Get the Headband
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July 29, 2021.
You don't have to say what you feel - Naxon Labs reads it in real time
The Business of Portable EEGs Originally written by FABIANA CULSHAW. This is an extract version republished by Naxon Labs.   Many times a headband is required to hold the hair or as an aesthetic accessory, but this is not just any headband. It is a "muse", a portable, lightweight device with electrodes that is placed on the scalp and measures brain waves; This allows the wearer's stress or relaxation level to be detected in real time and displayed on the cell phone.   "With a greater awareness of their anxiety, the person can regulate it…through relaxation techniques," explained Leandro Castelluccio, psychologist, master in cognitive neuroscience and partner at Naxon Labs, a Uruguayan startup dedicated to the development of portable devices for wellness and mental health.   If the person is very stressed or dispersed, the headband activates an intense auditory biofeedback (for example, the sound of heavy rain) to relax. If it is in a neutral or calm state, a soft chirping of birds accompanies. The system also provides a report with metrics on the evolution of anxiety-relaxation over time.   This story does not stop there, but has only just begun, because Naxon Labs takes the muse headbands - manufactured by the Canadian Interaxon - as the basis for new software developments…. «In essence, the headband is an electroencephalogram that aids in mindfulness training and assessing sleep, but it also has potential for other types of applications, such as better monitoring of mental illnesses and potentially monitoring epilepsy and neurological events in patients in ICU”, Castelluccio exemplified.   Under this premise, Naxon Labs developed, in partnership with EagerWorks (a business that works in artificial intelligence), a platform for new applications and uses form well-being and mental health.   Who are them The inspiration for the project came from Castelluccio's studies in cognitive neuroscience in the UK in 2015-16, which led him to found Naxon Labs two years later with his partners: Federico Romano (student of neurophysiology and medicine) and Martín Machín (computer engineer, consultant, angel investor and co-founder of the Pyxis ecosystem). Initially, the venture received support from the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII) to develop a prototype to read neural information in a more practical, wireless and economical way than the traditional large EEGs used in hospitals and clinics. Then they saw other potentialities.   Today, they market the software developed on the muse headbands to some universities and private clinics in the US, Canada, Europe and India. 'Those markets are more familiar with neurotechnology…and the business potential is enormous. You just have to think that Interaxon sells 40,000 devices per year. In Latin America, the markets do not know much about the subject, it is necessary to evangelize and then offer the solution”, said Castelluccio.   The company is developing a tool for monitoring cognitive-emotional states that can be used by mental health professionals and consultants interested in exploring and studding emotions. Interested parties have emerged in Uruguay. “Engineers from ORT University have used our software to develop command so that people with physical difficulties can better interact with their enviroments. Interns from the University of Montevideo have also carried out research projects with us”, said the entrepreneur.   The new development Since January, Naxon Labs has been advancing in another line: the neurotechnological classification of emotions (such as joy, sadness, pain, level of concentration), in an attempt to go beyond the original product. Ultimately, the software could be used for a person to be able to raise their mental state from negative to positive through appropriate music or other stimuli that are integrated with the new software. The tool can assist psychologists and psychiatrists, and it is also useful in marketing companies to test how consumers relate to different products. Neuroscience technology is scarce in the world. There are emotion detectors, but they are basic. Our goal is to expand them and bring them to mass consumption, where the market is much larger than the scientific circle to which we are now mostly directed to", concluded Castelluccio.
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May 31, 2021.
How can neurotechnology help in marketing?
