About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

Monthly Archives

January 31, 2005

NBIC 2005 - Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance

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Posted by Zack Lynch

As nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science advance, researchers are now discovering new ways to integrate their findings (see NBIC research grants) This convergence will bring new approaches to what are currently very diverse areas of research - converging technology platforms, physical and mental performance, human-machine interface, human cognition and communication, learning, work efficiency, and many others.

If you are interested in staying on the cutting edge of converging technologies then the NBIC 2005 conference being held on February 24th & 25th at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Kailua-Kona, HI is the place to be. (Click here for brief write-ups of several talks given at NBIC 2003 and NBIC 2004.)

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NBIC 03-04-05

January 26, 2005

Friedman's Flat World

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Posted by Zack Lynch

In Thomas Friedman's forthcoming book "The World is Flat" he asks, "In 2020, what will historians view as the definitive driver that shaped the world over the past twenty years, 9/11 or new phase of globalization?

At the Arab Strategy Forum last month that latter and proposed a simple framework for this new era of globalization:
- Business 1.0: 1492-1800 countries globalized
- Business 2.0: 1800-2000 companies globalized
- Business 3.0: 2000-2040 individuals globalized

To compete in business 3.0, he suggested that government policies must engender the following policies to enable their citizens to succeed:
1. Make it possible to quickly start a business (2 years in Egypt in 2004)
2. Make it easy to hire and fire (accelerate idea birth and death)
3. Enforce contracts (without bribes)
4. Ease of credit (make it easy to go bankrupt)

Summing up his thoughts, he reiterated that the era of lifetime employment is gone and that individuals will migrate to geographies that support lifetime employability. Moreover, the development of human capital would require more flexibility in terms of their use of emerging tools to compete in this radically competitive economic environment. While not stating it outright, I would assert that this would include enabling neurotechnologies such as cogniceuticals to improve memory retention and neurofeedback systems to accelerate one's understanding of their emotional propensities. Neurotechology is already driving competitive advantage among individuals in the Business 3.0 political-economic ecology.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Economic Geography

January 25, 2005

NeoForum For Your Brain This Thursday Evening in Marin

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Posted by Zack Lynch

A recent article in LA Times informs us “The age of smart drugs is dawning.. and that these drugs may change the way we think and may even change who we are.” The fact that neurotechnology has profound societal implications will come as no surprise to regular readers. What is "news" is the increasing public awareness and discussion of the issues surrounding emerging neurotechnologies.

If you are in the SF/Bay Area and would like to join the discussion, come participate in a new public forum this Thursday in Marin where David Pescovitz, Will Block, Wrye Sententia, and myself will be sharing our thoughts and trying to answer your questions about our emerging neurosociety. The discussion will be led by moderator R.U. Sirius (Editor-in-chief of NeoFiles, author of multiple books including: Counterculture Through The Ages, Mondo 2000, and co-writer of Timothy Leary's last book, Design for Dying.

WHAT: NeoFiles Public Forum: Twenty First Century Brains
WHERE: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA
WHEN: 7:30 PM. Thursday, January 27
PRICE: $10 at door

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Perception Shift

January 24, 2005

ScienceNOW says NOVA - Intelligent Sponsors Exist

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Posted by Zack Lynch

I would like to thank NOVA's new ScienceNow program for becoming Brain Waves first official sponsor. Along with Corante's other science bloggers, Carl Zimmer and Derek Lowe, I've always been leery of the random ads that exist on many blogs. ScienceNow is different and the fit is right on. For example, tomorrow's show has a 14 minute segment on "mirror neurons" and their role in empathy and human understanding.

Hosted by 30 year veteran Robert Krulwich, ScienceNow has many more excellent programs in development. Check out their site to see some clips of forthcoming shows.

If anyone else is interested in sponsorship, and thereby reaching an incredibly desirable demographic (you, my dear readers), let me or the good people at know. By the way, this will be the only time I will use this blog to directly write about my sponsors. Unless of course, you reach the $10K sponsorship level. Thanks again for your continued support and interest.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Writing & Blogging

January 19, 2005

Is God in Your Brain? Neurotheology

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Posted by Zack Lynch

People everywhere say that they have had out-of-body experiences. (Follow this link to read people's stories).

In this week's Journal of Neuroscience, Blanke et al. attempt to link the phenomenon known as an out-of-body experience (OBE) with specific brain activity. During an OBE, one senses that the "self" departs the body so that the body and the world can be viewed from "outside." Healthy volunteers imagined an OBE, mentally shifting their visual perspective and body position. Evoked potential mapping revealed selective activation at the temporoparietal junction. It seems that out of the body is not necessarily out of the brain."

So maybe the phrase "In Neurons We Trust" isn't that far off the mark. Special kudos to the research team: Olaf Blanke, Christine Mohr, Christoph M. Michel, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Peter Brugger, Margitta Seeck, Theodor Landis, and Gregor Thut

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety

January 18, 2005

Stem Cell Hype and Hope Blog

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Want the latest information on stem cells? Check out Hype and Hope, a recently launched blog that covers the science, ethics, politics, markets, and many other emerging issues surrounding stem cells. Recent posts include:

- An equity-tracking index of public stem cell companies (everyone up today)
- Recent Patent activity (Parkinson's patent issued to Stem Cell Therapeutics today)
- Stem cell funding by states ($1B stem cell institute proposed in New York)
- Company-specific news (BrainStorm hired a new CFO yesterday)
- And my favorite, Politicians are Patients too

While other blogs occasionally comment on developments in the stem cell therapy space like HealthLawProf, Vinod's blog, and Blogicus; Hype and Hope takes this one issue and goes deeper and broader far better than anyone else. Looks like Kevin will have a job for a long time to come.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

January 17, 2005

U.S. Mental Health Institutes Receive 3% Funding Increase For 2005

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Posted by Zack Lynch

"For fiscal 2005 Congress approved about a 3 percent budget increase for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). This amounts to a gain of $41 million for NIMH, $23 million for NIDA, and $13 million for NIAAA, according to Boroughs. NIMH and NIAAA received increases similar to those in Fiscal 2004, while NIDA received a smaller increase.

