Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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