Using the portable EEG headband Muse and Naxon Explorer, Regina, a graduate researcher in ORT University in Uruguay, worked with Emotions classification of participants who watched a standard ad aimed at women versus a novel ad under the framework of “femvertising” (advertising that is carried out in favor of women, with messages and images that empower women and girls).  Using statistical data analysis, Regina was able to distinguish different brain responses in the participants according to which type of ad they were looking.  This provided Naxon Labs with valuable insights into developing our product Naxon Emotions.  Find out more at: EEG data analysis In the first instance, the signal-to-noise ratio of the data obtained was reviewed. Clipping of the EEG tracing was not considered necessary due to the little or no presence of artifacts that could affect the analysis. Subject No. 2's tracing was discarded, due to continuous mispositioning artifacts, so it was not possible to include it. The analysis was based on the absolute Spectral Frequency Power (PSD) of the Alpha (7.5Hz - 13Hz) and Beta (13Hz - 30Hz) brain frequency bands. Being the evaluated electrodes AF7 and AF8 (located at the anterior-frontal level of the head) with reference electrodes in FPZ, taking into account the international EEG 10-10 placement standard and the modified combinatorial nomenclature (MCN) for the electrodes. Frontal Lobe Frontal Activity Spectogram As an exploratory analysis, the presence of statistically significant differences in the alpha and beta brain wave frequencies (associated with cognitive activity) was examined for the frontal channels of the portable EEG using the presented stimulus as a categorical variable, which makes up two groups, one from advertising. normal and another of the feminist.  For this, an analysis of variance (simple ANOVA) was defined for the case of alpha frequencies, since the assumptions of the procedure were verified, including the normal distribution of the variables. Analysis of variance represents a collection of statistical models and their associated estimation procedures that are used to analyze differences between means. In its simplest form, ANOVA provides a statistical test of whether two or more population means are equal. In the case of the beta frequency, a normal distribution of the data was not found, so the non-parametric analysis of Kruskal Willis was carried out. Therefore, in our analysis, the absolute wave frequency power, both alpha and beta, was taken as a dependent variable for the frontal channels AF7 and AF8, which is an indicator of how present a certain wave frequency is in an EEG channel. The video presented to the participants was used as an independent variable. Results: A significant difference (p <.05) was found between both videos for the alpha frequency, both for the front left channel AF7 [F (1, 121126) = 64.25, p <.0001], and for the front right channel AF8 F (1, 121126) = 1855, p <.0001]. Given the value of F in the second case, we can see that the difference for alpha in this last channel is significantly greater. In the case of the Kruskal Willis test for the beta frequencies of both frontal channels, significant differences were found both for the left channel AF7 (X2 = 3638, p <0.001, df = 1) and for the channel AF8 (X2 = 2265, p <0.001, df = 1), being in this case the most intense differences for the left frontal canal. Considering the means of the powers, a greater alpha power is observed in the left channel for the feminist stimulus than for the common one. But the differences are statistically greater for the case of alpha of the right channel, where on the contrary we observe a greater power in the channel for the common video in relation to the feminist one. In the case of beta, we find a stronger statistical difference for the left channel, where for the feminist stimulus the potency of beta is significantly higher than for the common stimulus. In the case of the right frontal canal, it is also observed, although to a lesser degree, a greater potency for feminist stimulation compared to the common one. Interpretation of the obtained results: The relationship of the frontal power asymmetries of frequency bands such as Alpha and Beta with differences in the valence of emotional states has been studied in recent years and allows us to orient the results obtained towards a conclusion that supports the subjective table collected in the experimentation. The increase in the left frontal Alpha PSD frequency observed before stimulus B has been related in various studies with emotional states of positive valence and / or excitement (Vecchiato et al., 2011; Mikutta, Altorfer, Strik, & Koenig, 2012 ). On the contrary, the increase in the right frontal Alpha PSD frequency has been related to negative emotional states (Diaz & Bell, 2012). Regarding the increase in the frontal Beta PSD frequency band before stimulus B, it could be related to an increase in the concentration of the participants (Lim, Yeo, & Yoon, G. (2019), but the evidence is insufficient and little specific to conclude it accurately. We can conclude then that the predominance of positive emotions during stimulus B over stimulus A has a neurobiological correlation. References: Diaz, A., & Bell, M. A. (2012). Frontal EEG asymmetry and fear reactivity in different contexts at 10 months. Developmental Psychobiology, 54(5), 536-545. doi: 10.1002/dev.20612 Lim, S., Yeo, M., & Yoon, G. (2019). Comparison between concentration and immersion based on EEG analysis. Sensors, 19(7), 1669. doi: 10.3390/s19071669 Mikutta, C., Altorfer, A., Strik, W., & Koenig, T. (2012). Emotions, arousal, and frontal alpha rhythm asymmetry during Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Brain topography, 25(4), 423-430. doi: 10.1007/s10548-012-0227-0 Vecchiato, G., Toppi, J., Astolfi, L., Fallani, F. D. V., Cincotti, F., Mattia, D., ... & Babiloni, F. (2011). Spectral EEG frontal asymmetries correlate with the experienced pleasantness of TV commercial advertisements. Medical & biological engineering & computing, 49(5), 579-583. doi: 10.1007/s11517-011-0747-x Image Link ref:
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April 28, 2021.
