Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

2014 Virtual Summit: Shaping the Practice and the Future of Brain Fitness

The 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit fea­tured over 40 of the world’s top sci­en­tists, inno­va­tors and prac­ti­tion­ers work­ing on evi­dence-based and scal­able ways to define, mea­sure and pro­mote brain fit­ness. The Sum­mit, now in its fifth year, pro­vides a vibrant and con­ve­nient forum to dis­cuss the lat­est in con­sumer and patient needs, cog­ni­tive and brain sci­ence, dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies, videogames, men­tal health, human cap­i­tal, life­long learn­ing, and senior services.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

I could­n’t par­tic­i­pate in the live Sum­mit. Can I access the record­ings some­how? Yes, all ses­sions were record­ed and are avail­able for pur­chase here.

How can my orga­ni­za­tion become a Sum­mit Spon­sor or Part­ner next year? Please con­tact us to dis­cuss details.

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

What participants say about the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit

2014SummitRecordingsAnoth­er impres­sive edi­tion of the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit. Unique com­bi­na­tion of vision and lessons learned, of shared enthu­si­asm to engage and empow­er con­sumers thanks to emerg­ing knowl­edge about the brain, of a strong zeal to achieve social impact with­out mak­ing mis­lead­ing claims. Look­ing for­ward to next year!” — Kei­th Epstein, Senior Strat­e­gy Advi­sor at AARP

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

I believe that cog­ni­tive func­tion and brain sci­ence are the new fron­tiers in health pro­mo­tion, and I know of no bet­ter resource than Sharp­Brains to explore the lat­est and what’s next. Excel­lent dis­cus­sions and over­all event.” — Dr. Michael P. O’Donnell,  Edi­tor-In-Chief of the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Health Promotion

I was impressed by the for­ward-look­ing yet prac­ti­cal dis­cus­sion about enhanc­ing human per­for­mance, involv­ing such a range of cross-sec­tor pio­neers. A plea­sure to be involved!” — Dr. Susan Jew­ell, Pres­i­dent 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

Con­grat­u­la­tions on con­ven­ing such a com­pelling group of speak­ers and par­tic­i­pants.  The imple­men­ta­tion was super high-qual­i­ty and seam­less.  Nice­ly done!” — Eddie Mar­tuc­ci, VP Research & Devel­op­ment at Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs

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

It is incred­i­bly hard to get such a diverse array of experts togeth­er in one “room” — Con­grats on a great Sum­mit” — Aki Niko­laidis,  NSF Fel­low at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois Cham­paign Urbana

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

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

The Sharp­Brains team has done anoth­er fan­tas­tic job, pro­duc­ing the best brain con­fer­ence avail­able today.” — Dhar­ma Singh Khal­sa, MD, Pres­i­dent, Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foundation

Great com­bi­na­tion of emerg­ing research with real life case stud­ies. It puts us sev­er­al years ahead of what appears in more pop­u­lar pub­li­ca­tion sources and con­fer­ences.” — Steve Zanon, Founder, Proac­tive Ageing

Summit Steering Group

Alexandra Morehouse

Alexandra Morehouse, VP Brand Management at Kaiser Permanente

Alexan­dra M. More­house is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Brand Man­age­ment at Kaiser Per­ma­nente. She is respon­si­ble for all aspects of dig­i­tal, social, and tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing of Kaiser Per­ma­nente, one of the nation’s largest not-for-prof­it health plans, serv­ing more than 9 mil­lion mem­bers. Pre­vi­ous­ly, Ms. More­house was CMO of AAA, where she over­saw all strat­e­gy, adver­tis­ing, brand­ing, media rela­tions, and cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment for AAA. Ms. More­house has also served as co-chair of the Har­vard Busi­ness School Glob­al Tech­nol­o­gy Con­fer­ence and on the boards of the Har­vard Busi­ness School Com­mu­ni­ty Part­ners, Snap­Fish, Yer­ba Bue­na Cen­ter for the Arts, ODC Dance, and UC Davis. She grad­u­at­ed with high hon­ors from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty and has an M.B.A. from Har­vard Busi­ness School.

