2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Hardwiring the Brain: Better, Faster, Stronger

#sxsw #SXMindTech


Our collective perception of the human brain and its potential is constantly evolving. The intersection of technology and our “wet computer” provides a means to accelerate the ways that we measure, map and affect cognitive performance, striving to increase the capacity for reaching our full potential. We should fully embrace the opportunities that these technologies embody. There are a plethora of options on the market aimed at enhancing our learning, health, productivity, concentration and general quality of life. Each potentially contribute to the missing link between the web of things and complete automation. With these distinct input channels in place, the internet and an array of connected devices form the richest source of content that the world has ever seen. On this panel, we will discuss and explore several different approaches to hardwiring the brain that could be truly transformative, providing ways to make us more efficient, smarter, and ultimately more fulfilled.



Andrew Smith Lewis

Exec Chairman & Founder

Cerego Global LLC

Andrew was born in 1967 in New York, USA and studied at the Bronx High School of Science, where he became a Westinghouse Science Talent Search Semi-Finalist. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989. Andrew is one of the original co-inventors of the Cerego Learning Methodology and has several patents in his name. Prior to becoming Chairman of Cerego Japan Inc., Andrew founded AGOS JAPAN (formerly known as The Princeton Review of Japan)–an MBA/graduate school prep school for Japanese–in 1989. He co-founded Cerego Japan Inc. and became the Chairman in 2000. He wrote his first book in Japanese “Learn Faster, Remember Longer” published by Nikkei BP in 2002, and he co-authored “Social Learning Revolution” in 2008 with Eric Young. Andrew runs Cerego Japan’s formal Advisory Board, which is an international group of experts and practitioners in scientific, technological, and commercial areas directly relevant to Cerego’s core activities.

Anthony Ha

Tech Journalist


Ariel Garten



If there ever was a gap between science, art, business and technology, Ariel has closed it. Her work converts the workings of the mind into tangible solutions.
Ariel has researched at the Krembil Neuroscience Institute studying hippocampal neurogenesis, displayed work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, DeLeon White Gallery, and opened Toronto Fashion Week. The intersections of these diverse interests have culminated into various lectures with topics such as “The Neuroscience of Aesthetics” and “The Neuroscience of Conflict", featured on TVO's Big Ideas.
Referred to as the “Brain Guru” by Now Magazine, CBC Radio and the Toronto Star, Ariel has also run a successful real estate business, spent time as the designer and owner of a Canadian fashion boutique, and is a practicing psychotherapist.


Jan Plass

Paulette Goddard Professor of Digital Media & Learning Sciences

New York University

Jan L. Plass, Ph.D., holds the Paulette Goddard Chair in Digital Media and Learning Sciences and is the Founding Director of CREATE, the Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He also co-directs the Games for Learning Institute, where he focuses on social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of the design of simulations and games for learning, and on game-based assessment of learning.

His research interest is at the intersection of learning science, cognitive sciences, and design, with the goal to enhance the effectiveness of digital media for learning and to develop new approaches to assessment with digital tools. His projects have been supported by the NSF, NIH, and IES, as well as by private foundations.

Jan frequently serves as advisor to national and international corporations, start-ups, non-profit organizations, and federal, state, and local agencies, helping them make digital media more effective and accessible to a broad range of learners.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two adventurous boys.

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