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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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February 12, 2004

Lynch's 15 Laws of the Neurosociety

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Each year John Brockman at the Edge poses a thought provoking question to the world community to ponder and answer. Last year's question was "What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I (the President) can begin to deal with them?" My response...Dear Mr. President.

The question for 2004 is: "What is Your Law?"

Lynch's 15 Laws of the Neurosociety

1. Lynch's Law of Social Forecasting

By viewing recent human history as a series of techno-economic waves with accompanying socio-political responses it is possible to understand the type and timing of how new technologies will shape our future human society.

2. Lynch's Law of Future Societal Change

Neurotechnology will drive the next fifty year wave of societal change, the neurotechnology wave 2010-2060.

3. Lynch's Law of Neurotechnology

Neurotechnology, the set of tools that influence the brain, are being driven by nanobiochips and brain imaging technologies that will make neurological analysis inexpensive and pervasive.

4. Lynch's Law of Nanobiochips

Nanobiochips that perform the basic bio-analysis functions (genomic, proteomic, biosimulation, and microfluidics) at a low cost will transform biological analysis and production in a very similar fashion as the microprocessor did for data during the information technology wave. Unlike Venter's Second Law, the cost of biochips will decline even more rapidly because they will be the driving low cost product that will transform every industry. Nanobiochips will emerge around 2012.

5. Lynch's Law of Human Brain Imaging

Nano-imaging techniques will make possible real-time analysis of neuro-molecular level events in the human brain. The brain imaging bottleneck will be broken around 2015.

6. Lynch's Law of Neuroceuticals

When data from biochips and brain imaging are combined they will enable the development of neuroceuticals. Neuroceuticals are tools that will reduce the severity of mental disorders and improve mental health.

Neuroceuticals can be broadly categorized into three classes:Cogniceuticals, Emoticeuticals, and Sensoceuticals.

7. Lynch's Law of Neuroceutical Development

Today's pharmaceutical development process where a new drug can take 15 years and can cost over $800m. By 2020 new neuroceuticals will take less than 2 years to develop and cost under $10m. Details of pharma's industrial implosion in chapter 4 of my forthcoming book, Neurosociety.

8. Lynch's Behavioral Law of Neurotechnology (Perception Shift)

By influencing multiple personality characteristics, neuroceuticals will shape how people perceive daily issues. New behaviors will emerge that culminate into a substantially different behavior repertoire than people currently encounter. A person who is slightly less depressed, slightly less anxious, slightly more aware, and with slightly better recall behave differently than people do today.

9. Lynch's Law of Human Performance Enablement

By improving economic productivity countries will legalize performance enhancing tools by 2020. This shift will come with the understanding neuroceuticals are the latest set of tools, in humanity's long history of tool building, that enable individuals to live, live longer, and live happier.

10. Lynch's Law of Neurocompetitive Advantage

Neurotechnology represents the next form of competitive advantage beyond information technology. For example, innovation is a complex mental function wherein cognitive assessment and emotional compassion combine to accelerate the creation of new knowledge. Individuals that utilize neuroceuticals (say to forecast emotions) will become more productive and creative will attain neurocompetitive advantage.

11. Lynch's Law of Regional Economic Development

Neurotechnology clusters will emerge in India and China first because the political and cultural views on human testing won't impede technological experimentation and development.

12. Lynch's Law of the Neurosociety

Neurotechnology will give rise to a new type of human society, a post-industrial, post-informational, neurosociety.

13. Lynch's Law for the Survival of Humanity

Empathy

14. Lynch's Personal Law of Life

People do the best they can with the resources they have.

15. Lynch's Personal Law for Life

Give more, get more.

(see my talk at NBIC conference on Feb 26th in NYC)

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