Alvaro Fernandez

Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of SharpBrains

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, named a Young Glob­al Leader by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, is the CEO of Sharp­Brains, an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research and think tank track­ing health and well-being appli­ca­tions of brain sci­ence. He has been quot­ed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, and CNN, among oth­ers. Mr. Fer­nan­dez is the co-author of the new book “The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age” (284 pages; April 2013), rec­og­nized as a “Best Book” by AARP, and the edi­tor-in-chief of the mar­ket report “The Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket 2012–2020: Web-based, mobile and bio­met­rics-based tech­nol­o­gy to assess, mon­i­tor and enhance cog­ni­tion and brain func­tion­ing.” He start­ed his career at McK­in­sey & Co, and led the launch and turn-around of sev­er­al edu­ca­tion-relat­ed start-ups. Alvaro has an MBA and MA in Edu­ca­tion from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, and a BA in Eco­nom­ics from Uni­ver­si­dad de Deusto.

Andrew Lee, Vice President at Aetna

Andrew Lee is Vice-Pres­i­dent at Aet­na, where he is Head of Hos­pi­tal­ist Solu­tions, a new, non-insur­ance busi­ness launched in 2011 to improve the way acute care is deliv­ered in US hos­pi­tals. Pri­or posi­tions at Aet­na include Chief-of-Staff to the Pres­i­dent and Head of Aet­na’s Office of Pub­lic Pol­i­cy. Before join­ing Aet­na in 2005, Lee was Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Har­vard Project on Amer­i­can Indi­an Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment. Lee is a Trustee of the Nathan Cum­mings Foun­da­tion and the Smith­so­ni­an’s Nation­al Muse­um of the Amer­i­can Indi­an. Lee is co-author of The State of the Native Nations. He holds an AB from Hamil­ton Col­lege and a MPP from the Har­vard Kennedy School, where he was a Woodrow Wil­son Fel­low. In 2011 he was named a Young Glob­al Leader by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum.

Bill Reichman, President of Baycrest

Dr. William E. Reich­man is Pres­i­dent and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Bay­crest, one of the world’s pre­mier aca­d­e­m­ic health sci­ences cen­tres focused on aging and brain func­tion. Dr. Reich­man, an inter­na­tion­al­ly-known expert in geri­atric men­tal health and demen­tia is also Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chi­a­try on the Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. He is a not­ed author­i­ty on the deliv­ery of men­tal health and demen­tia ser­vices in nurs­ing home set­tings. Dr. Reich­man is a for­mer Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for Geri­atric Psy­chi­a­try and the Geri­atric Men­tal Health Foundation.


Corinna E. Lathan, Founder and CEO of AnthroTronix

Dr. Corin­na Lath­an co-found­ed Anthro­Tron­ix and is cur­rent­ly Board Chair and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer. Dr. Lath­an’s diverse back­ground includes exten­sive research, teach­ing, and con­sult­ing in the areas of human per­for­mance engi­neer­ing, med­ical device design, and assis­tive tech­nol­o­gy. Her work with chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and robot­ics has been fea­tured in Forbes, Time, and the New York­er mag­a­zines as well as led to such dis­tinc­tions as Mary­land’s “Top Inno­va­tor of the Year,” MIT Tech­nol­o­gy Review Mag­a­zine’s “Top 100 World Inno­va­tors,” and one of Fast Com­pa­ny Mag­a­zines “Most Cre­ative Peo­ple in Busi­ness.” She has also been named a Tech­nol­o­gy Pio­neer and a Young Glob­al Leader by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum and is cur­rent­ly on their Glob­al Agen­da Coun­cil for Robot­ics and Smart devices. She is active­ly involved in edu­ca­tion­al out­reach pro­grams that empow­er women and minori­ties in sci­ence and technology.

Kenneth Kosik, Co-Director of the UC Santa Barbara Neuroscience Research Institute

Dr. Kosik is the Co-Direc­tor of UCSB Neu­ro­science Research Insti­tute. He received his M.D. degree from the Med­ical Col­lege of Penn­syl­va­nia, com­plet­ed a neu­rol­o­gy res­i­den­cy from Tufts New Eng­land Med­ical Cen­ter, and held var­i­ous appoint­ments at the Har­vard Med­ical School. In the fall of 2004 he assumed the co-direc­tor­ship of the Neu­ro­science Research Insti­tute and the Har­ri­man Chair at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia San­ta Bar­bara. He has received mul­ti­ple awards, includ­ing a Whitak­er Health Sci­ences Award from MIT, the Derek Den­ny-Brown Neu­ro­log­i­cal Schol­ar Award from the ANA, the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion, and a NASA Group Achieve­ment Award.