Brain Computer Interfaces and Electroencephalography
What is a Brain to Computer Interface (BCI)?   A brain–computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between a brain and external device. For this it is used an instrument to connect the brain to an external machine. Through this instrument it is possible to record several waves that are generated by our brain and neural activity. Those waves are studied in the field of neuroscience and are linked to different things. Why is it interesting? Because it is very useful for research, mapping brain activity, assisting persons, augmenting capabilities, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. [ ]   There are two types of BCIs: the non-invasive and the invasive ones. Non-invasive technologies are those that only “read” the information generated by the brain. It can be achieved by connecting an external device to the head that lets a computer record the data. Some wireless devices are under research and developed these days as well. The invasive technologies are those that somehow generate direct stimulus on the brain to produce changes in the neural activity, typically through different energy (electricity) levels and applied in different head locations. These technologies go beyond the “reading” part, is like they want to “write in” or directly stimulate the brain through electric pulses. These devices can be external or internal. Due to the cortical plasticity of the brain, signals from implanted prostheses can, after adaptation, be handled by the brain like natural sensor or effector channels. But as mentioned, BCI are not necessarily implanted sensors connected to an external device, they can also be non-invasive, like the electroencephalography (EEG). The EEG has been used for several decades and with the increasing availability of computer power, more things can be done with the data that can be extracted from these technologies. The high cost of the early static EEG devices has been improved to the availability of portable EEG devices that are also used as meditation gadgets. There is a path from a low cost and portable EEG device in terms of the number of points of data collection and the fine accuracy compared to more sophisticated, very expensive and static devices. But still the technology brought by the portable EEG devices and the analysis of the data they produce enables a lot of new applications not possible before to reach the general population. An example of low-cost portables EEG devices is the Muse set of products, created by Interaxon Inc in Canada. Devices like Muse I, Muse II and Muse S are sold as meditation devices that leverage the brain wave data to bring information and provide feedback to adapt music based on what is captured through few sensors in a headset. Muse headband + Naxon Explorer Naxon Labs aims to get additional value from the data that can be retrieved from a device like Muse. With a Muse device you can connect to the Naxon Explorer application and record multiple sessions for live or later analysis of the data. The sessions are recorded, the data can be visually played several times, but the data can be used for deeper statistical analysis. Through the interface you can do annotations that could map events that happened during the session recording. This would help to associate brain activity changes to a particular scenario or external event or stimulus. Also, recent studies in human-computer interaction through the application of artificial intelligence techniques like machine learning* with statistical temporal features extracted from the frontal lobe, EEG brainwave data has shown high levels of success in classifying mental states (Relaxed, Neutral, Concentrating), mental emotional states (Negative, Neutral, Positive) and thalamocortical dysrhythmia*1. In this particular area Naxon Labs is working, using data recorded with Naxon Explorer, to create a model and train a neural network to detect a particular emotional state. This is what is being developed for the product Naxon Emotions, which aims to get live data from a portable EEG device and recognize the emotional state of a person.   * Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience and by the use of data. These algorithms build a model based on sample data to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so. *1 Thalamocortical Dysrhythmia (TCD) is a theoretical framework in which neuroscientists try to explain the positive and negative symptoms induced by neuropsychiatric disorders like Parkinson's Disease, schizophrenia, obsessive–compulsive disorder, depressive disorder, epilepsy, among others. In TCD, normal thalamocortical resonance is disrupted by changes in the behavior of neurons in the thalamus. Naxon Explorer The electroencephalography (EEG) The electroencephalography (EEG) is a monitoring method to record electrical activity - over a period of time - on the scalp that represents the macroscopic activity of the surface layer of the brain underneath. This non-invasive method works by placing electrodes along the scalp, measuring voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current within the neurons of the brain. Neural oscillations - or "brain waves"- can be observed in EEG signals in the frequency domain, letting researchers to use EEG to investigate potential fluctuations time locked to an event, to a stimulus. Actually, EEG is a valuable tool for research and diagnosis. It is one of the few mobile techniques available and offers millisecond-range temporal resolution.   Portable EEG Within the area of electroencephalography, portable devices are being made in order to have an easier use of its devices. So, portable EEG devices – also called "Wearable EEG"- are smaller, based upon creating low power wireless collection electronics and ‘dry’ electrodes which do not require a conductive gel to be used. Wearable EEG aims to provide small EEG devices which are present only on the head and which can record EEG for days, weeks, or months at a time, as ear-EEG. In research, EEG is often used in combination with machine learning. EEG data are pre-processed to be passed on to machine learning algorithms - that are then trained to recognize different diseases-. By using machine learning, the data can be analyzed automatically.
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April 14, 2021.
