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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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GUEST AUTHOR ARCHIVES
THE NEURO REVOLUTION
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Brain Waves

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August 1, 2011

Chinese Cover of The Neuro Revolution

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Posted by Zack Lynch

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The Neuro Revolution Lands In China

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October 21, 2010

How Neuroscience Will Change the World - My Interview on Reason.tv

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September 8, 2010

The Neuro Revolution Published in Japan as "Neuro Wars"

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NeuroRevJapanCover.pngThe Neuro Revolution was recently published in Japan! Here is the cover. They chose a slightly different title for this translation, Neuro Wars (ala Star Wars). Buy in Japan here. Looking forward to China, Korea and Brazil next!

It was while researching and writing this book over the past decade that many of my ideas around how develop social motivations systems that engender successful behavior change were formed. I look forward to the day when we can leverage cutting edge behavioral neuroscience techniques on a real-time basis in Japan and throughout the world to help people live happier, healthier lives.

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June 15, 2010

The Neuro Revolution in China Progressing

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Posted by Zack Lynch

My translator at the Science Press of China recently reached out to me for help on translating The Neuro Revolution for China. I found his correspondence interesting...

Although I have kept a good record of translation since 1978, with four national awards for my translational work in science and popular science fields, your book hitherto is the most challenging one, not only for its frontal knowledge, numeral quotations and latest slangs, but also unfamiliar areas for me, such as religion and jazz, either as topics outside my personal preference or as the consequence of China's long isolation from the world and hostile attitude towards ideologies and cultures different from what the government here wants to enforce. Now with your help, my confidence has been greatly enhanced.

The Japan translation is coming along well too. Should be out in Tokyo before the end of the year.

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November 9, 2009

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Forum on Neuroscience

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Screen%20shot%202009-11-09%20at%203.51.40%20PM.pngOff to Princeton to participate in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation meeting on Connecting Revolutions in Neuroscience with Health and Health Care tomorrow. We'll be engaged in a series of highly iterative, forward-looking discussions that will culminate in a wrap-up that integrates the thinking across neurotechnology, neuroscience and behavioral health and outlines connections and implications for the future of health and health care. Should be interesting!

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October 14, 2009

The Young and the Neuro "Revolution"

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From prefix to adjective and now David Brooks makes "the Neuro" a noun. The meme lives.

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September 4, 2009

Perception Shifting Leads to Dizzy Future

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Energy-.jpgIn Chapter Nine, Perception Shift, we explore the societal implications of a time when people across all walks of life intentionally choose to use neurotechnologies to influence their mood, senses and memories. By subtly influencing one's mental self - improving cognitive clarity, extending physical sensations, expanding emotional well being - we will ultimately begin to change how we perceive daily events. In short, society will experience a perception shift. There are profound ethical, legal and societal issues with moving down this pathway, but it does indeed seem like this is a likely path that many may take as we travel deeper into the emerging neurosociety.

A recent article in the Prospect written by David Edmonds, The Age of Enhancement, highlights the complexities that arise when considering the societal impact of conscious mental enhancement, "At the heart of the debate there remains unease about tampering with the very things that make humans human. And while we are becoming accustomed to some varieties of enhancement, our capacity to manipulate not just our bodies and our cognitive faculties, but potentially also our core emotions, is taking us into a world of dizzyingly new options."

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August 19, 2009

h+ Magazine Gladly Greets The Neuro Revolution

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Posted by Zack Lynch

hplus.pngh+ Magazine reviewed The Neuro Revolution and published an interview with me. My favorite line from the review, "This is a thought-provoking and important read that deserves a wide audience." And from the interview, "Through neurotechnology we can possibly accelerate peoples' senses of themselves and their relationship to their higher being."

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Cerebrum on Huerta's Book Review

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In his review of The Neuro Revolution by Zack Lynch, Michael F. Huerta compliments the animated style Lynch uses to describe how our understanding of the brain and newfound ability to affect it via drugs and technology are changing our lives and our societies. Lynch’s predictions for the future are both exciting and within the realm of scientific possibility.

