Announcements

Sapien Labs Receives Funding from Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to Study Youth Mental Health

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs is pleased to announce that it was awarded a multi-year grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of its Global Health Initiative (GHI) to further investigate the root causes of the youth mental health crisis.

Sapien Labs will use the funding for a large-scale study that provides in-depth understanding of the mental health challenges in adolescents 13-18, and underlying drivers of their ongoing mental health crisis. The funding will also be used to profile the mental wellbeing of student populations from a diversity of schools and measure the impact of different policies around technology, food and social connectedness. This research and case studies will guide programs and policy recommendations that can help reverse the trend of poor youth mental health.

“That we’re facing a worldwide crisis in youth mental health is clear—the question now is whether we can address its root causes in addition to treating its symptoms. SNF is proud to support Sapien Labs in using global data and analytics to fill gaps in our knowledge about those causes, yielding insights that will help inform, at a fundamental level, our collective approach to creating the conditions for kids to thrive,” said SNF Senior Program Officer Roula Siklas.

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has a proven record of working to improve the lives of young people. We are grateful for their support and their endorsement of our work to investigate the root causes of the youth mental wellbeing crisis to reverse the trends we are tracking,” said Rob Carter, Sapien Labs Board Member and Acting Executive Director.

Tara Thiagarajan, Founder and Chief Scientist of Sapien Labs, added: “Now that we have received support as part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s Global Health Initiative, we are excited to collaborate and share our research and findings, including with the relevant organizations that SNF is already supporting.”

About Sapien Labs

Sapien Labs is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 with a mission to understand and enable the human mind. With the world’s largest mental wellbeing data, Sapien Labs is focused on finding the root causes of our mental wellbeing decline, with emphasis on young people.  Visit our website to learn more.

Contact:

Callyn Giese
callyn@sapienlabs.org

 

 

Posted on January 14, 2024 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs report looks at the impact of ultra-processed food on mental wellbeing

Washington, D.C.– A global study of ~300,00 participants out today from Sapien Lab looks at the self-reported frequency of ultra-processed food consumption and its relationship to the full breadth of mental health symptoms and aggregate mental wellbeing. These are the key findings:

  • The mental wellbeing of the population shifts towards worse outcomes on various dimensions with increasing frequency of ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption, the most prominent of which is in the domain of Adaptability & Resilience
  • The key symptoms that get worse with increasing UPF consumption are appetite regulation, feelings of sadness, distress and hopelessness, as well as challenges with controlling thoughts and emotions (e.g. unwanted thoughts, anger)
  • These results cannot be explained by differences in income or exercise
  • The changes with increased UPF consumption are distinct from the negative effects of smartphones that we have previously reported and may be additive in nature
  • The US and UK have the highest prevalence of frequent UPF consumption and are among the lowest in terms of mental wellbeing relative to other countries
  • Globally, young adults 18-24 have dramatically worsened mental wellbeing relative to older age groups and consume UPFs substantially more frequently

Altogether, these findings suggest that the more frequently you consume ultra-processed food, the more challenged you become across a broad range of mental function.  In particular, you are likely have diminished adaptability and resilience, more feelings of sadness or hopelessness and greater difficulty controlling your thoughts or emotions.

About the study: 

This study is part of the Global Mind Project, an ongoing survey of global mental wellbeing, conducted by Sapien Labs. The project acquired data through an assessment that queries 47 aspects of mental function on a life impact scale to create an aggregate mental wellbeing score, the Mental Health Quotient or MHQ, as well as scores of various dimensions of mental function.  The assessment can be taken here. In addition, the data from this project is freely available to researchers for noncommercial purpose and access can be requested here.  The Global Mind Project also publishes the annual Mental State of the World Report which can be found here.

 

Supporting materials:

Report: Ultra-Processed Food Consumption and Mental Wellbeing Outcomes

Associated Data Tables and Statistics

High Resolution Images of Graphs

 

Posted on October 2, 2023 Continue Reading

Study Out from Sapien Labs Links Age of First Smartphone to Mental Wellbeing

Washington, D.C.– A global study of 27,969 young adults out today from Sapien Labs is showing that the age at which they received their first smartphone or tablet strongly correlates with their mental health status in young adulthood. These are the key findings:

– The later the age at which these young adults first got a phone or tablet that they could carry with them in childhood, the better their mental wellbeing as adults. In particular, the dimension of mental wellbeing most improved was the Social Self, an aggregate measure of various elements such as self-confidence and the ability to relate positively to others.