Naxon Labs selected among the Top 500 Global Startups in SLINGSHOT 2020 Singapore
Naxon Labs was selected among the Top 500 most promising Global Startups competing in SLINGSHOT 2020. The result announcement was made at the end of Monday October 12th, 2020 and Naxon Labs was selected as one of the TOP 500 global startups.    Naxon Labs participates in SLINGSHOT Singapore 2020, Asia's most exciting deep tech competition. This year's competition is centered around 5 sectors: Manufacturing, Logistics & Transportation; Urban Solutions & Sustainability & Energy; Health-Tech, MedTech & BioTech; FoodTech & AgriTech; and Digital solutions, Consumer Products & Services   As part of this select shortlisted startups Naxon Labs got an exclusive opportunity to collaborate with corporate partners. Each corporate is sponsoring different problem statements, and Naxon Labs has the chance to tackle one or several of these problem statements. This unique challenge enables to create co-innovation opportunities and potential pilots and business opportunities.   Naxon Labs solutions fit in the Health-Tech, MedTech & BioTech category, where Explorer could address several applications. Naxon Explorer is a cheap and useful tool and neurofeedback system for researchers in Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology.  Naxon Labs platform is integrated with machine learning tools and automatic pattern analysis so that both an experienced researcher or recently graduated professional can easily explore the brain.   Naxon Labs technology will be explored to improve patient outcomes in hospitals’ intensive care units by enhancing patient monitoring capabilities and predicting patient deterioration for early intervention. Our tools could help to predict and detect deterioration of patients’ conditions and provide intervention sufficiently early. Real-time monitoring of patient vital signs from the brain can be tracked proactively with Naxon Explorer add-ons, with capabilities of generating alarms and notification to nurses highlighting patient deterioration.
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April 14, 2021.
Naxon Labs pitching its way in Asia: Singapore Slingshot 2020
Asia’s most exciting deep tech startup competition returned for its fourth year.  This year Slingshot called for entries for 5 challenge sectors, as well as the new SLINGSHOT COVID-19 Challenge horizontal for solutions that help businesses and society adapt in the post-COVID world.   Up to Top 500 shortlisted startups will also have the opportunity to participate in corporate challenge opportunities with corporates via the Corporate Challenge platform.   As part of SFF x SWITCH 2020 (Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology), the Top 100 Global Startups will pitch to a global audience at SLINGSHOT 2020’s Virtual Finals in December and compete for cash and grant prizes worth up to S$800,000!   The organizer Agorize helps businesses to innovate and identify the best talent by connecting them with a global community of 5 million innovators.  This year's competition is centered around 5 sectors: Manufacturing, Logistics & Transportation; Urban Solutions & Sustainability & Energy; Health-Tech, MedTech & BioTech; FoodTech & AgriTech; and Digital solutions, Consumer Products & Services   Now in its 4th edition, startups from all around the world were invited to join the challenge and submit their most innovative business or tech-related solution online. Agorize believes, now more than ever, there is a responsibility to continue supporting startups like your team and accelerating innovative solutions across different industries.   Through this event it is possible to engage with Asia’s dynamic tech ecosystem and gain additional funding from investors, partners and more.   This program includes also access to SWITCH 2020, to be held on 7-11th December 2020.  Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) 2020 is the leading startup innovation and technology festival in Asia. The event will see the global  technology community converge on Singapore to discuss the latest developments and insights into the evolving landscape of emerging technologies today and in the future. SWITCH delivers highly curated content and expert discussions directly from from top industry leaders at the forefront of building the world's most innovative solutions and technologies. Professionals from all parts of the innovation ecosystem, including startups, enterprises and researchers will come together for technology matching, robust discussions and high-impact networking. Unique in its scale, positioning and format, SWITCH sits at the cross section of startups, enterprises, entrepreneurs and the investor community.   Naxon Labs solutions fit in the Health-Tech, MedTech & BioTech category, where Explorer could address several applications.  Naxon Explorer is a cheap and useful tool and neurofeedback system for researchers in Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology.  Naxon Labs wants to open to the world the possibilities of researching the brain. Our platform is integrated with machine learning tools and automatic pattern analysis so that both an experienced researcher or recently graduated professional can easily explore the brain.
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March 04, 2021.