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August 18, 2009

Wonderful Review of "The Neuro Revolution" in Cerebrum

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Posted by Zack Lynch

cerebrum.pngMichael Huerta just wrote a wonderful review of The Neuro Revolution for Cerebrum published by the Dana Foundation. I've excerpted a few of his insights here, but I recommend reading the whole review, Our Neurotech Future.

Michael F. Huerta, Ph.D., is the associate director for scientific technology research at the NIMH and leads neuroscience and neurotechnology programs and initiatives at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He directs the NIH’s Human Connectome Project, the National Database for Autism Research and the Office of Cross-Cutting Science and co-chairs the coordinating committee of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.

"Technology’s potential to improve—or to imperil—our lives and our societies lies at the center of this entertaining and thought-provoking book by Zack Lynch, founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization.

Written for a lay audience, The Neuro Revolution begins with Lynch’s description of his first bungee jump, from the canopy of a lush rain forest, followed by a shock of pain from an injured spine when his second jump went awry. The experience inspired him to explore neuroscience and neurotechnology (Lynch defines the latter as “the tools we use to understand and influence our brain and nervous system”). With prose that is at times clever and quirky but never dull, Lynch discusses how our understanding of the human brain—as well as our ability to influence it—may shape the future of law, commerce, art, warfare and religion.

Along the way, we read stories of discovery and invention set in a variety of contexts and disciplines. Lynch’s anecdotes illustrate how the findings and technologies of brain science might alter society. He supports his stories and personal musings with references to reader-friendly articles and books; comments and insights from scientists, artists, ethicists and other experts; and historical facts that help the reader appreciate the full trajectory of a discovery.

... Lynch describes this and other neurotechnologies with characteristic zeal and animation without wandering too far from rigorous scientific interpretation. This is a difficult balance to achieve.
...Given the broad perspective Lynch takes in this book, readers may argue that he should have addressed additional technologies, neuroscience findings and ethical or legal implications more thoroughly. However, suggesting that additional points could be made or that topics could be explored further is more an acknowledgement of the richness and import of Lynch’s subject matter than a criticism of what this slim book offers.
...The Neuro Revolution is a timely and approachable introduction to the power of neuroscience and neurotechnology to shape our world, inside and out.

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August 7, 2009

"Neuro Revolution" From Prefix to Adjective

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300_82094.gifIn his commentary Brave Neuro World Paul McFedries at IEEE Spectrum highlights how "the term neuro made the leap from prefix to adjective recently with the publication last month of The Neuro Revolution."

As you can imagine, we thought long and hard about the title for the book. Years back I considered Brain Wave (a play on the physical phenomenon, the patterns of historical techno-economic waves, and the close association with the name of this blog). Obviously, The Neuro Revolution won for multitude of reasons, one of them being the desire to raise "neuro" to a new status.

The prefix to adjective shift is of monumental significance. Neuro refers to more than just the ways that neuroscience and neurotechnologies will drive social, economic and political developments but also to the many new ways of viewing, understanding and existing that will emerge as we assimilate neuro-derived and inspired tools and practices into our lives throughout the 21st century. This is similar to how the adjectives Industrial and Information placed before Revolution connoted much greater meaning than a type of technology or science.

At all of my discussions over the two last week in DC, NYC, Boston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, I continually shared that the primary reason for writing the book was to spark an ongoing broad public dialogue about how brain science, neurotechnology and new ways of viewing situations will transform nearly every aspect of human life - from law enforcement to the financial markets, to marketing, art, entertainment, religion, warfare and even what it means to be human.

I was heartened a few days after my talk at MIT, attended by over 100 neuroscientists, that it generated enough interest in the societal implications of their research that they are already working on a follow on series focused on emerging issues.

While there is already a burgeoning neuroethics community, it is time to expand the community. Given the extraordinary changes coming, it must begin to include people from all walks of life, yet another reason to write a book less laden in terminology and more focused on story and human interest. Let the conversations grow!

