STTR Phase I: Remediating Inattention via Algorithmically Generated Music

Period of Performance: 07/15/2017 - 06/30/2018

$225K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Transparent Corporation
6341 N Clark st Array
Chicago, IL 60660
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Wesleyan University
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project lies in treating clinical and subclinical inattention within a few minutes, by simply listening to algorithmically-generated music. Failures of attention have dramatic clinical and non-clinical ramifications. In the non-clinical side, nearly 90% of people attest to wasting time in the workplace, and this reduced efficiency has an estimated $1 T economic impact in the US alone. At the clinical level, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the best-characterized attentional deficit, affects over 8M children in the US, with the leading solution being a near-epidemic growth of prescriptions stimulants. However, over 4 M American adults do not meet all the criteria to be diagnosed with ADHD (and therefore cannot be prescribed medication), and have no convenient alternatives for treatment. Brain.fm is a non-invasive auditory stimulation platform designed to treat inattention. It generates music designed specifically to stimulate attentional networks in our brain by exploiting the latest neuroscience concepts of how neurons entrain to stimulus rhythms. Our objective is for Brain.fm to become a validated, non-invasive therapeutic tool for Attention to help everyone who suffers from mind wandering, regardless of whether they meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The proposed project is aimed at experimentally demonstrating generalizable changes in attention through auditory stimulation. For decades, neuroscientists have observed wave-like activity in the brain and related them to attentional states. The ability to change attentional states, via noninvasive brain stimulation, would be greatly desirable for everyday functioning as well as crucial for understanding how brain waves relate to behavior. The proposed project tests a novel auditory neuroscience-informed platform solution for delivering noninvasive brain stimulation through music. In addition to establishing a revolutionary method to enhance attention noninvasively by tuning brain waves through comprehensive behavioral and fMRI studies, we test the efficacy of this method to treat inattention, especially in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Key outcomes of this project are: 1) non clinical (but Institutional Review Board-approved) studies that determine how this auditory therapy impacts attention on an adult ADHD prone population, 2) a deeper understanding of the neurophysiological mechanisms of attention and neuronal entrainment, and 3)optimization of our product by testing different versions of our algorithmically generated music on our existing customer base. Results are expected to show how purpose-built acoustic stimulation can support the neuronal oscillations underlying sustained attention, thus boosting productivity and well-being.