Itamar Lesuisse at Peak: Let’s integrate brain training with the quantified self


Ita­mar Lesuisse

What is your cur­rent job title and orga­ni­za­tion, and what excites you the most about work­ing there?
I am the CEO at Peak, a mobile brain-train­ing app that helps users to enjoy becom­ing bet­ter every day. My cofounders and I want­ed to start a com­pa­ny where tech­nol­o­gy, sci­ence, edu­ca­tion and gam­ing blend togeth­er to cre­ate a prod­uct that can real­ly help users and that they could have fun using. I love work­ing amongst a team of excep­tion­al indi­vid­u­als where inno­va­tion is part of the dai­ly routine.

Please tell us about your inter­est in brain health and per­for­mance. What areas are you most inter­ested in? What moti­vated you to pur­sue work in your field?
My inter­est in brain train­ing stemmed from my own inad­e­qua­cies. I have quite poor nav­i­ga­tion skills, and for­get people’s names too quick­ly. I felt the need to improve very spe­cif­ic skills and couldn’t find a good solu­tion. I think the same is true for the major­i­ty of the pop­u­la­tion, and that’s why I want­ed to cre­ate Peak.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now, and where can peo­ple learn more about it?
Peak has just become avail­able glob­al­ly, and can be down­loaded for iOS devices on the App Store. We use a mobile and big data approach so that users can get the most out of their brain train­ing, both in terms of acces­si­bil­i­ty, flex­i­bil­i­ty and insight. One excit­ing fea­ture that we are devel­op­ing is the brain map com­par­i­son by pro­fes­sion. Users can see their scores visu­alised with our brain maps, which indi­cate areas of strength and weak­ness. We have col­lect­ed a lot of data about the aver­age brain map for a wide range of pro­fes­sions, and have seen amaz­ing trends in terms of the typ­i­cal shapes of these maps, which often real­ly do high­light the strengths you would expect. We think this is a real­ly excit­ing tool, and can’t wait to cre­ate some inter­est­ing fea­tures with it.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand about his/ her own brain and mind, that you think are com­mon­ly misunderstood?
It’s got to be the idea that we only use 10% of our brains. This is so wide­ly accept­ed and yet so far from the truth.

As for what I’d like every­one to under­stand about their brains, it’s that our lifestyle affects our brain whether we like it or not. How much we sleep, how active we are, our diet and alco­hol con­sump­tion are all fac­tors that affect our cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. Under­stand­ing these impacts can help us to opti­mise and per­form at our peak. This is why we are tak­ing a big data approach to brain train­ing. We want to give our users the oppor­tu­ni­ty to real­ly get to know their brain — to under­stand when and in what way they can reach peak performance.

Where do you see clear “low-hang­ing fruit” to shape the future and the prac­tice of brain fitness?
I think the low-hang­ing fruit is the quan­ti­fied self, and the impact it can have on brain fit­ness. Peo­ple already col­lect so much infor­ma­tion about them­selves, whether it be through track­ing devices or apps. If we inte­grate this with brain train­ing pro­grams we can offer peo­ple much more insight, and the abil­i­ty to take con­trol of their brain fitness.

What would you like the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit to accomplish?
This is a real­ly excit­ing time for brain fit­ness and brain health in gen­er­al, and so I hope to see some inno­v­a­tive col­lab­o­ra­tions com­ing out of this year’s sum­mit. You often see a lot of great sci­en­tif­ic research and stud­ies that don’t end up reach­ing the con­sumer. Off the back of bring­ing an excit­ing prod­uct into the mar­ket, we are now open­ing up our plat­form for col­lab­o­ra­tion with sci­en­tif­ic and com­mer­cial enti­ties alike. I hope we can get involved with some of the oth­er great par­tic­i­pants at the sum­mit, and that effec­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion will be one of its real and suc­cess­ful by-products.

Final­ly, if I may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
Well, of course, I train with Peak! Fin­ish­ing the work­out on my com­mute each morn­ing real­ly does help me to stay sharp.

Aside from that, I con­stant­ly try to meet and engage with new peo­ple, as it’s the best way keep you on your toes. New minds bring dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and alter­na­tive view­points, which I find excit­ing and rewarding.

2014_SharpBrains_Virtual_Summit_Shaping the Practice and the Future of Brain FitnessThis con­ver­sa­tion is part of a new inter­view series with Spon­sors & Speak­ers @ 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Octo­ber 28–30th). You can reg­is­ter with a 10% dis­count using pro­mo­tional code: sharp2014. Please join us!

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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