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July 23, 2009

The Witness on Your Shoulders

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article00.jpgIn chapter two, The Witness on Your Shoulders of The Neuro Revolution, I focus on the emerging field of neurolaw. It's an extraordinarily interesting and provocative area of research that will continue the evolve rapidly in the coming years as new techniques and technologies emerge to help us peer more effectively into the brain as it contemplates ideas, such as lying or telling the truth. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog post.

There has recently been some exciting press around the Josh Greene's work around using fMRI for the purposes of lie detection and the continue skepticism surrounding its use here. As Time's Adi Narayan succinctly put it, "On an fMRI image, at least, the lying brain may look no different from one that's simply contemplating whether to lie."

So with today's technology I would agree, yet, as I argue throughout the book and have discussed here many times, major technological revolutions begin with a 15 year period of technological transformation. During these periods of rapid innovation new tools emerge that radically surpass what was previously believed to be possible. We are only just entering this period. So just because current imaging techniques appear to weak at being able detect deception, don't let this fool us. We must continue to think through the ethical, legal and societal implications of truth detection technologies, because they will emerge, and will transform our system of jurisprudence in many, many ways.

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July 16, 2009

The Neuro Revolution book launch and tour

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TNR-Cover-Final-Web-250.jpgThe book is finally coming out this weekend! Here are a few places where I'll be speaking over the next couple of weeks. Come out and join the dialogue. More tour information here.

July 21, 7pm Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
July 23, 6-8pm, SF Book Launch Party, Foreign Cinema, SF, CA
July 27, 7pm, Borders, 1801 K Street, Washington D.C.
July 28, 3-5pm, Capitol Hill, Capitol Visitors Center, Senate Rooms, D.C.
July 29, 6-8 pm, NYC Book Launch Party, Scuderia, NY, NY
July 30, 12:00pm, MIT, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Boston, MA
July 30, 7pm, Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MA
Aug. 3, 7pm, Books Inc., Palo Alto, CA

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July 1, 2009

Publishers Weekly Review of The Neuro Revolution - "Absorbing"

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Posted by Zack Lynch

PW.pngThe Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science is Changing Our World Zack Lynch with Byron Laursen. St. Martin’s, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 9780312378622

Neuroscience entrepreneur Lynch, founder of a global trade association and a market research firm, is a futurologist with his feet on the ground. After an eight-year struggle to diagnose a painful back injury, Lynch's condition was pinpointed by a full-body MRI scan; the experience convinced him that emerging tools will improve our “control over the mental environment” in the same way we've managed the physical environment. Examining emerging tech, Lynch reports on lie detectors like a portable system for rapidly scanning and detecting involuntary facial tics, and a developing method called “brain fingerprinting.” Emerging marketing techniques include functional MRI scanners for focus groups, allowing researchers to look directly at the brain of the subject, rather than depend on verbal responses. Lynch predicts that brain scan information will improve performance, and may become vital to professionals like stock brokers and specialized military forces; he also sees mental face-lifts attaining the popularity of cosmetic surgery. The exciting news is tampered by warnings that such devices could also be used for “cultural or economic bondage.” Lynch is passionate, knowledgeable and fully engaged with the world of neurotechnology, and his overview makes absorbing material. (July)

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June 29, 2009

The Debate: Better Living through Chemistry?

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Here is the 45 minute follow up debate. Poor title, we should have discussed neurodevices in depth but there only so much time and bandwidth.

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The Neuro Revolution Interview on The Agenda

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Enjoy this 15 minute interview!

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June 14, 2009

The Neuro Revolution on The Agenda

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Posted by Zack Lynch

If you are in Canada tomorrow evening, watch me on The Agenda at 8pm with Steve Paikin where I'll be talking about my forthcoming book, The Neuro Revolution and neuroenhancement.

Update: Taping still happening today, but Iran is taking center stage tonight, so will be aired at later date. Will update then.

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