trusted information on how to maintain and improve brain health.

VieLight has a mission to engineer and commercialize non-invasive devices based on photobiomodulation that are safe and effective, easy to use and affordable – all to truly help improve one’s quality of life. It focuses on developing new-generation home-use brain stimulation devices that are enjoying a growing reputation to be helpful for mental acuity in various presentations. Its products are used by both practitioners and consumers all over the world.

Silver Sponsors


The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF) has a mission to empower people to build healthy brains and reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease by conducting clinical research and providing educational and professional development outreach.

Arrowsmith Program

The Arrowsmith Program, available in 80+ schools in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is a comprehensive suite of cognitive programs for students with learning disabilities to train key brain functions involved in learning.

Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the USA, employing more than 50,000 staff members in 29 hospitals and other settings ranging from home care and long-term care, to laboratories and rehabilitation services.

EMOTIV is a bioinformatics company advancing understanding of the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG) with a mission to empower individuals and accelerate brain research globally.


Lumosity was founded to help people keep their brains challenged thanks to a simple online tool allowing anyone to train core cognitive abilities. From neuroscience to visual art, they combine diverse disciplines to create engaging brain training programs and, through the Human Cognition Project, they collaborate with over 100 leading researchers, clinicians and teachers from institutions around the world.


Summit Sponsors are institutions developing brain health solutions and able to help fund this unique event as outlined in this sponsorship brochure.

Summit Partners are institutions helping promote the Summit through their respective platforms and communities to ensure maximum participation and impact.

Please contact us if you want to discuss details.


Please stay tuned; more details coming every week…



Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the Summit take place? Over the Internet. Participate access the virtual meeting room from any location — all that is required is a computer with Internet connection.

What is a virtual conference? The SharpBrains Virtual Summit is just like a physical conference — registered participants can access all presentations, ask pressing questions, and connect with speakers and fellow participants. The main difference is, no one needs to travel.

I can­not par­tic­i­pate live in all ses­sions. Will they be recorded? Yes, all ses­sions will be recorded and avail­able at no extra cost to reg­is­tered par­tic­i­pants for a full year after the Summit.

How do we participate in the Brainnovations Pitch Contest? See Guidelines and FAQs here.

Do you offer press passes? Yes, please contact us with details on your publication and idea.

Do you offer CEUs/ CMEs? Sorry, we don’t. We do offer a Cer­tifi­cate of Atten­dance to those who request it.

What is the typical profile of Summit participants? By design, the Summit is truly cross-sector and multi-disciplinary, so there’s no one “typical profile” — the common theme for participants is working in academia, industry or practice and looking to explore and discuss, in a high quality and carefully curated environment, the latest in brain health and performance.

Over 1,000 professionals in 20+ countries (represented by the dots in the image to the right) have participated in SharpBrains Virtual Summits so far.

What participants said about previous SharpBrains Virtual Summits

“I was impressed by the forward-looking yet practical discussion about enhancing human performance involving such a range of  pioneers. A pleasure to be involved!” — Dr. Susan Jew­ellPres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tional Space Med­i­cine Consortium

“A perfect way to keep the pulse of 3 key innovation themes: mobile apps and wearables, consumer health, and applied neuroscience.” — Jack Young, Head of Qual­comm Life Fund

“An impressive virtual convocation of leading scientists and developers and adopters of cognitive enhancement technology.” — Dr. Robert Bilder, Chief of Medical Psychology-Neuropsychology, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience

“I know of no better resource than SharpBrains Summits to explore the latest frontier in health promotion. Excellent discussions and overall event.” — Dr. Michael P. O’Donnell,  Editor-In-Chief of the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Health Promotion

“Kudos for such a fantastic conference. The discussion about human vs. artificial intelligence and ethics was especially exciting.” — Rajiv Pant, former Chief Tech­nol­ogy Offi­cer of The New York Times

“Congratulations on convening such a compelling group of speakers and participants.  The implementation was super high-quality and seamless.” — Dr. Eddie Martucci, CEO of Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs

The SharpBrains Summit is unique in its impressive ability to unite a diverse collection of cutting-edge thinkers in a “virtual” conference that is shared globally without a hitch.” — Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF

“A great way to gather current information on brain health from a variety of sources and to make new connections” — Dr. Catherine Madison, Direc­tor of the Ray Dolby Brain Health Cen­ter at Cal­i­for­nia Pacific Med­ical Center