.
AI_133px.jpg
ai
Artificial Intelligence
.
biotech
biotech
Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology
.
cryptography
crypto
Cryptography
.
materialscience
nano
Materials Science
.
nuclear
nuclear
Nuclear Technologies
.
robotics
robotics
Robotics
.
semiconductor
semiconductors
Semiconductors
.
space
space
Space
.
Sustainable-Energy-Technologies_133px.jpg
energy
Sustainable Energy Technologies

KEY TAKEAWAYS

•   Popular interest in neuroscience vastly exceeds the current scientific understanding of the brain, giving rise to overhyped claims in the public domain that revolutionary advances are just around the corner. 

•   Advances in computing have led to progress in several areas, including understanding and treating addiction and neurodegenerative diseases, and designing brain-machine interfaces. 

•   American leadership is essential for establishing and upholding global norms about ethics and human subjects research in neuroscience. 

Icons_card_Neuro.png

Overview

NEUROENGINEERING
 

A brain-machine interface is a device that maps neural impulses from the brain to a computer and vice versa. There are many potential applications for this technology: sensory replacement or augmentation, replacement of severed limbs, direct mind-to-computer interfacing, or even computer assisted memory recall and cognition. For example, for people with incurable blindness, brain-machine interfaces could allow for video captured from a digital camera to be interpreted by the brain, allowing them to “see” again. However, despite headlines about mind-reading chip implants, there are still exceptionally few areas of the brain for which we have the necessary theoretical understanding of how neurocircuits work. We also have not solved technical problems related to safely implanting electrodes in the brain.

NEUROHEALTH
 

Neurodegeneration is a major challenge as humans continue to live longer. In the United States alone, the annual cost of Alzheimer’s treatment is projected to explode from $305 billion today to $1 trillion by 2050. While current treatments for Alzheimer’s are less effective than would be desired given decades of research, there is reason for cautious optimism in the coming years. Gene therapy drugs, which target genes that cause Alzheimer’s, have recently entered clinical trials. Powerful diagnostic tools like PET scans for early detection and advances in personalized medicine also leave clinicians hopeful. 

NEURODISCOVERY
 

Understanding the science of the brain might also reveal the neural basis of addiction and chronic pain, which would be helpful in tackling the opioid epidemic. Identifying the neural basis of chronic pain will allow for new preventative therapies which would alleviate a significant driver of opioid use. Neuroscience is also identifying brain mechanisms involved in relapse. This is potentially useful in both finding effective treatments and identifying individuals who are more likely to relapse and are in greater need of these therapies. 

Over the Horizon

Neuroscience applications like artificial retinas and antiaddiction drugs have a dual-pronged nature. First, the relevant brain circuits and mechanisms of function must be identified via basic research. Second, those circuits must be safely stimulated via engineering and biotech solutions. Academia is much better suited than industry to solving basic biological questions in neuroscience. However, once the basic science has been developed and a research area approaches an economically viable application, industry does a much better job. Consequently, smoothing out the friction involved in moving from academia to industry is crucial to overcoming roadblocks in development. Incubators and accelerators can help transition the findings of basic research to application by aiding in high-throughput screening—the use of automated equipment to rapidly test samples—and prototyping.

Neuroscience research naturally raises several ethical concerns. Chief among them is human subjects research. Many existing frameworks and regulations guide neuroscience research in American academia today. However, ethical guidelines are usually national, not international, and thus managing differences in research regimes will be critical to harnessing the power of international collaboration. 

Report Preview: Neuroscience

Faculty Council Advisor

Kang Shen
Kang Shen
Author
Kang Shen

Kang Shen is the Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor of biology and professor of pathology at Stanford University, where he serves as the Vincent V. C. Woo Director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute and affiliated faculty at Stanford Bio-X. His research focuses on neuronal cell biology and developmental neuroscience. He has authored or coauthored more than one hundred journal articles. He received his PhD in cell biology from Duke University.

View Bio
Kang Shen
Kang Shen

Kang Shen is the Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor of biology and professor of pathology at Stanford University, where he serves as the Vincent V. C. Woo Director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute and affiliated faculty at Stanford Bio-X. His research focuses on neuronal cell biology and developmental neuroscience. He has authored or coauthored more than one hundred journal articles. He received his PhD in cell biology from Duke University.

Access the Complete Report

Read the complete report.

