Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Tailoring computing experience based on user’s mental state and quality of attention: Key neurotechnology patent #30

Automated selection

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507

Today we highlight a fascinating 2008 patent assigned to Microsoft, discussing assessment techniques such as pupil tracking or head orientation sensors to identify where and what the user is focused on–and what types of  information and/ or notifications to display accordingly.

U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507: Automated selection of appropriate information based on a computer user’s context.

  • Assignee(s): Microsoft Corporation
  • Inventor(s): James O. Robarts, Dan Newell, Kenneth H. Abbott
  • Technology Category: Neuro-monitoring
  • Issue Date: July 1, 2008

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘507 patent discloses methods for assessing a user’s mental state and more broadly the user’s context, to discern whether or not to present the users with a message (e.g., an advertisement). Read the rest of this entry »

Survey: Would you take a brief assessment every year as an “annual mental check-up”?

surveyPlease answer this question and a few other to help us better understand your thoughts and beliefs about brain health, and how we may be able to serve you better (should take no more than 5 minutes to complete it):

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Invest in Brain Health to Drive Innovation and Prosperity

In an increasingly knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy, human brains—not financial capital—are becoming the primary drivers of business success. Engaged, creative citizens and workers mean the difference between success and failure at the organizational and societal levels.

Looking at the problem from the perspective of brain health, there are Read the rest of this entry »

Agenda @ 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (June 7-14th)

82% 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 77% 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. Click Here to see full Summit agenda, including 35+ speakers, 6 product presentation/ demos and 5 educational workshops.

Technology as the missing link to enable a brain-based model of brain care: interview with Dr. John Docherty

Dr. John Docherty is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College, Cornell University, Director of Post Graduate Education there, and Chief Medical Officer of Brain Resource. Trained as a clinical research fellow in neuropsychopharmacology at NIMH, he later returned as Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Research Branch, responsible for all federally supported psychosocial treatment research in mental health nationwide. He oversaw the landmark National Collaborative Study of the Treatment of Depression and served as a member and Chairman for over 10 years on the NIMH and then NIDA Treatment Research IRGs. Dr. Docherty has wide experience in successfully implementing innovation in both clinical operations and managed health care. He founded Northeast Psychiatric Associates in 1985. As National Medical Director for National Medical Enterprises, he oversaw medical control and quality improvement in 74 hospitals in 34 states. He was the Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer for Merit Behavioral Care, which then covered 30 million people. In 1998, he founded Comprehensive NeuroScience (CNS). Its Care Management Technologies are currently implemented in 17 state Medicaid plans. Dr Docherty has received numerous honors and awards and has authored over 100 scientific publications.

(Editor’s note: this interview with Dr. John Docherty was originally published in SharpBrains’ market report Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cognition across the Lifespan, published in July 2010)

Alvaro Fernandez: Dr. Docherty, it is a pleasure to be with you today to discuss the main theme of SharpBrains’ 2010 market report – how the convergence of scientific findings and technology platforms and tools is reshaping how as a society and as individuals we will take care of cognition and mental wellness along the lifecourse, giving birth to the emerging digital brain health and fitness market. Can you first briefly discuss your career trajectory and your current role at Brain Resource?

Dr. John Docherty: Sure. The main theme of my work since the 1960s has remained the same, “How do we put knowledge into effective use to improve mental health?” Over the last century, medicine made tremendous progress in generating scientific and clinical knowledge. Basic research discovery science and clinical treatment development science have made great progress. Within Psychiatry there was standard setting advance in the 1960’s through the NIMH-VA cooperative studies to the methodology of assessing the efficacy of psychopharmacological drugs. This work established principles adopted for the study of medications in the other areas of medicine. The study of psychotherapy, however, lagged in development. In my role of Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Branch of the NIMH , I helped contribute to the advance of that work by supporting the efforts of an extraordinary group of individuals led by Irene Waskow who carried out the TDCRP. This study established the methodologies that made possible the effective scientific study of the efficacy of psychotherapies. The evidence base and of such treatments as CBT, DBT, Motivational Enhancement Treatment and other evidence-based psychotherapies derives directly from this study and its seminal influence. This was a contribution to the science of Clinical Treatment Development research.

I would say that my major interest, however, has been in the next step, the science of knowledge transfer. There has been and remains a long and costly (in terms particularly of unnecessary suffering) lag between the development of new knowledge and its common and effective use in practice.

In order the help the field moved forward, I have worked for the last 20 years in the development and implementation of methods to effectively transfer knowledge into practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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