Neuroscientist, Entrepreneur & Inventor

Adam Gazzaley, MD, Ph.D.
Speaking Fee: $20,000 to $30,000

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Primary Topic Category: Technology

Secondary Topic Category: Healthcare


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Adam Gazzaley, MD, Ph.D. At A Glance:

Adam Gazzaley is a neuroscientist, neurologist, inventor, author, photographer, entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder and executive director of Neuroscape, and the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is also co-Founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive and JAZZ Venture Partners. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Science Council of the California Academy of Sciences. Adam has authored over 170 scientific articles and delivered over 700 talks.

Dr. Adam Gazzaley obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, completed Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley. He is now Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco and the Founder & Executive Director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology creation and scientific research. He designs and develops novel brain assessment and optimization tools to impact education, wellness, and medicine practices. This novel approach involves the development of custom-designed, closed-loop video games integrated with the latest advancements in software (brain computer interfaces, GPU computing, cloud-based analytics) and hardware (virtual/augmented reality, motion capture, mobile physiological recording devices, transcranial electrical brain stimulation). These technologies are then advanced to rigorous research studies that evaluate their impact on multiple aspects of brain function and physiology. This utilizes a powerful combination of neurophysiological tools, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Dr. Gazzaley is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive, 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 has been a scientific advisor for over a dozen companies including Apple, GE, Nielsen, Deloitte, Magic Leap, and the VOID, as well as the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Dr. Gazzaley has filed multiple patents for his inventions, authored over 130 scientific articles, and delivered over 600 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, The 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 the 2016 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 2015 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.

    Key Takeaways: 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.

    Audiences: technologists, engineers, medical, educators, pharma, investors

    Examples of Keynotes: The Academy - SF (2018), Apple (2018)- internal talk
  • 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.

    Key Takeaways: 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.

    Audiences: technologists, investors, lawyers, judges, companies

    Examples of Keynotes: Optimal Wellness (2018), AFest MindValley - Sardinia (2018), International Conference on Ageing- Adelaide (2017), Assigned Judges Conference (2017)
  • 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 help enhance our cognition, with benefits to our memory, attention, decision-making and even empathy and compassion.

    Key Takeaways: In this context of improving cognition, he discusses the potential educational and medical uses for these powerful new technologies.

    Audiences: technologists, engineers, medical, educators, pharma, investors, companies

    Examples of Keynotes: Games for Change (2017), High Fidelity (2018)
  • 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.

    Key Takeaways: 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.

    Audiences: technologists, teachers, educators, companies

    Examples of Keynotes: EduTech Australia 2018), Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society (2018), Commonwealth Club (2017), Fortune Brainstorm Health (2017)
  • 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.

    Key Takeaways: 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.

    Audiences: technologists, engineers, medical professionals, educators, pharma, investors, companies

    Examples of Keynotes: Deloitte (2018), Doximity (2018), Puretech Health Summit (2018), CES (2018), BayLearn - Apple (2017), Google X (2017), Tiger21 (2017)
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