Naxon Explorer in a Brain Computer Interface market value that keeps growing
Naxon Explorer was launched in May 2020 in a Brain Computer Interface market value estimated to reach US$ 3,476.3 million by 2027, according to Acumen Research and Consulting. Acumen Research and Consulting, a global provider of market research studies, reported the growth expectation at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.8% from 2020 to 2027 and reach a market value of over US$ 3,476.3 Mn by 2027. Then, on February 18th, 2021, they reported that “in 2019, North America accounted highest market share in the brain computer interface market. Factors that contribute for the growth of regional market involves rising incidences of brain disorders and cerebrovascular diseases. Surge in diseases facilitates development of technologically advanced BCI systems in North America region. However, there exists a stiff competition among the market players present in this region focusing on development of innovative products at affordable prices that comply with the FDA regulations. Such factors contribute fullest for driving the overall BCI technologies market in this region”.   In regard to the Brain Computer Interface industry, Acumen includes Neurable and Nihon Kohden on its key companies, disclosing therefore Naxon Labs’ “launching of brain to computer interface solution. The technology offers saving time with automatic blink and artifact detection and display in real-time brain wave frequencies per channel or by average. The data captured can be downloaded for further analysis with tools like MATLAB, Brainstorm or EEG Lab. The device can be connected from a PC, a MAC or a tablet with Bluetooth”.   Acumen’s report also included the fact that the “rising focus on R&D activities for BCI technology assist to launch several ranges of innovative products. For records, in May 2018, COMPUMEDICS announced strategic partnership with China based health 100 for somfit sleep technology. Also, Integra Life Sciences Corporation announced approval for DuraGen Dural Regeneration Matrix in Japan province that directed the company expansion and presence in the worldwide market”. In fact, one of the key search attributes for Naxon Labs technology is sleep analysis. Even though the traditional expensive mechanisms still can be used - and are recommended -, a tool like Naxon Explorer could bring EEG technology to a wider population in an affordable way.   Indeed, this statement follows Advance Market Analytics’ article “Brain Computer Interface Technology Market Booming Segments; Investors Seeking Stunning Growth | NeuroPace, Emotiv, NeuroSky, Blackrock Microsystems”, where they announced Naxon’ new product: “the company launched Explorer: a cheap and useful tool and neurofeedback system for professionals in the fields of Engineering and Information Technology, Neuroscience, and Medicine. Using this technology, you can save time with automatic blink and artifact detection and display in real-time brain wave frequencies per channel or by average”.
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February 26, 2021.
2020 highlights from Naxon Labs – A year of neuroscience
Although we lived a very challenging year, during 2020 we never stopped working while Naxon Labs’ development just kept growing enormously.    Naxon started collaborating in numerous projects and took advantage to participate in conferences, exhibitions, competitions and made one of its first big steps: Naxon released a neurofeedback system to analyze the human brain called Naxon Explorer.        So, Naxon’s footsteps all along the year 2020 are interesting to be followed. Naxon Explorer was released in May. This Brain Computer Interface solution to explore the mind is a practical tool and neurofeedback system for professionals in the fields of Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering, and Information Technology. This system works with the use of an electroencephalography (EEG) monitor adapted for portable EEG, particularly the Muse headset created by Interaxon Inc. Naxon Explorer test   Naxon Explorer allows professionals – or students - to visualize, record and analyze brain activity with wireless EEG technology. The use of it can save time with its automatic blink and artifact detection and display in real time brain wave frequencies per channel or by average. The data captured can be downloaded for further analysis with tools like MATLAB, Brainstorm or EEG Lab. The device can be connected from a PC, a MAC, or a tablet with Bluetooth.   “We want to open to the world the possibilities of researching the brain while betting on innovation on what the major current technology leaders agree is the 21st century next frontier: neurotechnology, an area that combines applied neuroscience, wearable technology, BCI, Cybernetics, biosensor development, AI and machine learning”, said Leandro Castelluccio, Naxon Labs’ CEO and Co-Founder.   Following the launch of Explorer, Naxon Labs was selected by the jury for a virtual exhibition stand - in Germany - at the “Investor Days Thüringen 2020 | The Digital Edition – Playing Chances”. The initiative, carried out in June, had over 50 applications from 5 countries, with only 30 pitch places and about 300 cooperation partners and investors registered. Uruguay XXI helped and supported Naxon in the journey to reach Thüringen. A team headed by Isabella Antonaccio guided several Uruguay based start-ups to the dynamic location in the center of Europe.  In fact, Investor Days Thüringen connects investors and stakeholders of the start-up community to generate the best deal flow. The hybrid event platform offered a wide range of the latest technologies and innovative business models, an early and later stage pitch stage as well as numerous networking opportunities where Naxon Labs was present. The event was crucial to strengthen the presence in Germany, one of Naxon’s key markets. “Investor Days Thüringen 2020 | The Digital Edition – Playing Chances”   But Germany was not the only country where Naxon virtually showed up. Between August and December, Naxon Labs participated in the Singapore Slingshot 2020 competition, where it was selected as one of the TOP 500 Global Startups to pitch in Agorize's Slingshot 2020 competition, one of Asia’s most exciting deep tech startup encounter. These events are huge opportunities to showcase innovative solutions to major investors and industry leaders. Thanks to its attendance on this experience, Naxon became part of the Agorize startup community and had access to global startup challenges held by Fortune 500 companies around the world.  