– Conversely, those who got their first phone at a younger age were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts, feelings of aggression towards others and a sense of being detached from reality. These trends were stronger in females than males and consistent across all regions of the world sampled including the Core Anglosphere & W. Europe, Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Altogether the study’s findings indicate potential long-term risks associated with giving a child a smartphone or tablet at a young age that parents, school administrators and policy makers should be aware of.

“These findings suggest that there are long term improvements in mental wellbeing for each year of delay in getting a smartphone during childhood” said Chief Scientist Tara Thiagarajan. “It’s important that we continue to study this relationship and work to develop effective policies and interventions that can support healthy mental development in the digital age to reverse the declining trends we have been tracking.”

About the study: 

This study is part of the Global Mind Project, an ongoing survey of global mental wellbeing, conducted by Sapien Labs. The project acquired data through an assessment that queries 47 aspects of mental function on a life impact scale to create an aggregate mental wellbeing score, the Mental Health Quotient or MHQ, as well as scores of various dimensions of mental function.  The assessment can be taken here. In addition, the data from this project is freely available to researchers for noncommercial purpose and access can be requested here.  The Global Mind Project also publishes the annual Mental State of the World Report which can be found here.

 

Supporting materials:

Report: Age of First Smartphone/Tablet and Mental Wellbeing Outcomes in Adulthood

Associated Data Tables and Statistics

High Resolution Images of Graphs

 

 

Posted on May 14, 2023 Continue Reading

Randall Winn Joins Sapien Labs Board of Directors

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs, a non-profit research organization focused on understanding the brain and addressing mental health issues through data, is pleased to announce the addition of Randall Winn to its Board of Directors. 

Winn is the Managing Partner at 22C, a private investment firm delivering equity capital, strategic guidance, tactical mentorship and operational resources to data/information companies. He was also the co-founder and long-time CEO of Capital IQ. Currently, Winn serves in a Board role at ZoomInfo, Aurora Energy Research, LMI, and Canoe Software. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. 

“As a father of three kids, I have been deeply concerned by the degradation in mental health over the past years, particularly among teens. Given my background and “day job” of building data and analytics businesses, the lack of data about this trend was deeply unsatisfying.  After meeting Dr. Tara Thiagarajan and the Sapien Labs Team and seeing the work they have done, I wanted to join the effort to shine a light on the causes of this issue and bring my experience to try to make an impact,” said Winn.

Sapien Labs founder and Chief Scientist Tara Thiagarajan shared that “Randy brings a wealth of experience and expertise in data and analytics across various end markets, including healthcare. We are truly excited to have him join our mission.”

“Randy is the perfect mix of entrepreneurial zeal and highly relevant hands-on knowledge to help realize our mission to identify root causes and to reverse the trends we are documenting with our scaled global data,” added Sapien Labs Board Member Rob Carter.

About Sapien Labs

Sapien Labs is a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization founded in 2016 with a mission to understand and enable the human mind. Sapien Labs is based in the Washington DC area with a globally distributed team across four continents. Visit our website to learn more.

Contact:

Callyn Giese
callyn@sapienlabs.org

Posted on May 8, 2023 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Releases the Mental State of the World in 2022 Report

Washington D.C. – Non-profit research organization Sapien Labs has released its Mental State of the World Report 2022, the largest global survey and database of comprehensive mental health and wellbeing profiles in the world. Drawing on insights from 407,959 respondents across 64 countries in 2022, the MSW report describes global trends across the past three years to provide a view of how the mental wellbeing of the world fared in 2022 relative to the pandemic years. Additionally, this year’s report focused on global trends in the state of family relationships and friendships and their impact on mental wellbeing, particularly with respect to young adults. 

The Mental State of the World Report utilizes the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ), an open online anonymous survey that takes 15 minutes to complete and returns overall wellbeing scores on a positive-negative scale. Respondents span a wide range of demographic groups in the Core Anglosphere, Continental Europe, Latin America, West and North Africa with translations in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), German, Swahili and Hindi.

Click here to read the report.

