About this Blog

Please note that this blog has moved to http://www.sharpbrains.com/. Come visit us there for the latest news and commentary on the brain fitness field

SharpBrains offers a mix of news and commentary focused on the implications of cognitive neuroscience research on Health, Education and Corporate Training.


Alvaro Fernandez

Alvaro Fernandez has been featured as a leading Brain Fitness expert by The New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, Reuters and other publications. Alvaro started his career at McKinsey & Company and worked on the launch and turnaround of several publishing and education companies including Bertelsmann, Docent, Inc, and Houghton Mifflin. He has an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University. Alvaro enjoys teaching The Science of Brain Health and Fitness at UC-Berkeley OLLI and Exercising Our Brains at SFSU, and advising the management teams of social enterprises Ashoka, abcd espanol and Arcandina. Detailed LinkedIn Profile: Alvaro Fernandez.

Contributing Editor:
Caroline Latham serves as Director of Communications for SharpBrains. She received her undergraduate degree in experimental psychology from Davidson College and worked in research labs studying human memory, pain perception, oculomotor behavior, and attention. After several years working towards a combined MD/PhD in neurosurgery and neuroscience at the University of Texas Medical Branch, she launched her career working with medical and health-related companies and publications.

Advisory Board

Tim Chang is a Partner at Gabriel Venture Partners. He joined the Firm in 2001 and brings to Gabriel a background combining operational, technical, and international business experience across Asia in three languages (Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and English). Tim leads Gabriel’s wireless sector and also focuses on emerging opportunities in digital media as well as business development initiatives in Asia-Pacific. Tim serves as a director on the boards of Kajeet, Eyespot, Sequoia Communications, and TestQuest. He previously contributed to the boards of Placeware (acquired by Microsoft) and Arula Systems (acquired by Raritan). Tim holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an MS in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan.

Dr. Phil Delio, Director of Stroke Services at the Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara. Former Chief Neurology Resident at Stanford University.

Michael D. Fox is the Founder, President and CEO of Aspen Club International, LLC (“ACI”). Aspen Club International identifies and develops companies with transformational concepts in healthcare and technology. Mr. Fox co-founded Internet Healthcare Group (“IHCG”), a company investing at the intersection of information technology and the healthcare industry. IHCG was an early investor in start-ups such as Lumenos (later sold to Wellpoint Inc.), RealMed, Digital Insurance and Optate (sold to WebMD). Mr. Fox was the co-founder of Epoch Innovations Ltd, an early neuroperformance company. Mr. Fox also worked for Goldman Sachs & Co. in their Principal Investment Areas both in New York and Hong Kong. He received his B.S. degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Dr. David Gamon is a best-selling author focused on making brain research exciting and accessible to all readers. While Building Mental Muscle is his best-known work, he has authored or co-authored a total of 10 books in the Brainwaves line of popular brain science books. He studied German literature at Reed College and cognitive science at UC Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Linguistics. He serves as contributing writer to the Curious Mind newsletter and the ScienceMaster science education website, winner of the National Academy Press’s “Coolest Science Site” award. His current projects include books about the brain’s construction of sensory reality, humor and the brain, the science of psychopathy, and the evolution of language.

Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg is an author, scientist, educator and clinician, internationally renowned for his clinical work, research, writings and teaching in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. He is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine, and Diplomate of The American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology. A student and close associate of the great neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, Dr. Goldberg has continued to advance Luria’s scientific and clinical tradition, and written popular science books such as The Executive Brain and The Wisdom Paradox.

Susan Hoffman launched and now leads San Francisco State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is a Board member of Gateway High School. Susan’s creative work-screenplays, stories, commentaries- has appeared in small press and mainstream publications as well as on-screen. For many years, she ran a performing arts venue at Fort Mason Center and represented arts organizations in Sacramento and Washington as the state’s arts advocate.

Nataliya Riabokon is President & CEO of Uvarta, Inc. Nataliya has a wealth of international business experience in general management, entrepreneurship and business development. Prior to founding Uvarta, Nataliya founded, built and led Lohika Systems. Prior to Lohika, Nataliya held several executive management positions at Ernst & Young, and developed a significant private equity and venture capital experience in the US and the UK. Nataliya is a member of the Growing Entrepreneurs Mentoring Program administered by the Committee of 200, a national organization of prominent women business executives. Nataliya holds an MBA from Stanford Business School.

Mark Shaw is a marketing executive who has been involved in the creation, development or launch of several online and offline consumer brands. In 1984, as a student he started his career promoting and launching Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream around the streets of New York, then in 1994 became part of the team that built Marie Callender’s into a retail supermarket brand. Next, he conceived of and developed Netgrocer, the first national online supermarket and later served as entrepreneur in residence for Chingari a marketing software platform. Mark received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Stanford University. Today, Mark consults both Fortune 500 consumer products companies as well as new entrepreneurs on the creation and launch of their new ventures and products.

Baba Shiv is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Stanford Business School. His research is in the area of consumer decision making and decision neuroscience, with specific emphasis on the role of emotion in decision making, the neurological bases of emotion, and nonconscious mental processes in decision making. His recent work examines the potential for nonconscious placebo effects related to pricing and the empirical validity of the adage, “Eating Whets the Appetite,” with findings suggesting that food samples (“appetizers”) can have broader effects than previously conceived. An Associate Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and on the editorial board of the Journal of Consumer Psychology and the Journal of Marketing Research, Professor Shiv has also served as a consultant for several marketing, law and investment firms.

Iwan Streichenberger is President of Edusoft and Corporate Vice President of Houghton Mifflin. Iwan began his career in 1996 as an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston. In 1997, he was named business controller and chief technology officer at L’Oreal South Africa. In 1999, he joined Boston Consulting Group as a senior associate. He left BCG to become chief financial officer and vice president of business development at Flipside Europe, a Vivendi Universal Publishing company, where he was appointed chief operating officer in 2001. He received a master of business administration.


  1. Elona said

    Thank you for the wealth of resources you have provided. I can hardly wait to read the rest of your blog. 🙂

  2. Alvaro said

    Elona, thanks for your kind comment. Every writer needs readers, so thanks for checking our blog!



  3. Elona said

    Alvaro, I’m going to put you on my blog roll.

  4. Alvaro said

    I appreciate, Elona!

  5. Hello, Alvaro. I looked all over here and your business Web site and could not find an e-mail address. I had a couple of questions.

    I have added you to both my blogrolls as neuroscience is a major focus of mine. idealawg’s URL will be picked up above. The other blog at which I added yours is at http://www.westallen.typepad.com/trackknacks . All the best to you.

  6. Alvaro said

    Stephanie, thanks for reaching out. Great to talk to you. You have very interesting blogs on Neuroscience and Law.

  7. Just stumbled upon your blog and am very interested in reading what you have to say. I’d love to subscribe to get updates, but your blog doesn’t display any of the common RSS feed chicklets, nor do you have a FeedBlitz subscription form. Any chance you will include one or the other on your blog so it is easy to stay in touch? Thanks!

  8. Alvaro said

    Patsi, thanks for your interest. Yes, we will have both very soon. I apologize for the delay.

  9. Danny Dankner said

    Alvaro, great blog. Both helpful and thought provoking. Very well balanced between academic review and sheer fun.
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Alvaro said

    Thanks Danny! We are happy you find it thought-provoking, so we are sure you are growing some neurons and connections on us 🙂

    Fun is not bad, either…

    Caroline and I will keep doing our best.

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