Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


190 Sharp Brains Issue a Call to Enhance Brain Health through Neuroplasticity, Big Data and Consumer Education

-– SharpBrains Virtual Summit brings together global leaders and innovators to advance the emerging fields of applied neuroscience and brain fitness

The third annual virtual SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Optimizing Health through Neuroplasticity, Innovation and Data, held June 7-14th, concluded with a call to enhance brain health by harnessing neuroplasticity-based applications, big data platforms and consumer interest to augment the traditional reliance on disease-based pharmacological interventions and fragmented clinical trials.

The Summit brought together 190 researchers, decision-makers and practitioners across the technology, mental health, gaming and other sectors to discuss health optimization and applied neuroplasticity research and trends.

“We are glad to see a growing research-based toolkit to empower consumers, patients and professionals  to maintain and enhance cognition and brain health across the lifespan,” said Alvaro Fernandez, the Producer of SharpBrains Summit, and summit speaker, adding that “This is a critical consideration as 84% of respon­dents to our 2012 Sharp­Brains sur­vey agreed/ strongly agreed with ‘Adults of all ages should take charge of their own “brain fit­ness” with­out wait­ing for their doc­tors to tell them to.’”

“We cannot wait until 2025 for a “magic bul­let” to be dis­cov­ered, to cure (or end or pre­vent) Alzheimer’s dis­ease and aging asso­ci­ated cog­ni­tive decline,” emphasized Dr. Peter Whitehouse, Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­ogy at Case West­ern Reserve Uni­ver­sity, adding that “We need a new cul­ture of life­long brain health to empower that 80% of the 38,000 adults over 50 sur­veyed in the 2010 AARP Mem­ber Opin­ion Sur­vey who indi­cated “Stay­ing Men­tally Sharp” as their top ranked inter­est and con­cern, not to men­tion youth, work­ers and elders fac­ing cog­ni­tive and emo­tional challenges.”

190 people attended the conference which featured more than 40 speakers, 8 plenary sessions and 5 educational workshops, on top of an Expo. To learn more about the full Agenda, go to:

Topics discussed include:

  • Brainomics: why Cognitive brain health is a major driver of economic growth – Dr. San­dra Bond Chap­man, Direc­tor, Cen­ter for Brain­Health at The Uni­ver­sity of Texas at Dallas
  • Crowdsourcing big brain data to improve public brain health –  Dr. Robert Bilder, Chief of Med­ical Psychology-Neuropsychology, UCLA Semel Insti­tute for Neuroscience
  • Why Enriched Lifestyles build Cognitive Reserve and Health Capital –  Dr. Yaakov Stern, Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Divi­sion Leader, Colum­bia University
  • Where are the Brain Shops –  Dr. Ken­neth Kosik, Co-Director, UC Santa Bar­bara Neu­ro­science Research Institute
  • Integrative Neuroscience Databases to Transform Psychiatry –  Dr. Evian Gor­don, Exec­u­tive Chair­man, Brain Resource
  • Revamping Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment –   Dr. Peter White­house, Pro­fes­sor, Case West­ern Reserve University
  • Adapting our brain to augmented worlds – Nolan Bush­nell, Founder, Atari,
  • Consumer Bio-interfacing for Gaming and Wellness –  Stan­ley Yang, CEO, NeuroSky
  • Affordable, scalable brain monitoring through wireless EEG – Tan Le, CEO, Emo­tiv Lifesciences
  • Monitoring Cognition in the Home Environment – Dr. Holly Jimison, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Ore­gon Health & Science
  • Training brain networks underlying attention –  Dr. Michael Pos­ner, Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus, Uni­ver­sity of Oregon
  • Conditions to maximize cognitive training effectiveness  – Dr. Adam Gaz­za­ley, Direc­tor of the Neu­ro­science Imag­ing Cen­ter, UCSF
  • How to Educate Consumers to be their own “Brain Fitness Coaches”  –  Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO, SharpBrains


All sessions are archived. Reporters can request access and interviews by contacting SharpBrains.


About SharpBrains

Sharp­Brains is a market research firm devoted to helping organizations, professionals and consumers navigate applied neuroscience and brain health innovation. SharpBrains published The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fitness, the first consumer guide to educate and inform adults on the subject, was recognized as a Best Book by AARP in 2011. Alvaro Fernandez, SharpBrains’ Co-Founder, was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

About the 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit

The annual SharpBrains Virtual Summit is the premiere global and virtual conference to discuss emerg­ing neu­ro­plas­tic­ity research, data-driven tools and inno­v­a­tive best prac­tices to opti­mize health and per­for­mance across the lifespan.

Summit Agenda: 84% of respon­dents to a 2012 Sharp­Brains sur­vey (n=3,165) agreed/ strongly agreed with “Adults of all ages should take charge of their own “brain fit­ness” with­out wait­ing for their doc­tors to tell them to,” and 78% agreed/ strongly agreed with “I would per­son­ally take a brief assess­ment every year as an “annual men­tal check-up.” This grow­ing aware­ness demands new ways to har­ness neu­ro­plas­tic­ity across the lifes­pan to opti­mize health, pro­duc­tiv­ity and qual­ity of life, and high­lights mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ties to develop and com­mer­cial­ize non-invasive solu­tions to mon­i­tor and enhance brain func­tion. Mean­ing­ful, human-centered inno­va­tion to inte­grate lifestyle fac­tors such as aer­o­bic exer­cise with tar­geted inter­ven­tions such as med­i­ta­tion, cog­ni­tive train­ing and videogames, biofeed­back and cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­apy will require engag­ing empow­ered and con­nected con­sumers, employ­ees and patients where they are, going beyond cur­rent health­care frame­works and channels.

The 2012 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit gathered dozens of lead­ing experts and over a hun­dred inno­va­tors and early-adopters to sur­vey the state-of-the-art of applied neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and cog­ni­tive sci­ence, and to address:

  • How can empow­ered con­sumers nav­i­gate and inte­grate lifestyle/ tech­nol­ogy options today?
  • How can inno­va­tors and early-adopters help bridge exist­ing gaps between knowl­edge and prac­tice by 2015?
Speaker Bios: Here.

Summit Sponsors included: the Arrowsmith Program. Brain Resource, the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, Advanced Brain Technologies, AboutMyBrain and Bracket.

Summit Partners included a dozen university-based research centers and professional associations.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.