BrainMind Summit at Stanford

Oct October 08 Tue 2019

This autumn Stanford's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will, for the third time, co-host a gathering of groundbreaking scientists and influential supporters of human health with the collective goal of bringing the best brain science to the aid of the world as quickly and responsibly as possible. It's the 2019 BrainMind Summit.

BrainMind is a community of researchers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and academic institutions all committed to leveraging this moment in neural discovery into a quantum leap forward in human potential and consciousness. Its invitation-only conferences introduce game-changing mental health exploration to uniquely positioned advocates, all of whom want to fast-track brain science innovation from the lab into society without 'return on investment' as the deciding factor.

As a pre-eminent global research institution, Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is not only co-hosting its third such BrainMind conference in October, but its scientists will again take center stage with their discoveries and critically needed next steps. At the 2018 BrainMind Summit at Stanford, presentations ranged from detecting precursors for depression as early as infancy, to how new diagnostic and therapeutic tools will be the key to fighting the stigma of mental illness.

Attendees learned that although we're in the midst of a revolution in human genome technology, there are still "no-go zones"...exactly where essential pieces of the genetic brain function puzzle are believed to be hidden. Brain Machine Interfaces, which allow people to receive data from sensors directly into the brain or to directly control machines without bodily control, are helping solve other brain function puzzles, such as curing blindness. With the human retina compared to an orchestra, BMI comes into play to understand how so many different cell types – like instruments in an orchestra – all read the same score to create the symphony of sight. Work continues to understand them all in concert with each other.

Advancements in brain imaging technology serve as the key to many previously locked doors of knowledge and treatment. Being able to see neurons and brain circuitry in action - or inaction - was facilitating a new precision in diagnosing and treating mental illness. Even the seemingly inevitable human function of sleep continued to offer revelations thanks to new diagnostic technologies.

Computerized interventions and virtual reality technology were being tested on executive functions like attention and memory, showing potential for kids with ADHD and elderly Alzheimer's patients alike. And, colleagues in neurosurgery described working on the actual regeneration of circuits and cells thought to be damaged beyond repair by stroke or brain injury.

With each exciting advancement in brain research and mental illness treatment, science is closer than ever to unlocking unprecedented human potential as well as some never-before faced challenges. Serious challenges. BrainMind endeavors to be an ecosystem of support for such innovation but also to create an ethical roadmap for future applications of scientific breakthroughs. As in the 2018 Summit, each exciting discovery presented will also generate thoughtful consideration.

You can view many of the 2018 Summit presentations using the links below:

Learn more about BrainMind and the 2019 Summit at Stanford is at