Astellas Rx+™ Healthcare Innovation Challenge was looking for a technological solution to improve the quality of life of sensory-disabled individuals and people with restricted access to medical care. In the HealthTech, BioTech and MedTech track, Naxon Labs proposed a solution to improve patient outcomes in hospitals’ intensive care units by enhancing patient monitoring capabilities and predicting patient deterioration for early intervention. Many could think that this is something that requires substantial equipment and technology, but only with the use of a Muse device and Naxon Explorer, the brain states of patients can be monitored in real time.     Nonetheless, in December of this challenging year for the market and investments, Naxon Labs confirmed additional funding to develop Naxon Emotions, a platform that aims to monitor, classify, and provide feedback for mental and emotional states.  Using Explorer as a basis and by wearing the EEG portable device like Interaxon’s Muse, Emotion will be able to read people’s emotions and cognitive states and translate brain information into objective visual markers of these states. This instrument is going to allow psychologists and cognitive scientists to measure behavioral responses, providing real time feedback and speeding diagnosis. After several research studies on the field, Naxon Labs will develop this product in 2021 with the help of a grant from Uruguay Agency for Innovation and Research (ANII) and private investments. Naxon Labs is participating in an ANII’s program with the help of Initium, an organization in the University of Montevideo leaded by Josefina Maisonnave. Initium promotes the development of leadership, innovation, through courses, programs, and direct services to support entrepreneurs. This organization seeks to promote the entrepreneurial culture as a way of life that people can apply at work, sports, personal activities and develop it within the family and friendship. It also promotes innovation in the University of Montevideo and other institutions through methodologies, aiming to add continuous value and make them different to survive over time. Naxon Emotions   Besides, Naxon made an enormous headway by its integration with NeurotechX and the Latam Chapter. The first one is a non-profit organization, leader in local and worldwide technological initiatives. Its mission is to facilitate the advancement of neurotechnology by providing key resources and learning opportunities, and they stand on three pillars: “Community”, “Education”, and “Professional Development”. The association of NeurotechX and Naxon Labs brought to light the interest of many people in Latin America that are now helping and supporting the conception of the Latam Chapter.   Anyway, Initium was not the only project that the University of Montevideo participated in with Naxon Labs. In late 2020, several initiatives – such as internships and thesis work - were proposed for its students, leading many of them to get involved with Naxon, which also extended the use of EEG devices. These projects included the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to understand and map neural activity. Bulk data coming from the EEG devices is being processed and used for training under different scenarios that help to detect emotional states. At the same time, with a trained neural network, a real time data interface will show these emotions - coming from a person - recorded in the EEG data. On a separate track, investigations are being held on how to identify different EEG data pattern that could trigger commands for applications, like manipulating devices or generating instructions. EEG devices can also provide data from an oscilloscope or detect artifact data like muscle movement in the face. Naxon is also working to find different levels of thinking and mind states that could be produced intentionally, which once detected as a pattern can be mapped as a command.   On the other hand, these initiatives led to a collaboration with a group of students from the ORT University in Montevideo, Uruguay. For this project, the students started to ideate an innovative way of processing EEG data for new applications by getting the combination of voltages that allows to distinguish ocular activity – like detecting the blink of the eyes and differentiate one from another- and distinguishing the mandibular activity – like detecting the opening of the mouth or the moves of the jaw to both sides-.   Likewise, Naxon Explorer was tested in the Faculty of Psychology of the University of the Republic of Uruguay. Federico Romano, Naxon Labs Co-Founder, actively worked with potential users of Naxon Explorer intending to test and validate the use of the platform for differnet applications.   As well, in November, Leandro Castelluccio explained in an interview what Naxon Labs did during the pandemic year, on how the current products are being used and what is the future like for the company. He also talked about neurotechnology’s global development, and Latin America’s position in the field.    In fact, some months before, the second neurotechnology webinar “Mindfulness and therapeutic interventions supported by neuro-bio technologies” was held. This meeting was set to discuss about some of the current therapeutic difficulties of the most used paradigms in psychotherapy, and on how mindfulness contributes to work on these gaps. In turn, the new technological tools of applied neuroscience that support mindfulness-based interventions were explored, as well as the new developments emerging in the area, such as the new low-cost brain-computer interfaces for the measure of cognitive states. Webinar “Mindfulness and therapeutic interventions supported by neuro-bio technologies”  
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February 07, 2021.
