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.
Follow me on Twitter at @neurorev
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Brain Waves

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May 31, 2007

Cool Neurotainment Video Game Systems Emerging

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Posted by Zack Lynch

It was only a matter of time that the $28 billion video game industry latched on to neurosensing technologies and tied them to futuristic video games.

2_0prod5.jpgEmotiv Systems has developed a new interface for human computer interaction. Project Epoc is basically a beautifully designed EEG system that connects wirelessly with all game platforms from consoles to PCs. Neurosky is another developer of sexy brain sensorware that collects brainwave signals, eye movements, and other bio-signals which are captured and amplified via their patented dry-active sensor technology. While NeuroSky's headset has one electrode, Emotiv Systems has developed a gel-free headset with 18 sensors. Besides monitoring basic changes in mood and focus, Emotiv's bulkier headset detects brain waves indicating smiles, blinks, laughter, even conscious thoughts and unconscious emotions. Players can kick or punch their video game opponent - without a joystick or mouse.

While most gamers won't be saying goodbye to their joysticks any time soon, these neurotainment technologies will surely pump up the extremely cool factor of cutting edge game experiences.

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

May 29, 2007

Bold Future of Neurotechnology in San Francisco Chronicle

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Posted by Zack Lynch

ZC%20SFChron%20pic.pngBernadette Tansey, staff business reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote an impressive article that appeared on the front page of today's business section about how I became involved in neurotech and what Casey and I are doing to help accelerate its development. Here is part of the article, but you should really read the whole piece. Brainstorming about the brain - Entrepreneur pioneers systems to allows to allow neuroscientists to share their discoveries:

"If you're Zack Lynch, you look for the next technology poised to take off like a rocket.

Lynch, 35, is betting that brain scientists will unleash the next waves of world-transforming discoveries. Since 2001, he has founded a flock of enterprises to track and accelerate the field of neurotechnology, which develops drugs and tools that influence the brain and nervous system. His ventures include conferences, neurotech investment analyses and a fledgling trade association.

The San Francisco entrepreneur began his career working for software companies after writing his UCLA master's thesis on the business transformations caused by the Internet. But he wanted to focus on a technology revolution that was just beginning. His wife and a brother were neurobiologists, and he got hooked on the field's possibilities.

Lynch saw the potential for rapid leaps in the understanding of the central nervous system with the rise of automated research tools such as biochips and brain imaging devices. That scientific progress, he said, could help tackle the psychiatric illnesses and nerve disorders that create an economic burden he estimates at roughly $1 trillion in the United States. Beyond disease treatments, Lynch could envision neurobiology breakthroughs that might improve memory and change emotion and communication.

"The societal implications are profound," he said.

But Lynch decided that neurotechnology businesses weren't coordinating with each other enough to advance their own interests in areas such as government research funding and private investment. No industry group represented the whole sweep of neurotech applications, which covers drugs, devices, diagnostic tests and software, he said. Like his father, Lynch started bringing competitors together to get them talking."

Seriously, read the whole article here. Kudos to Bernadette for her exceptional reporting.

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

May 23, 2007

Neurotech Industry 2007 Report Key Findings

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Neurotechnology Industry Report Says Revenues Grew 10% to $120.5 Billion in 2006; U.S. Economic Impact of Brain-related Illness Reached $1 Trillion

Last week NeuroInsights released our third annual report on neurotech. Unveiled during the annual Neurotechnology Industry Conference, The Neurotechnology Industry 2007 Report: Drugs, Devices and Diagnostics for the Brain and Nervous System is a market analysis and strategic investment guide of the global neurological disease and psychiatric illness markets. This year's 350 page report focuses on the more than 500 public and private companies translating advances in neuroscience into tomorrow’s treatments.

It provides insight and analysis of issues such as corporate financing, market activity, growth drivers and global industry conditions that make up the obstacles and opportunities facing the industry. The report provides an in-depth look at fifteen brain and central nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, anxiety, attention disorders, depression, epilepsy, hearing loss, insomnia, memory decline, obesity, pain, Parkinson’s, psychiatric disorders, stroke and other brain-related illnesses.

Specific findings from the Neurotechnology Industry 2007 Report include:
• Brain-related illnesses afflict more than two billion people worldwide
• The worldwide economic burden of this problem has reached more than $2 trillion per year; more than $1 trillion in the U.S. alone
• 2006 venture capital investment in neurotechnology rose 7.5% to $1.666 billion
• Neurotech industry revenues rose 10% in 2006 to $120.5 billion; this includes neuropharmaceutical revenues of $101 billion, neurodevice revenues of $4.5 billion, neurodiagnostic revenues of $15 billion
• The Neurotech Index of publicly-traded neurotechnology companies was up 53% from its December 31, 2003 conception to March 31, 2006, outpacing the NASDAQ Biotech Index which gained 7% during the same period

Neurotechnology is still very much a frontier industry. In the past year we’ve reached some important milestones, including formation of NIO, the first industry organization devoted to the specific needs of neurotechnology companies. 2006 was also a tremendous year of growth for the industry, and 2007 looks to continue this trend so as technologies improve and our collective body of knowledge grows. Countless opportunities exist as visionary researchers tackle the complexities of brain-related health and visionary companies, organizations and policy makers address the complexities of bringing those discoveries to the billions of people suffering from brain-related illnesses.

If you are seeking funding, new strategic partnerships, or new investment opportunities, You should purchase this report. It was written for you.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

May 3, 2007

Making Humans 2.0 a Reality

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Always maintaining its position on the cutting edge is MIT's media lab which is hosting a one day conference Humans 2.0: New Minds, New Bodies, New Identities on May 9. I wish I was able to make it but NeuroInsights is on a deadline for the release Neurotechnology Industry 2007 Report, not to mention the annual Neurotech Industry Investing and Partnering Conference we are hosting on May 17-18 or the drafting of the National Neurotechnology Initiative that NIO is working on. So while these thinkers pontificate about the future of the neurosociety back in Boston, I'll continue to work on connecting the emerging neurotechnology firms with the investors in order to help make some of these dreams a reality back here in SF. As Alan Kay said in 1971, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it."

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