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.
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Brain Waves

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November 4, 2003

Neurotechnology Enables More Effective Communication

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Posted by Zack Lynch

As the information technology wave continues its impressive course of capturing and displaying complex information, we are quickly reaching a time where socially filtered, instant information will arrive to each of us in real-time. Recent advances in wearable computers, like glasses that can boost memory by up to 50%, are just one of many innovations to come.

Obtaining information will no longer be our primary constraint as a global civilization. Instead, knowing how, when, why, and for what purpose to use information will be. To be able to absorb, reflect and effectively use instant information, individuals will need to develop new social capabilities.

Social processes like consensus building, value orientation and developmental conversations will require professionals to help individuals live and work in an always-on, always-available world. This will create a tremendous need for social facilitators (today's teachers, managers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are some examples) to help people learn the social interaction skills needed to live and work productively.

Emotional efficiency will become a primary focus in this new era. With 5 of the 10 leading causes of disability being mental problems, there is plenty of space for improvement. Neurotechnology will play an important role in defining mental illnesses while neuroceuticals will be part of the toolset that people use compete in an ever more emotional acute world.

After all, the end game is not just better information, but communication that is relevantly directed, truthfully understood and consciously co-created.

Comments (3) | Category: Neurofinance


1. alfred on November 6, 2003 12:56 AM writes...

In reference to the system that increases memory 50%.

In my business my customers hope I remember their name when they come in. This set up would be of great help. Analog, we've always made a game of getting together and talking through who we thought the customer was. This always kept us thinking about names and faces.

I went to the company web site and their latest up-date for press releases on-line is way back in July. They are not keeping up. It is really the software that would be the "killer app" here, as the small screen is already available.

I think what would really work for me is a combination camera that loads the picture of my customer and adds information via audio recognition. Then identification comparison software would alert me the next time that person stood in front of me.

This would of course allow me to become brain dead, just as I no longer need to remember my multiplication tables with calculators always available.

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2. Douglas Galbi on November 7, 2003 10:23 PM writes...

"Obtaining information will no longer be our primary constraint as a global civilization. Instead, knowing how, when, why, and for what purpose to use information will be."

Communication never has been primarily about information transfer. Nor has it been primarily about storytelling, a highly fashionable interpretive model in the humanities over the past decade. Most communication seems to be about making sense of presence of another like oneself. See "Sense in Communication," at

Neuroscience helps explain how this works. However, the effect of neurotechnology on this good could go either way. Understanding what most persons seek in most communication is important in attempting to create technology to enable more effective communication.

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3. La Battaglia Juliana on September 30, 2004 6:26 PM writes...

People are just smart enough to not be happily ignorant.

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