Kate Sullivan, Director of the Brain Fitness Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Kate Sul­li­van M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIS com­plet­ed her under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate degrees in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sci­ences and Dis­or­ders at James Madi­son Uni­ver­si­ty. She has been a speech-lan­guage pathol­o­gist at Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Cen­ter for 10 years where she recent­ly helped launch the Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter (BFC), locat­ed in the WRAMC’s Mil­i­tary Advanced Train­ing Cen­ter, to com­ple­ment tra­di­tion­al care approach­es. To doc­u­ment results so far, her team recent­ly pub­lished Out­comes from a Pilot Study using Com­put­er-Based Reha­bil­i­ta­tive Tools in a Mil­i­tary Pop­u­la­tion at Stud­ies in Health Tech­nol­o­gy and Infor­mat­ics. Kate has writ­ten arti­cles on the BFC for providers and patients and the BFC at Wal­ter Reed was fea­tured on Nation­al Pub­lic Radio’s “All Things Considered.”


Manuel López-Figueroa, Vice President at Bay City Capital

Manuel López-Figueroa, PhD, spe­cial­izes in eval­u­at­ing invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties with an empha­sis on CNS. He is also the Sci­en­tif­ic Liai­son for the Pritzk­er Neu­ropsy­chi­atric Dis­or­ders Research Con­sor­tium, a col­lab­o­ra­tive research enter­prise com­prised of a group of lead­ers in psy­chi­a­try, neu­ro­science and genet­ics from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty and the Uni­ver­si­ties of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis and Irvine. Dr. López received a PhD in Med­i­cine and Surgery, and a MS in Mol­e­c­u­lar and Cell Biol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ties of Las Pal­mas and La Lagu­na, Spain, respec­tive­ly, and won numer­ous awards dur­ing his aca­d­e­m­ic research career.

Naif Al-Mutawa

Naif Al-Mutawa, Clinical Director of the Soor Center for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy

Dr. Al-Mutawa brings an exten­sive back­ground in clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy to his work—he holds a PhD in Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy and a Mas­ters in Orga­ni­za­tion­al Psy­chol­o­gy from Teacher’s Col­lege, Colum­bia University—but also on-the-ground expe­ri­ence work­ing with for­mer pris­on­ers of war in Kuwait, as well as at Belle­vue Hos­pi­tal in New York. In addi­tion to inter­na­tion­al media atten­tion, Dr. Al-Mutawa has received a raft of hon­ors for his genre-bust­ing, tol­er­ance-pro­mot­ing comics series, includ­ing the Fes­ti­val Inter­na­cional de Humour e Quadrin­hos Comics Award in Brazil and the Unit­ed Nations Alliance of Civ­i­liza­tions “Mar­ket­place of Ideas” Award. In May 2009, he received The Schwab Foundation’s Social Entre­pre­neur­ship Award at the World Eco­nom­ic Forum on The Mid­dle East, in Jordan.

Tan Le, CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences

Tan Le is a tech­nol­o­gy entre­pre­neur, busi­ness exec­u­tive and sought-after speak­er. She is founder and CEO of Emo­tiv Life­sciences, a bioin­for­mat­ics com­pa­ny that advances under­stand­ing of the human brain and iden­ti­fies bio­mark­ers for men­tal and oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions using elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG). She is pur­su­ing the dream of per­form­ing inex­pen­sive and wide­spread brain func­tion screen­ing to catch ear­ly signs of autism, epilep­sy, learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, ADHD, and oth­er con­di­tions. Tan has received many awards; she was named among Forbes‘ 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011. In 2009, she was hon­ored by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum as a Young Glob­al Leader, and in 2011, she was rec­og­nized with the Auto­Vi­sion Inno­va­tions Award and hon­ored as a Monash Uni­ver­si­ty Dis­tin­guished Alum­ni Award recipient.