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Large study to study impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers

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Does grow­ing up poor harm brain devel­op­ment? (The Econ­o­mist):

Plen­ty of evi­dence sug­gests that grow­ing up poor, liv­ing through these kinds of scrapes, has a detri­men­tal impact on child devel­op­ment. Chil­dren from rich fam­i­lies tend to have bet­ter lan­guage and mem­o­ry skills than those from poor fam­i­lies. More afflu­ent chil­dren usu­al­ly per­form bet­ter in school, and are less like­ly to end up in jail. Grow­ing up poor risks the devel­op­ment of a small­er cere­bral cor­tex. But these are asso­ci­a­tions Read the rest of this entry »

Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills

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Social-emo­tion­al learn­ing (SEL) teach­es the key atti­tudes and skills nec­es­sary for under­stand­ing and man­ag­ing emo­tions, lis­ten­ing, feel­ing and show­ing empa­thy for oth­ers, and mak­ing thought­ful, respon­si­ble deci­sions. For five years, I was an edu­ca­tor in the field teach­ing mind­ful­ness and emo­tion­al skills to teenagers at six dif­fer­ent high schools.

Over and over, I saw the pow­er of mind­ful­ness to trans­form the inner lives of stu­dents. Stu­dents became less stressed, more self-reg­u­lat­ed, and more thought­ful toward their class­mates. But I also saw that Read the rest of this entry »

Neuropsychologist Amy Serin, Co-Founder of Brainnovations Winner The Touchpoint Solution, would like to see everyone avoid the detrimental effects of an overactive stress response

Dr. Serin, what sur­prised you the most from the Judges’ ques­tions and feed­back dur­ing the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test?

It was great that at least one of the judges had already pur­chased and start­ed using our prod­uct so we could delve into the nuances of our tech­nol­o­gy quick­ly. And I was thrilled that all judges saw the pos­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate sig­nif­i­cant glob­al impact.

In a nut­shell, what is the core idea behind Touch­Points?

Too many peo­ple suf­fer too much stress, often lead­ing to sleep­less­ness, crav­ings, anger, poor focus, poor per­for­mance, and feel­ing over­whelmed. Touch­Points aim at reduc­ing stress by deliv­er­ing hap­tic microvi­bra­tions via wear­able devices worn on both sides of the body. The Read the rest of this entry »

The State of Mindfulness Science: 10 Key Research Findings to Encourage and Guide your Meditation Practice in 2018

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Dur­ing the past two decades, more and more sci­en­tists have stud­ied mindfulness—a Bud­dhist-inspired col­lec­tion of prac­tices aimed at help­ing us to cul­ti­vate moment-to-moment aware­ness of our­selves and our envi­ron­ment. Their ear­ly find­ings trig­gered an enor­mous amount of enthu­si­asm for med­i­ta­tion.

Some­times, how­ev­er, jour­nal­ists and even sci­en­tists (who should know bet­ter) have over­stat­ed the phys­i­cal and men­tal health ben­e­fits, which has fed grow­ing skep­ti­cism about mind­ful­ness. Read the rest of this entry »

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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