Starting today: Past and Future Pervasive Neurotechnologies, as seen through 50 Key Patents


In order to pro­vide a bet­ter per­spec­tive into the evo­lu­tion of the dig­i­tal brain health indus­try, we are shar­ing some of our analy­sis of 50 foun­da­tion­al patents, as iden­ti­fied and dis­cussed in the 2015 mar­ket report Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy: A Ground­break­ing Analy­sis of 10,000+ Patent Fil­ings Trans­form­ing Med­i­cine, Health, Enter­tain­ment and Busi­ness.

We will dis­cuss one patent a day, from old­er to new­er by issue date. Today we are shar­ing a 1999 patent assigned to Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. We hope you enjoy the peek into the future :-)

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 5,927,988

U.S. Patent No. 5,927,988: Method and appa­ra­tus for train­ing of sen­so­ry and per­cep­tu­al sys­tems in LLI subjects

  • Assignee(s): Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Corp.
  • Inventor(s): William M. Jenk­ins, Michael M. Merzenich, Steven Lam­ont Miller, Bret E. Peter­son, Paula Tallal
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­roCog­ni­tive Training
  • Issue Date: July 27, 1999

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘988 patent is one of Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing’s patents direct­ed to cog­ni­tive train­ing in the area of lan­guage improve­ment and speech train­ing — an area that affects a wide num­ber of indi­vid­u­als rang­ing from chil­dren with lan­guage dis­abil­i­ties to stroke vic­tims suf­fer­ing from lost neu­ro­log­i­cal con­nec­tions nec­es­sary for audi­to­ry com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Employ­ing adap­tive learn­ing tech­niques, the ‘988 patent pro­vides meth­ods that test a user’s abil­i­ty to deci­pher words emit­ted via a com­put­er speech syn­the­siz­er by assess­ing the abil­i­ties of the user to respond to spo­ken com­mands. Tech­niques are dis­cussed and claimed that relate to mod­i­fy­ing the domain of time over which the speech com­mand is issued and adapt­ing (to short­er time domains) as the sub­ject con­tin­ues to learn, there­by estab­lish­ing neu­ro­log­i­cal con­nec­tions relat­ing to the var­i­ous speech com­po­nents. Despite hav­ing an expi­ra­tion of no lat­er than Decem­ber of 2017 (and hence some­what lim­it­ed remain­ing life), the ‘988 patent is deemed a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent due to being an ear­ly patent direct­ed towards com­put­er­ized lan­guage and speech learn­ing, and hav­ing a robust claim set of 54 claims with four inde­pen­dent claims that pos­sess dis­tinc­tive pro­tec­tive scopes.


An appa­ra­tus and method for train­ing the sen­so­ry per­cep­tu­al sys­tem in a lan­guage learn­ing impaired (LLI) sub­ject is pro­vid­ed. The appa­ra­tus and method incor­po­rates a num­ber of dif­fer­ent pro­grams to be played by the sub­ject. The pro­grams arti­fi­cial­ly process select­ed por­tions of lan­guage ele­ments, called phonemes, so they will be more eas­i­ly dis­tin­guished by an LLI sub­ject, and grad­u­al­ly improves the sub­jec­t’s neu­ro­log­i­cal pro­cess­ing of the ele­ments through repet­i­tive stim­u­la­tion. The pro­grams con­tin­u­al­ly mon­i­tor a sub­jec­t’s abil­i­ty to dis­tin­guish the processed lan­guage ele­ments, and adap­tive­ly con­fig­ures the pro­grams to chal­lenge and reward the sub­ject by alter­ing the degree of pro­cess­ing. Through adap­tive con­trol and rep­e­ti­tion of processed speech ele­ments, and pre­sen­ta­tion of the speech ele­ments in a cre­ative fash­ion, a sub­jec­t’s tem­po­ral pro­cess­ing of acoustic events com­mon to speech are sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 1. A method for train­ing the sen­so­ry per­cep­tu­al sys­tem in a human on a com­put­er, the method comprising:

a) repet­i­tive­ly pro­vid­ing a first acoustic event to the human, the first acoustic event being stretched in the time domain;

b) sequen­tial­ly after a) pro­vid­ing a sec­ond acoustic event to the human for recog­ni­tion, the sec­ond acoustic event being stretched in the time domain;

c) requir­ing the human to rec­og­nize the sec­ond acoustic event with­in a pre­de­ter­mined time win­dow; and

d) if the human rec­og­nizes the sec­ond acoustic event with­in the pre­de­ter­mined time win­dow, reduc­ing the amount that the first and sec­ond acoustic events are…

To learn more about mar­ket data, trends and lead­ing com­pa­nies in the dig­i­tal brain health space –dig­i­tal plat­forms for brain/ cog­ni­tive assess­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and enhance­ment– check out this mar­ket report. To learn more about our analy­sis of 10,000+ patent fil­ings, check out this IP & inno­va­tion neu­rotech report.

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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