Posted on March 1, 2023 Continue Reading

Rahul Varma Joins the Sapien Labs Board of Directors

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs is pleased to announce that Rahul Varma, former Chief Talent Officer for Accenture Technology, will be joining its Board of Directors. Rahul brings deep expertise and perspective to guide the strategy and approach of our workplace mental health initiatives.
Rahul is a global Human Resources leader, speaker and thought leader whose career has been dedicated to helping people thrive at work and make a positive impact on businesses and society.  He has led large, globally distributed workforces and complex organizational transformations. Most recently, Rahul was the Chief Talent Officer for Accenture Technology, leading HR for Accenture’s largest business that employs over 375,000 people.

Rahul has served on the boards of Covenant House International, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating youth homelessness and Madura Microfinance, which provided microloans across rural India. He holds a master’s degree in Human Resources from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (Pune, India) and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Delhi.

“I have come to realize that we need to evolve our current systems and structures, within organizations and more broadly in society, for people to lead lives that are physically healthy, intellectually energizing, emotionally fulfilling, and fundamentally aligned to their individual purpose. I seek to create solutions for better ways to work and live by fusing the latest understanding from modern science with enduring wisdom. Sapien Labs is doing profoundly important work in bringing the richest and most comprehensive data to inform the state of human wellbeing around the world and its drivers that I believe can provide direction in fulfilling this goal,” said Varma.

Sapien Labs founder and Chief Scientist Tara Thiagarajan shared, “I am delighted to have Rahul join the Sapien Labs board. His authentic commitment to helping people thrive at work and in life coupled with deep and multifaceted organizational expertise and global perspective will be of tremendous value for our mission.”

About Sapien Labs

Sapien Labs is a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization founded in 2016 with a mission to understand and enable the human mind. Our mission is motivated by:

  • An imperative to understand the impact and consequences of our changing environment and technology on the dynamical function of the human brain, particularly in the context of rising mental health concerns and growing inequality.
  • A belief that the understanding of the brain and mind belongs to us all and that globally inclusive participation is essential.

Sapien Labs is based in the Washington DC area with a globally distributed team across four continents. Visit to learn more.

Contact:

Callyn Giese
callyn@sapienlabs.org

 

Posted on February 22, 2023 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Releases Report on Adult Mental Wellbeing After Abuse and Assault in Childhood

Washington, D.C. – Recent data highlight a stark decline in the mental health of younger generations globally. Uncovering the root causes of this decline is a core goal of Sapien Labs. Here we report startling evidence of the increased prevalence of childhood abuse, assault and bullying reported by young adults. Based on a survey of 286,732 people across the Internet-enabled population of 27 countries in 2022, the rates of those who report having experienced abuse, assault or bullying in childhood is three to five-fold higher in the youngest generation of adults (18-24) relative to their parents and grandparents (age 55+). In contrast, the experience of the death of a parent or sibling during childhood has declined.

Among young adults aged 18-24, those who experienced physical abuse/assault or sexual abuse/assault in childhood had the worst mental wellbeing with the majority experiencing debilitating mental health challenges. Those who experienced childhood cyberbullying were not far behind with the majority also experiencing negative mental health. In contrast those who had lost a parent or sibling experienced a far lesser impact on their mental health.

Click here to read the report.

Posted on January 17, 2023 Continue Reading

The Sapien Labs Centre for Human Brain and Mind Inaugurated at Krea University

Chennai, India – Krea University and Sapien Labs have collaborated to establish a centre for research and learning related to the human brain and mind. The Sapien Labs Centre for Human Brain and Mind at Krea University was inaugurated by K VijayRaghavan, Former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

The Centre seeks to track and understand the impact of the changing environment on the human brain and its consequences for the individual and society so that it can be managed to mitigate risks and enhance outcomes. The collaboration will bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, large-scale acquisition of multi-dimensional human physiological data, cutting edge data workflows, and engagement with the non-profit, start-up, and government sectors.

Click here to read more.