COVID-19: not the only protagonist of the year 2020
The year 2020 will always be remembered, people will talk about it for the rest of their lives. It is impossible to forget that a pandemic stopped the entire world and forced every single person to get used to a new way of life. SARS-CoV-2, also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, changed the world on every area; economics, politics, social and cultural life, medicine… and it also made a huge impact on Neuroscience. Science was overturned and questioned by this virus, which led to many investigations and discoveries.    The Science field is thankful to COVID-19, it pushed scientists to investigate, interrogate themselves, do research and solve. This originated many discoveries that are now revolutionizing Neuroscience. Many advances were made, and at the moment, there are lots of projects aiming for a better world by making people’s lives greater, increasing their performances, health, wellbeing, education, among others.         As we said, even if Coronavirus was the protagonist of the year, other historical events happened. NASA accomplished a crucial mission that took two astronauts to the International Space Station and brought them back to earth. This allowed NASA to verify and reveal numerous findings on how space travel changes the human body to survive out of earth. One of those discoveries was the detection of a teeny-tiny CRISPR enzyme, which is revolutionary for the genome editing field. Some biological neurons got attached to two silicon-based artificial neurons, and others to dopamine, leading projects based on the brain functioning to another intensity, it enhanced AI.      Neuroscientists were forced to re-investigate on how people respond to feedback as they learn, inspired by the reinforcement learning algorithm. But this wasn’t the only new finding, and neurofeedback wasn’t the only field benefited. Lately, Anti-Aging has been one of the dominating subjects on the neuroscience investigations. Fortunately, it was also one of the areas touched by these new discoveries. Neuroscientists were able to develop many more methods to prevent age-related diseases, just like memory, hearing or vision loss, or even to slow the aging process itself. A drug that reverses the age-related mental decline was invented and tested on mice, showing promising results, such as the restoration of memory function after traumatic brain injuries, the reversion of cognitive deficiencies in Down Syndrome, or the fight against some types of cancer. This is possible because of a quick repair of youthful cognitive abilities in aged mice, and the rejuvenation of brain and immune cells. So, all of this helped to explain and understand some of the brain operations, encouraging neuroscience to develop new algorithms, investigations, and methods to analyze the human brain. Naxon Labs was one of the companies who took advantage of this, and created Naxon Explorer, an intuitive platform for electroencephalography (EEG) analysis and processing. Basically, Explorer is a neurofeedback system, a platform integrated with machine-learning tools and automatic pattern analysis that records brain data. This instrument was made to easily explore the brain and help researchers in the areas of Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering, and Information Technology. Explorer operates through the utilization of an innovative type of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) to obtain neuronal information based on brain waves, which gets recorded in the software. The portable EEG equipment used for this platform has many benefits, such as the easy installation – due to its wireless connectivity-, which explains the wider accessibility and control of the environment of people with physical difficulties, and the fact that it can be used by medical, clinical and professional centers, schools and for mind-controlled applications. Naxon Explorer In fact, last year also overturned education. Neurofeedback systems like Naxon Explorer are now helping to improve education in the effectiveness of teaching methods, on the students’ performances and their wellbeing: education is being personalized. This means that students can learn in different ways, according to their own level and learning mechanism, thanks to microlearning routines. Also, just like education, the sports field is also being enhanced. Formula 1 teams are starting to form partnerships with Oura Rings, a wearable sleep tracker that collects data about the body, activity, and sleep. Their goal is to provide the Formula 1 team racers a better performance by optimizing their health. This is just another example of how important portable equipment is being to analyze the human body. But Naxon Labs is focused on brain analysis, and that is why Naxon Emotion is about to be brought to light. This is a platform that aims to monitor, classify, and provide feedback for mental and emotional states. Using Explorer as a basis, this new platform employs the algorithms and neuroscience integrated in the analytical software. This means that Emotion, by wearing the EEG portable device, will be able to read people’s emotions and cognitive states, and translate brain information into objective visual markers of states such as anxiety, relaxation, concentration, joy, sadness, anger, disgust or pain, among others. This platform will help to intensify objective patient records for diagnosis and treatment in mental health, allowing also to track the patient’s evolution, his therapy, and remote monitoring. This instrument is also going to allow psychologists and cognitive scientists to measure behavioral responses, providing real time feedback and speeding diagnosis. Naxon Emotion could be useful as well in the marketing area, for example, by recording the emotional impact of a product on the consumer’s reaction to it. Naxon Emotions To sum up, the year 2020 was a complete chaos but it left the world a lot of new discoveries and opportunities to change peoples lives for good. Science is improving and new methods to increase quality of human life are emerging. Education and Medicine are getting better, and the comprehension of the human body as well. That is due to the new platforms that are letting professionals and students to analyze the brain and its operations, just like Naxon Labs’ projects. 
