What is your role in WHIT?
To demonstrate how a small space in the home can rejuvenate your brain.
What inspired you to rethink a technology focused on mental health?
In a word… NEED! I was raised believing that if you think that something “needs” to happen or to be done, then don’t just talk about it, do it! As a neuroscientist I worked for almost two decades in leading research institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, developing and leading research designed to better understand brain function. “How does our brain create categories of all things in our environment?”, “How does it represent these concepts?”, “How does it relate it to language”, “How did the brain evolve into our current cognitive abilities?”, etc. We have made incredible advances on the understanding of the brain and related mental pathologies, however, I started feeling that the much needed translational applications and societal impact was not yet truly happening, and at the personal level that I needed to focus my energy and efforts beyond scientific research and writing and into catalyzing translational change. It had become clear to me that any truly disruptive change in mental health had to include both a medical and a preventive wellness vertical, as they are like the two sides of the proverbial mental health coin. Moreover, there is a wealth of knowledge about brain markers and correlated cognitive functions, such as attention, emotional processing, memory or language that if properly integrated into large scale deployable and personalized solutions can dramatically change mental health. Knowing this, I knew what I had to try… and Neuroverse was created.
Why is Neuroverse important to a person's health and wellbeing?
With the striking proliferation of mental health pathologies due to both: i) the rising anxiety and fragmentation of attention, as a result of the structure of our modern society and ii) cognitive decline and increase of neurodegenerative disorders associated with prolonged aging, finding solutions that can help people to manage these conditions occurring throughout the life-span is becoming paramount. The ability to individually monitor and provide personalized solutions to affect positive changes in mental health and wellbeing, at a large population-based scale through the use of digital wearable technology, is a revolutionary concept. So far, unfortunately, unlike other cases where significant progress has been made, such as wearable biosensors to measure cardiac and glucose status, most available solutions in the neural space are not suitable to provide a usable means for individuals to reliably monitor, change or train certain aspects of their mental performance and mental health. The Neuroverse, Inc. BrainStation® system was developed to specifically address this need.
Why did you choose to work at WHIT?
Neuroverse has decided to work with WHIT because WHIT provides a unique vision of a real-world and everyday life environment, as well as the opportunity to cultivate partnerships and synergistic development with other like-minded innovation developers, in which we can explore ways to collaboratively bring together nutrition, exercise, rest, sleep and socialization to improve health and well-being in a way that makes sense for the general public.
What have you learned from your collaboration at WHIT?
My collaboration at WHIT has reminded me of the crucial role of a “home” and it inspired me to further think about other aspects of health and wellness besides mental health. Such as ways in which home environments can be better designed and organized to allow for sustainable and more socially driven solutions for families to be able to seamlessly incorporate health and wellness into their home, which sits at the core of their daily lives.
What are you hoping to accomplish over the next year?
Over the next year, we are hoping to expand our current offerings, further integrating input from both user feedback and ongoing strategic partnerships, in preparation for the launch of our first general consumer product.