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“I wanted to do research that then leapt off the page and became tools that would enter people’s lives and make a meaningful difference to them.”
— Dr. Adam Gazzaley
Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD (@adamgazz), is the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and the founder and executive director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology development and scientific research of novel brain assessments and optimization tools. Adam is co-founder and chief science advisor of Akili Interactive, Sensync, and JAZZ Venture Partners. He has been a scientific adviser for more than a dozen technology companies, including Apple, GE, Nielsen, and Deloitte.
Adam has filed multiple patents—notably his invention of the first video game cleared by the FDA—authored more than 150 scientific articles, and delivered over 675 invited presentations around the world. He wrote and hosted the nationally televised PBS special The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley and co-authored The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, winner of the 2017 PROSE Award. Adam has received many awards and honors, including the 2015 Society for Neuroscience Science Educator Award and the 2020 Global Gaming Citizen honor.
Visit this page to learn more about the Neuroscape Psychedelic Division, which is dedicated to advancing the field of psychedelic science and medicine through multi-level research covering basic to translational to clinical science.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.
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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
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Want to time travel with me back to my first episode with Dr. Adam Gazzaley? Give your ears a listen to my conversation with the Maverick of Brain Optimization himself in which we discussed theories of cognition, common misconceptions about the brain and cognitive function, morning rituals, the crossroads of hallucinogens and neuroscience, the neurological impacts of modafinil, and much more.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
Connect with Adam Gazzaley:
Website | Neuroscape | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
Neuroscape Psychedelic Division (Please email neuroscape [at] ucsf.edu if you’d like to donate with cryptocurrency.)The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. RosenThe Distracted Mind with Adam Gazzaley | Prime VideoDr. Adam Gazzaley: The Maverick of Brain Optimization | The Tim Ferriss Show #83Multitasking Video Game Improves Cognition in 79-Year-Olds! | Psychology In ActionNeuroRacer: A Video Game to Sharpen the Mind | WSJ VideoThe Grateful DeadRolling StoneThe Grammy AwardsEffects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Cognition, Mood, Pain, and Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis | Frontiers in NeurologyFDA Approves Video Game Based on UCSF Brain Research as ADHD Therapy for Kids | UCSFAkili InteractivePureTech HealthA Novel Digital Intervention for Actively Reducing Severity of Paediatric ADHD (STARS-ADHD): A Randomised Controlled Trial | The LancetDe Novo Classification Request | FDAPremarket Notification 510(k) | FDAAttention Search Results | PubMedDistraction Search Results | PubMedUniversity of California, San Francisco | UCSFMagnum, P.I. | Prime VideoPI Status | UCSF Office of Sponsored ResearchElectroencephalogram (EEG) | Johns Hopkins MedicineAre Psychedelic Drugs the Next Medical Breakthrough? | The Tim Ferriss Show #104How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan | AmazonMichael Pollan — Exploring the Frontiers of Psychedelics | The Tim Ferriss Show #365Rick Doblin — The Psychedelic Domino That Tips All Others | The Tim Ferriss Show #440Psychedelics — Microdosing, Mind-Enhancing Methods, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show #377The World’s Largest Psychedelic Research Center | The Tim Ferriss Show #385Developing a Multimodal Biosensor for Remote Physiological Monitoring | BMJ Military HealthMultisensory Integration: Current Issues from the Perspective of the Single Neuron | Nature Reviews NeuroscienceDr. Mark Plotkin on Ethnobotany, Real vs. Fake Shamans, Hallucinogens, and the Dalai Lamas of South America | The Tim Ferriss Show #469Know Your Brain: Default Mode Network | Neuroscientifically ChallengedNick Norris — Navy SEAL and Athlete on Training, Post-Traumatic Growth, and Healing | The Tim Ferriss Show #378Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation After Brain Damage | Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchEgo-Dissolution and Psychedelics: Validation of the Ego-Dissolution Inventory (EDI) | Human NeurosciencePsychedelic Therapy and Bad Trips | Scientific American Blog NetworkMy Hellishly Bad Acid Trip, and What I Learned in the Aftermath | ViceDifference Between Open Loop & Closed Loop System (with Comparison Chart) | Circuit GlobeGames and Technology | NeuroscapeMinority Report | Prime VideoPöpcørn: Recipes with The Swedish Chef | The MuppetsMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies | MAPSMeet “Pine,” the Bitcoin Philanthropist Who Set Up the $85 Million Pineapple Fund | Bitcoin Magazine
How NeuroRacer, the game Adam helped develop, helps older adults regain the cognitive function they had in their 20s, and why its featured spot as the cover story of Nature made Adam feel like he’d won a Grammy. [06:46]What has motivated Adam to pursue groundbreaking scientific discoveries and developments? [14:50]Improving upon the work that went into NeuroRacer and building the first video game therapeutic to be approved by the FDA: EndeavorRX. [18:13]Why does the mechanism behind this game prove effective in improving attention abilities in children with a wide variety of conditions including autism, depression, ADHD, and multiple sclerosis? [25:38]How does UCSF compare to its peers in the ecosystem of research within the United States? What is its focus? [29:22]Is risk-taking a critical ingredient for the enthusiasm required for scientific breakthroughs? How has Adam’s work evolved through these breakthroughs over the past decade we’ve known each other? [32:41]An important announcement about Neuroscape’s brand new division and its incoming, world-class director, and how and why it all came about so quickly — especially during a year of global pandemic. [39:08]How will Adam and Robin’s work fill in a gap that’s been thus far lacking in this type of research, and what is Adam most looking forward to exploring in this field with Neuroscape’s sophisticated resources of experience and technology at their disposal? How will their approach differ from methods that have been used in this area since the ’60s? [50:58]Just as the EndeavorRx game adapts to specific users for effectively treating a variety of conditions, does Adam foresee a way for psychedelic therapies to be customized for their patients to address seemingly disparate conditions? [1:07:02]How do we reduce the chances of a patient who is undergoing psychedelic therapy enduring a destabilizing amount of stress that causes more harm than it cures? Here’s where shamans and Adam’s closed-loop systems might mutually benefit from a knowledge exchange. [1:17:54]There’s not really one psychedelic community, but a number of tribal factions at odds with one another along the spectrum between science and superstition. In such a friction-heavy environment, why does Adam think his work has been viewed in such a positive light? [1:22:34]A request for the audience from Adam, information about how interested listeners might get involved with or support his research, and parting thoughts. [1:27:30]
Matt MullenwegKevin RoseDarya RoseMickey HartMatt OmernickEddie MartucciScott H. KollinsRobin Carhart-HarrisRalph MetznerMichael PollanRick DoblinThe Swedish ChefLeo ZeffStan GrofJennifer MitchellPineStorm