Dr. Gazzaley is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, a company developing therapeutic video games, and co-founder and Chief Scientist of JAZZ Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in experiential technology to improve human performance. Additionally, he is a scientific advisor for over a dozen technology companies including Apple, GE, Magic Leap and The VOID, and on the Science Board of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Dr. Gazzaley has filed multiple patents for his inventions, authored over 125 scientific articles, and delivered over 535 invited presentations around the world. His research and perspectives have been consistently profiled in high-impact media, such as The New York Times, New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Discover, Wired, PBS, NPR, CNN and NBC Nightly News. He wrote and hosted the nationally-televised PBS special “The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley”, and co-authored with Dr. Larry Rosen the MIT Press book: “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World”, winner of the 2017 PROSE Award in the category of Biomedicine and Neuroscience. Dr. Gazzaley has received many awards and honors, including the Society for Neuroscience – Science Educator Award.
- The Cognition Crisis
Our lives on this planet have improved in so many amazing ways over the last century. On average we are now healthier, less poor, more literate, less violent and longer living. Despite these positive changes, signs are present that we are in the midst of an emerging crisis. This is a crisis of our minds – a cognition crisis. Dr. Gazzaley presents his latest perspectives on the difficulties we humans are currently facing in terms of our attention, perception, creativity, emotional regulation and compassion. Anxiety, depression, attention deficits and dementia affect a half a billion people around the world with an economic toll in the trillions. And these numbers are rising, notably in our children.
He proposes that the goal of enhancing cognition should be positioned as a grand challenge, and placed on par with other pressing global priorities. He concludes with a presentation of potential solutions using modern day technology.
- The Promise of Virtual Reality and the Brain
The long-awaited arrival of virtual and augmented reality is upon us. Consumer available products hold seemingly infinite promise in changing communication, entertainment and commerce. But what about our brains? Dr. Gazzaley takes us on a deep dive into how virtual and augmented reality technologies can be help enhance our cognition, with benefits to our memory, attention, decision-making and even empathy and compassion.
In this context of improving cognition, he discusses the potential educational and medical uses for these powerful new technologies.
- Raging against Aging: The Future of Brain Optimization and Longevity
One of the greatest achievements of modern times has been to dramatically increase the longevity of our species. While this is a cause for celebration, it should be recognized that it has resulted in numerous challenges to maintain quality of life due to a near ubiquitous decline in cognitive function with aging. Dr. Gazzaley describes the latest research on the aging brain and the challenges faced by an increasingly older population on a global level.
He shares practical advice on how to retain our cognition as we age, as well as a novel approach that he has been developing to use cutting-edge technology (custom-designed video games, artificial intelligence, brain stimulation, and Virtual reality) to achieve meaningful and sustainable cognitive enhancement throughout our lives.
- The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World
Our increasingly information-saturated world, coupled with growing expectations of constant availability and immediate responsiveness, place excessive demands on our brains. The consequences are detrimental effects on our safety, health, education, workplace, and relationships with family and friends. Dr. Gazzaley takes us on a journey into how and why we struggle with interruptions and distractions that emerge from both our inner and outer worlds. He will present a unique evolutionary perspective that the very essence of what has evolved in our brains to make us most human collides headfirst with our brain’s limitations in cognitive control.
He concludes by offering practical strategies for modifying our behavior, as well as the latest innovations from his research in enhancing our brain's function, so that we can better survive and thrive in the information age.
- Technology Meets Neuroscience - A Vision of the Future of Brain Optimization
• A fundamental challenge of modern society is the development of effective approaches to enhance brain function and cognition in both the healthy and impaired. For the healthy, this should be a core mission of our educational system and for the cognitively impaired this is should be a primary goal of our medical system. Unfortunately, neither of these systems have effectively met this challenge.
• Dr. Gazzaley presents a novel approach he developed at UCSF Neuroscape that uses custom-designed video games to achieve meaningful and sustainable cognitive enhancement via personalized closed-loop systems.
He also shares the next stage of his research program, which integrates closed-loop video games with the latest technological innovations in software (e.g., brain computer interfaces, AI) and hardware (e.g., virtual reality, mobile EEG, motion capture, physiological recording devices, brain stimulation) to enhance our brain’s information processing systems with the ultimate aim of improving our brain function.