By contrast, Congress increased the Fiscal 2005 budget of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by about 10 percent, to $4.4 billion. This includes $100 million to fund international programs that fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis and $180 million to build facilities "to enhance the nation's capacity to do research on biological and other agents," according to the final congressional budget bill."

Interesting priorities, yes?

From Psychiatric News

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

January 15, 2005

London's City Brain - Meta Psychogeography

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Posted by Zack Lynch

From the Real Surreal to the Unreal
This is meta-psychogeography, annotated neighborhoods visualized. Many are already wandering around.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroesthetics

January 12, 2005

JP Morgan Sees Booming Insomnia Market

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Posted by Zack Lynch

By Casey Lynch, NeuroInsights

The 23rd Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is underway this week in San Francisco where 230 public and 50 private companies are presenting their latest findings to over 6,000 healthcare executives and investors.

Of the many areas covered, the insomnia market was especially well represented. JP Morgan specialty pharmaceutical analyst Corey Davis provided an excellent overview of the growing insomnia market where Ambien currently holds 67% of the $2.3 billion market.

But Ambien's future doesn't look bright as new treatments with fewer side effects and less chronic treatment risks emerge, including Sepracor's Lunesta and Neurocrine's Indiplon. JP Morgan analysts suggested that Lunesta, which promotes sleep maintenance, in addition to sleep induction, will be able to gain a major share of the insomnia market in only two years. Lunesta's potential for market dominance is further blostered by Neurocrine's recent technical setback with the FDA that will slow down its market entry.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (14) | Category: Casey's Insights

January 11, 2005

Science and Society Weekly Internet Radio Program

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Posted by Zack Lynch

"Science and Society" is a must hear radio broadly focused on the life sciences, physical sciences, and planetary and space sciences, as well as K-12 science education and the intersection between science, art and society.

Catch the conversation tomorrow, Wednesday, 1/12/05, 1PM PST. (click here)

- The Honorable Phillip J. Bond, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology
- Dr. Steven Wiley, Director, Biomolecular Systems Initiative, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Dr. Karin D. Rodland, Staff Scientist & Technical Group Lead, Protein Function, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety

January 6, 2005

New Web-based Treatment Tool for Schizophrenia

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Psychnotes reports on a "new Web-based treatment algorithm will be available in January 2005 to help clinicians determine the best medication for patients with schizophrenia. A team of international psychopharmacologists led by Herbert Meltzer, MD of Vanderbilt University Medical Center recently completed the new algorithm designed to offer clinicians a resource as they make treatment decisions.

The project is part of the International Psychopharmacology Algorithm Project (IPAP) with the goal of developing new Web-based tools to improve the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

January 4, 2005

Keep Your Pulse on Mental Health Issues

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Posted by Zack Lynch

For the past four years Bill Davis has been aggregating the most relevant, up-to-date information about mental health issues on his weblog PULSE. It is the best resource I have found anywhere on the net and apparently many others agree.

To help guide the next stage of development and growth for Pulse, Bill has pulled together a diverse group of mental health professionals from the US, Canada and the UK to help advise him on emerging mental health issues, including:

Elaine Alfano - Policy Analyst, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
Piers Allott - Fellow for Recovery, National Institute for Mental Health in England.
Charles Benjamin - Executive Director, North Sound Mental Health Administration
Christine Bois - Concurrent Disorders Priority Manager, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Janos Botschner - Chief Researcher, Canadian Mental Health - Waterloo
Janice Buchanan - Mental Health Program, O­ntario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care
Dale Butterill - Manager: Knowledge Transfer, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Rosie Carney - Bureau Chief, Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction
Anita Everett - Senior Medical Advisor, SAMHSA
Leah Gitter - Facilitator: Criminal Justice Support Group, NAMI
Nancy Hall - University of British Columbia Department of Psychiatry
Dale Klatzker - President and CEO, The Providence Center
Frank Kokorowski - Director, King County Community and Human Services (Seattle)
Paul Lefkovitz - President, Behavioral Pathway Systems
Zack Lynch - Managing Director, NeuroInsights.
Elaine Sutton Mbionwu - President/CEO, National Re-Entry Resource Center
James McNulty - President Emeritus, NAMI
Chip Palmer - CEO, Centre for Community Change International
Knute Rotto - CEO, Choices, Inc.
Sue Schmidt - Field Director, Vermont Agency of Human Services
Ken Thompson - Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, U. of Pittsburgh Medical School

I highly recommend giving the Pulse community weblog a look. It has daily, weekly and quarterly updates to keep you abreast of mental health issues.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

January 3, 2005

2005 Carnival of the Capitalists

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Management Craft is kicking off the New Year by hosting this week's Carnival of the Capitalists. Be sure to check it out. If you want to participate in the next one, visit this website for the submission form.

This week’s theme is Brains and Hearts - How we Use our Brains and Hearts as Tools of Progress and Meaning. Looks like I got lucky when I submitted by blog on mental health and neurocompetitive advantage. I also recommend Tom Peter's short post on New Year's Resolutions.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety