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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February 26, 2009

The Neuro Revolution Reaches Germany "Kulturzeit" Early

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Posted by Zack Lynch

TNRGermany.pngThe book won't be out until July 21, but Germany got a glimpse of The Neuro Revolution on prime time TV today. During this 6 minute segment which aired on the cultural program called "Kulturzeit" I share some thoughts on brain enhancement along with Hank Greeley at Stanford. "Culture Time" is seen across Germany, Austria and Switzerland each night. The segment was titled "Brain Doping". I appear in the interview from minute 1 through minute 4 1/2. There is a wonderful 10 second gaze on the Cover of THE NEURO REVOLUTION.

You'll need a highbandwidth connection to watch this:

Zack Lynch: Pillen für ein besseres Gedächtnis bald Alltag
Zack Lynchs Buch "Die Neuro-Revolution" beschreibt, wie wir in der Zukunft leben, arbeiten und unsere Freizeit gestalten. Mit unfehlbaren Lügendetektoren, die Zeugenaussagen mit Magnetresonanzbildern des Gehirns auf ihren Wahrheitsgehalt überprüfen, Börsenmanagern, die ihre Gehirnscans auswerten, um gewinnbringend Aktien zu kaufen, oder Videospiele, die anstatt mit Joystick direkt von unseren Gehirnströmen gesteuert werden. Die Erforschung von Alterskrankheiten wie Alzheimer, Demenz oder Parkinson schaffte neue Grundlagen, um das menschliche Gehirn besser zu verstehen. Eine Babyboomer-Generation mit stetig steigender Lebenserwartung schafft einen Markt für Gehirn-Anabolica aller Art: Pillen für ein besseres Gedächtnis, schärferes Sehen oder besseres Hören sind laut Lynch bald ein alltägliches Hilfsmittel.

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

February 16, 2009

Memory Erasing Emoticeuticals Back in the News

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Posted by Zack Lynch

emoti.jpgEvery year or so for the past half dozen, a news story makes headlines that highlights the memory fading quality of propanolol. This time around it is a Dutch study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience that is making the rounds. Emoticeuticals that can mute emotional memories are a double edged sword that will continue to create controversy the more precise they become and the more wide spread their usage gets.

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February 13, 2009

The National Neurotechnology Initiative Can Create Jobs While Lifting Economic Burdens

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Posted by Zack Lynch

NNTI2.jpgHere was one of the key arguments we used on this year's NIO public policy up on Capitol Hill.

According to leading neurotechnology analysis firm NeuroInsights, annual venture capital investment in US neurotechnology companies was approximately $1.35 billion in 2007. This investment funded roughly 400 companies, providing high-quality jobs to 45,000 Americans. But much more can be done. R&D bottlenecks, such as lack of research coordination and a long and uncertain FDA approval process, are preventing an estimated $1.5 billion in further annual investment in US neurotechnology companies. This investment would lead to the creation of as many as 500 more companies and 50,000 more high-quality jobs.

The National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) uses less than four percent of current federal brain research funding to remove key bottlenecks in the R&D process:

• Bottleneck 1: Agencies do not coordinate their neurotechnology research. The NNTI establishes a National Neurotechnology Coordinating Office within the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that NIH, DOD, and VA are working together and not duplicating effort.
• Bottleneck 2: The 16 Institutes within the NIH that focus on brain research are insufficiently coordinated. The NNTI fully funds and supports the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, an ongoing inter-institute research effort.
• Bottleneck 3: NIH is pushing too few treatments out of the lab and into development. The NNTI funds SBIR and STTR programs at NIH to accelerate this process.
• Bottleneck 4: FDA approval processes for brain-related drugs, devices, and diagnostics are slower and more expensive than for other treatments, and approval pathways are uncertain. The NNTI provides funding for FDA to hire and train neurotechnology experts and set much-needed neurotechnology standards.

Removing these bottlenecks will catalyze private investment by making neurotechnology R&D more efficient and productive. NeuroInsights estimates that the federal investment represented by the NNTI will have a multiplier effect of nearly 7x in private capital.

More than 100 million Americans – one in three – are affected by some type of brain-related illness, injury, or disorder. These include mental illness, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, and many others. They also include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), which disproportionally affect members of our armed forces. The combined economic burden of these diseases is more than $1 trillion per year. Lessening this burden will further improve the economy.

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February 5, 2009

Neuroarchitecture: Blue Engenders Creativity

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Posted by Zack Lynch

blue.png The New York Times reports on how color can influence creativity based on a Science article about researchers at the University of British Columbia who conducted tests with 600 people to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue.

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

Contemplating Our Future: Neuroethics Resources

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Posted by Zack Lynch

brainrip.pngAs The Neuro Revolution emerges it becomes increasingly clear that the social and ethical implications of advancing neurotech will take many institutions to contemplate, debate and create effective policy. Here are a few of the best source to get more information: Neuroethics at the University of Pennsylvania , University of British Columbia, National Core for Neuroethics, Neuroethics Society , Dana Foundation, Law and Neuroscience Project, Stanford program on Neuroethics and the ever present Neuroethics and Law Blog. Here is a review of the first Neuroethics Society meeting held in November 2008.

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