Explore

Date Range
CONTENT TYPE

Select Content Type

  • News
  • Article
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Events
AUTHORS

Select Author

  • Condoleezza Rice
  • John Taylor
  • Jennifer Widom
  • Amy Zegart
  • Herbert Lin
  • Hon. Jerry McNerney
  • Hon. Robert Gates
  • Hon. Steven Chu
  • Hon. Susan M. Gordon
  • John Hennessy
  • Lloyd B. Minor
  • Mary Meeker
  • Peter Scher
  • Thomas M. Siebel
  • Zhenan Bao
  • Dan Boneh
  • Yi Cui
  • Simone D’Amico
  • Drew Endy
  • Siegfried Glenzer
  • Mark A. Horowitz
  • Fei-Fei Li
  • Allison Okamura
  • Kang Shen
  • Eric Schmidt
FOCUS AREAS

Neuroscience

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biotechnology Synthetic Biology
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies
  • Cryptography
  • Materials Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Nuclear Technologies
  • Robotics
  • Semiconductors
  • Space
  • Technology Test Page
Date (field_date)
Read More
Artificial intelligence
Article
Books
Trailblazing computer scientist Fei-Fei Li on human-centered AI

What is the boundary of the universe? What is the beginning of time?These are the questions that captivated computer scientist Fei-Fei Li as a budding physicist. As she moved through her studies, she began to ask new questions — ones about human and machine…

November 10, 2023 by Fei-Fei Li
Read More
SETR | November 14, 2023
News
Books
Stanford Emerging Technology Review Launches with Public Event Featuring Leading University Officials and Tech Experts

Hoover Institution (Stanford, CA) – The Stanford Emerging Technology Review, an ambitious university-wide initiative dedicated to fostering a greater understanding among policymakers, industry leaders, and the attentive public about the breakthroughs and…

November 15, 2023
Read More
SETR
News
Books
Hoover Institution and Stanford School of Engineering Unveil Stanford Emerging Technology Review

The Hoover Institution and Stanford School of Engineering have launched the inaugural edition of the Stanford Emerging Technology Review, a project and publication dedicated to the forefront of technologies shaping the global landscape.

November 14, 2023
Read More
Drone
Article
Books
Technology Applications By Policy Area

This chapter explores applications from each of the 10 technology fields described in the report as they may relate to five important policy themes: economic growth, national security, environmental and energy sustainability, health and medicine, and civil…

November 13, 2023
Read More
Globe
Article
Books
Cross-Cutting Themes

One of the most important and unusual hallmarks of this moment is convergence: emerging technologies are intersecting and interacting in a host of ways, with important implications for policy. This chapter identifies themes and commonalities that cut across…

November 13, 2023
Read More
Stanford
Article
Books
Executive Summary

This report offers an easy-to-use reference tool that harnesses the expertise of Stanford University’s leading science and engineering faculty in ten major technological areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology and synthetic biology, cryptography,…

November 13, 2023
Read More
Binary
Article
Books
Foreword

Emerging technologies are transforming societies, economies, and geopolitics. Never have we experienced the convergence of so many technologies with the potential to change so much, so fast, and at such high stakes. The goal of this report is to help readers…

November 13, 2023
Read More
SETR_splash_site.jpg
Events
Books
The Stanford Emerging Tech Review | Launch

The Hoover Institution and Stanford School of Engineering held the launch of The Stanford Emerging Tech Review with Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Widom, Marc Andreessen, and Richard Saller on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM PT at Hauck…

November 14, 2023
Read More
Stanford-Emerging-Tech-Review_banner.jpg
News
Books
Hoover Institution Director Condoleezza Rice Announces The Stanford Emerging Tech Review

During keynote remarks at the Hoover Institution’s 2022 Tech Track II Symposium, Hoover Institution director Condoleezza Rice announced the Fall 2023 publication of The Stanford Emerging Tech Review, a new multidisciplinary collaboration in which scholars and…

October 29, 2023

You May Also Like

.
Artificial Intelligence
Stanford aims to help policy makers prepare for AI, robotics and more
.
Artificial Intelligence
Stanford launches emerging-tech project co-led by Hoover Institution’s Condoleezza Rice
.
Hoover research fellow Herbert Lin, the director and editor-in-chief of the Stanford Emerging Technology Review explains that advancements in a single field of emerging technology leads to advancements in others.
Hoover Institution and School of Engineering launch emerging technology review
.
Drone
Technology Applications By Policy Area
.
Globe
Cross-Cutting Themes
.
Stanford
Executive Summary
.
Binary
Foreword
overlay image