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December 14, 2020.
The dream of reading the human mind is already a reality. Are we prepared?
The technological whirlpool increases every day and Neurotechnology with it. We are talking about simple headbands that read mental states, that detect sleep or that through them a device can be mentally controlled. Soon this technology will be among us on a daily basis. In principle, these are all benefits, from better treatments for mental health disorders, to enhancing cognitive abilities such as concentration. Even through brain implants the quality of life of people with Parkinson's can be improved, such as the innovative and recent project of the Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto using a technology known decades ago as deep brain stimulation (DBS), which can help to control tremors and muscle tension related to Parkinson's, managing these movements remotely and at any time of the day.   Mental manipulation tools? Nick Bostrom, a leading expert on artificial intelligence, talks about the existence of white, black and gray balls in terms of human discoveries and innovations. The white balls are discoveries and innovations where the benefit for human beings is absolute and clear. An example of this would be a cure for a disease. Then there are the black balls, where the discovery of something could put humanity's survival at risk. And there are also gray balls, where there are benefits but also risks, as in the case of nuclear fission, which has generated energy for humans but also ldeadly weapons. If neurotechnology is not handled properly in the future, it can pose risks to our integrity.   It is inevitable to think that if we can "read" the mind we can be manipulated. Although no Neurotechnology is necessary for this, since the manipulation of our instincts and senses is done day through multiple stimuli in social networks, stores or movies. Of course, brain data is extremely delicate and can be manipulative if used inappropriately. If you can record and change neurons, in principle you can read and write people's minds. This is not science fiction. We are doing it successfully in laboratory animals. Says Rafael Yuste, director of the Center for Neurotechnology at Columbia University and who leads the BRAIN Project (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies).  Yuste, together with 25 other leading scientists, signed an article in the Journal Nature entitled "Four ethical priorities for neurotechnologies and Artificial Intelligence". contributing greatly to the development of Neuroethics.    Currently Yuste is working with a great team of Neuroscientists advancing the inclusion of Neuro-rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.   YouTube interview     LATAM taking the lead   Chile is leading Neuroethics in the region, including the Future Challenges Commission that exists in the Senate and is made up of Guido Girardi, Francisco Chahuán, Carolina Goic, Alfonso De Urresti and Juan Antonio Coloma. There a constitutional reform is being processed (N ° 13827-19) that creates Neuro-rights and integrates them into the Fundamental Charter, in addition to a bill (N ° 13827-19) that protects mental integrity and free will.   This has had international repercussions and Chile could be the first country to implement Neuro-rights:   ... the transition team of the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, contacted me to prepare a summary on these matters and they have also been impressed by the legislative effort that is being made in Chile, which they seek to replicate" says Girardi.    "Hopefully, by next January, it will be Chile's contribution to one of the main challenges for humanity, which is to establish a regulation that allows all the neurotechnology of the digital age to be for the benefit and not for the detriment of humanity," he added.  Advancing to this new world of brain-computer interface, legally and ethically framing the technology, will be the only way to enjoy the tremendous and revolutionary benefits of Neurotechnology for humanity. And it is the right way.   At Naxon Labs we understand that the only possible way to implement our technologies improving human life and without prejudice, is to ensure the safety, autonomy and freedom of people. So we follow the advances in ethics and Neuro-rights every day.   We invite you to see some of our developments: Explorer, Emotions and MindLace.   References:   Mind control: Toronto doctors regulate patients' brains from afar using electrode stimulation   Scientists urge UN to add 'neuro-rights' to Universal Declaration of Human Rights   The Vulnerable World Hypothesis