Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: The Neurotech Revolution Could Lead To ‘Frankenstein’ Brains. Here’s How We Avoid It

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Time for Sharp­Brains’ August e-newslet­ter, this time start­ing with a con­ver­sa­tion whose time has come…

New thinking:

Year 2030, your col­lege-age daugh­ter, who has nor­mal hear­ing, has been pound­ing on you to get the lat­est hear­ing aid that allows one to can­cel out noise on demand, ampli­fy select­ed ambi­ent con­ver­sa­tions at will, and can eas­i­ly con­nect to the music store. Should you buy one for her? Maybe you should buy one not only for her, but also for you as you enter your 60s? Keep read­ing The Neu­rotech Rev­o­lu­tion Could Lead To ‘Franken­stein’ Brains. Here’s How We Avoid It

New research:

New tools:

Upcoming events (and discount codes):

 

Have a great Sep­tem­ber!

 

The Sharp­Brains Team

$3 million available for innovative solutions aimed at older adults via The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI)

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Cen­tre for Aging + Brain Health Inno­va­tion announces up to $3 mil­lion in fund­ing avail­able to sup­port indus­try inno­va­tions in the field of aging and brain health (press release):

The Cen­tre for Aging + Brain Health Inno­va­tion (CABHI) announced today the sec­ond round of fund­ing avail­able through its Indus­try Inno­va­tion Part­ner­ship Pro­gram (I2P2). This pro­gram is designed to enable Read the rest of this entry »

16 Finalists announced @ MIT Solve’s Brain Health Challenge

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As Sharp­Brains read­ers know, MIT Solve issued a call for brain health inno­va­tors world­wide to pro­pose non-inva­sive, non-phar­ma­co­log­i­cal, scal­able tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions that Read the rest of this entry »

We need low-cost monitoring technologies to track cognitive processes and capabilities at an individual level” — Danny Dankner, CEO and co-founder of Applied Cognitive Engineering

Dan­ny Dankn­er

Ques­tion: Dan­ny, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solu­tion demands a cre­ative and sig­nif­i­cant tech-enabled inno­va­tion.

Answer: We need low-cost mon­i­tor­ing tech­nolo­gies to track cog­ni­tive process­es and capa­bil­i­ties at an indi­vid­ual lev­el. This would be crit­i­cal to trace and diag­nose dete­ri­o­rat­ing process­es, espe­cial­ly among the “wor­ried well” and old­er adults.

What advice would you give an entre­pre­neur launch­ing an inno­va­tion to address that?

The same advice I’d give any entre­pre­neur: make sure you address a real need, be focused, short­en devel­op­ment cycles and work as close as pos­si­ble to prospec­tive cus­tomers. Of course you also need to assem­ble a group of capa­ble and con­nect­ed peo­ple which you are com­fort­able work­ing with.

Final­ly, please share some­thing excit­ing you’re work­ing on.

We have been devel­op­ing cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tion sys­tems to train and improve on-field deci­sion-mak­ing per­for­mance  among com­pet­i­tive foot­ball (“soc­cer” in the US) play­ers, and it’s excit­ing to start to see tan­gi­ble results. For exam­ple, the Cologne Sport Uni­ver­si­ty just released this fas­ci­nat­ing study about the effi­ca­cy of the Foot­ball Intel­li­Gym, led by Prof. Daniel Memmert–the head of the sports cog­ni­tion depart­ment there.

– Dan­ny Dankn­er, a ser­i­al entre­pre­neur, is the CEO and co-founder of Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing Ltd (ACE), a leader in the field of cog­ni­tive train­ing for com­pet­i­tive ath­letes. Pre­vi­ous­ly he was on the found­ing team of Kinet­i­ca Inter­net­ting Solu­tions, and led strate­gic ini­tia­tives at Mobile­S­pear and Scepia Inter­net Solu­tions. Dan­ny is a found­ing mem­ber of Tel Aviv University’s entre­pre­neur­ship forum and serves as board mem­ber of the Glob­al Entre­pre­neur­ship Net­work Israel. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test host­ed by the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th, 2017).

– Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

Brainy Innovation Tips from Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director with Merck Ventures

Edward Kli­phuis

Ques­tion: Edward, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solu­tion demands a cre­ative and sig­nif­i­cant tech-enabled inno­va­tion.

Answer: We need to tar­get depres­sion, stress and fatigue in a quan­tifi­able man­ner (ie. no well­ness-like claims, but real data sup­port­ing an improve­ment in the afore­men­tioned indi­ca­tions). Treat­ments and ear­ly detec­tion too.

Also, ways  to mon­i­tor lon­gi­tu­di­nal cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (ie. per­son-spe­cif­ic brain func­tion over the course of a num­ber of years). Done on a wider pop­u­la­tion this could pro­vide insights into the impact of cer­tain exter­nal fac­tors such as food, air qual­i­ty, etc.

 

Ques­tion: And what advice would you give an entre­pre­neur launch­ing an inno­va­tion to address those needs–for the approach to be suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able?

Answer: Focus on the right mod­el from day one: You need to iden­ti­fy right away the best approach for the oppor­tu­ni­ty at hand — for exam­ple, reg­u­lat­ed med­ical approach vs. gen­er­al well­ness? Both are viable but going from unreg­u­lat­ed to reg­u­lat­ed is hard­ly pos­si­ble where­as the oppo­site is viable (although cre­ates a risk of off-label use…)

 

– Edward Kli­phuis is an Invest­ment Direc­tor with Mer­ck Ven­tures BV, the Cor­po­rate Ven­ture Cap­i­tal arm of Mer­ck KGaA, Darm­stadt, Ger­many. He is respon­si­ble for the New Busi­ness­es fund, which invests glob­al­ly in trans­for­ma­tion­al ideas dri­ven by great entre­pre­neurs. The New Busi­ness­es fund seeks to invest in strate­gic oppor­tu­ni­ties beyond Merck’s cur­rent busi­ness­es, make cross over invest­ments between busi­ness­es and invest in dig­i­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. The total vol­ume of the cor­po­rate ven­ture fund is €300 mil­lion. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test host­ed by the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th, 2017).

– Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

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