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

Monthly Archives

November 28, 2008

Global Neurosecurity Discussions Needed

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Posted by Zack Lynch

neuronss.pngJonathan Moreno writes another insightful piece, Intelligence on the Brain which discusses the need for a new dialogue on neuroresearch and national security.

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

November 26, 2008

Neuroscience Summer Boot Camp 2009 for Non-Scientists, Aug. 2-12

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Posted by Zack Lynch

PennBoot.pngNeuroscience is increasingly relevant to a number of professions and academic disciplines beyond its traditional medical applications. Indeed, for any field in which it is important to understand, predict or influence human behavior, neuroscience will play an increasing role. The Penn Neuroscience Boot Camp is designed to give participants a basic foundation in cognitive and affective neuroscience and to equip them to be informed consumers of neuroscience research. The Boot Camp faculty consists of leaders in the fields of cognitive and affective neuroscience who are committed to the goal of educating non-neuroscientists.

Lawyers, educators, economists and businesspeople, as well as scholars of sociology, philosophy, applied ethics and policy, are incorporating the concepts and methods of neuroscience into their work. Graduate and professional students, working professionals and college and university faculty are encouraged to apply. The only prerequisites are a grasp of basic statistics and at least a dim recollection of high school biology and physics. (A short set of readings will be made available prior to the Boot Camp to remind you about the essentials.) Participants will be housed on campus in air-conditioned apartment-style suites with private bedrooms.

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

November 25, 2008

NIO Unveils Top 10 Neuroscience Trends for 2009

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Posted by Zack Lynch

top10.pngHere are ten emerging areas of neuroscience that will impact the future of treatments for brain and nervous system which were published as a result of the cutting edge research being presented at the Society for Neuroscience Conference held in Washington DC last week. Top 10 Trends of 2009:

1. Epigenetics leading to new treatment targets:
New research highlights the critical interactions of genes and the environment in brain health and development revealing new treatment strategies and potential therapeutic targets for obesity, memory loss, addiction and mental illness.

2. National Neurotechnology Initiative Act: Momentum for this recently introduced legislation which provides $200M a year for federal R&D aimed at accelerating translational neurotech innovation and improving the effectiveness of FDA review process for neuroscience drugs, devices and diagnostics grows.

3. New Sources of Stem Cells:
The discovery of new sources of neural stem cells are opening up new avenues and potentially whole new treatment strategies for stroke, vision loss, hearing loss, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS.

4. Deep Brain Stimulation: New clinical research into the use of deep brain stimulation devices for the treatment of neurological diseases and psychiatric illnesses continues to provide new hope to those suffering from drug treatment forms of these illnesses.

5. Addiction advances: New research that clarifies the role of impulsivity in treating cocaine addiction and synaptic plasticity in the control of inhibitory circuits could potentially lead to new treatment strategies for this epidemic impacting over 1.1 billion worldwide.

6. Stress prevention: New research shows that even a few hours of stress can reduce neural connectivity and that chronic stress, in particular early in life, can shrink critical areas of the brain. These findings may lead to new treatment strategies for PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders.

7. Traumatic brain injury advances: Early detection proves important for effective treatment while new research into inflammation may provide new treatments for people with brain injuries and stroke.

8. Get your sleep: More research points to the critical role that a proper night’s sleep plays in the memory consolidation, learning and mental illness further validating the need for effective therapeutics which engender healthy sleep patterns.

9. Discovery tools underpin innovation: New imaging techniques coupled with advances in neuroinformatics, image-based neural circuit analysis, and neural computation are accelerating the pace of neuroscientific discovery beyond what was imagined a decade ago.

10. Neuroscience infiltrates society: From neurofinance, neuroeconomics to neuroesthetics to neuroethics and neurolaw, the influence of neuroscience on society continues to grow.

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

November 11, 2008

NIO CEO Media Tour in NYC Gets Results

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Posted by Zack Lynch

WSJ.pngYesterday, I hosted NIO's annual public neurotech company CEO media tour here in NYC with Uli Hacksell, CEO of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics and Joern Aldag, CEO of Evotec joining me in hour long discussions with reporters at the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, PharmaWire (Financial Times), Discover Magazine, and Forbes. The discussions were lively and revolved around the impact of the current financial crisis as well as the lack of adequate regulatory resources. The Wall Street Journal picked up on our conversation and posted some of it on the WSJ Health Blog: FDA Delays Take Toll on Neuroscience Drug Developmentposted by Shirley S. Wang.

"The FDA has even the neuroscience crowd scratching their heads.

Some folks from the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group for neuroscience companies, and three of its members stopped by Health Blog HQ today. Our chat really heated up when it turned to the current regulatory environment...(more)

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

November 6, 2008

O Neurocaster

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Oprah.pngO, The Oprah Magazine, has an article written by Tim Jarvis in the mindwise section this month titled, The Brain Age. The article explores how "cutting-edge neuroscience has escaped from the lab and is suddenly showing up everywhere, changing the way we practice law, go shopping and possibly, fall in love. Tim interviewed me extensively for the article over a year ago and it's nice to see it finally his the newstand in the November issue. In a side bar, Tim asked me to forecast some neuroscientific advancements that would ring with O readers, here are a few I posit:

Neuroentertainment: Current technologies such as video games will merge with future one (such as those involving neural feedback) so gamers might wear EEG-type caps that read their brainwaves and pick up their emotions. Conceivably, story lines would move forward in real time, the plot changing based on each person's response, says Zack Lynch.

Neuroeducation: The more we learn about the neurobiology of learning - how the mind develops, what to make of differences between individual brains - the better we can "sculpt" teaching methods. Lynch predicts educational software will be tailored to students' individual brain patterns to improve math and language acquisition as well as creative thinking.

Neurospirituality: New tools such as real-time FMRI technology, Lynch says, promise to accelerate our capacity to access deeply meditative and spiritual states.

Check out the article as it scans several areas of the neurosociety.

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