Posted on August 5, 2022 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Releases Data Sheet on Population Mental Health and Firearm Deaths Across Countries

Washington, D.C. – Firearm deaths due to physical violence dominate homicides in the United States and are anywhere from 8 to 97 times higher per 100k population compared to other countries in the Core Anglosphere and Europe with similar per capita GDP and Internet penetration levels. On the other hand, the USA has higher mental wellbeing and lower levels of self-reported feelings of aggression than many of these countries. When viewed together, across these countries, neither the rates of mental distress nor self reported aggression correlate with firearm death due to physical violence. This lack of correlation suggests that improving mental health is unlikely to have any systematic impact on firearm homicide rates, although may impact other factors such as rates of sexual assault that have been shown to have strong correlations to mental health in the 2021 Mental State of the World Report. We note that the rate of civilian gun ownership across these same countries is significantly correlated with firearm homicide rates. One possible interpretation is thus that while those who commit firearm homicide are clearly mentally distressed or disturbed, those who are mentally distressed are not likely to commit firearm homicide unless there is an easy availability and cultural permissiveness surrounding firearms.

Click here to read the data sheet.

Posted on July 5, 2022 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Releases Mental State of the World Report 2021

Washington D.C. – Sapien Labs, a non-profit research organization focused on tracking changes in the mind and brain, has released its 2nd Annual Mental State of the World Report (MSW). The MSW report is the world’s largest and most comprehensive global mental wellbeing study, drawing on insights from 223,000 respondents across 34 countries between January 1 and December 31 2021. It utilizes the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ), an open online anonymous survey that takes 15 minutes to complete and returns overall wellbeing scores. Scores are on a positive-negative scale where positive scores represent a normal range of functioning while negative scores indicate a negative impact of mental health on the ability to function normally. Key findings of the report are as follows:

A smaller decline compared to 2020

Global mental wellbeing continued to decline in 2021. However, at 3%, it was a smaller decline compared to the 8% drop in 2020. The declines across both years were significantly correlated to the stringency of government Covid-measures, particularly for the 18-34 age group.

Poorest mental wellbeing in the Core Anglosphere 

Latin American and Continental European countries had the best mental wellbeing overall, while countries in the Core-Anglosphere as well as other English-speaking countries had the poorest mental wellbeing. The Core Anglosphere particularly scored lower than all other regions on the dimension of Social Self – how we view ourselves and our ability to form and maintain strong and stable relationships with others, as well as Mood and Outlook. Poor MHQ scores were correlated with country-level cultural indicators of Performance Orientation and Individualism as well as key economic indicators such as GDP per capita.

 A profound generational decline in young people is prevalent across every country

The report reveals that the alarming decline in the mental health of young people is a global phenomenon. Nearly half of young people (44%) had mental health issues in the “distressed” or “struggling” ranges, compared to just 7% of those 65+. Worryingly, just 19% of 18-24 year olds had “thriving” or “succeeding” mental wellbeing scores.

This stands in stark contrast to studies prior to 2010 where young adults typically scored highest on various happiness and well being scales. Of various potential causal factors, we highlight the rapid growth of mobile phones and the internet as the one consistent trend across all countries after 2010.

A small but persistent gender gap, highest in Latin America 

In general, males had slightly higher mental wellbeing than females – a gap that was highest for young adults 18-24. Across all age groups, this gap was highest in Latin America and smallest for the Core Anglosphere. Alarmingly, those who identified as nonbinary (<1%) had the poorest mental wellbeing, with 51% distressed or struggling at a clinical level.

Education and employment are key factors of mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing increased systematically with higher levels of education for all regions of the world. There was also a substantially higher mental wellbeing among those employed compared to those unemployed or not able to work. This difference was higher in the Core Anglosphere compared to other regions of the world.

Altogether, the mental wellbeing gap between older and younger generations was the most profound (30%) compared to any other dimension examined from education, employment, gender or country-to-country and warrants active and urgent attention.

Tara Thiagarajan, Founder and Chief Scientist at Sapien Labs, said:  “This year, the results quite honestly surprised us. It is the first view of the magnitude of differences in mental wellbeing across age groups, genders and countries.  Overall the findings were surprising and left us to ponder that perhaps our systems of economic growth, values of individualism and a shift from in-person to largely digital interaction fosters an environment of poor mental wellbeing.  This data makes clear that, to nurture the human spirit, we need a new paradigm.”

For press enquiries, email callyn@sapienlabs.org. High resolution images, graphics, logo and other assets are available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1b5KzEEe-yvbcUdHaqNcL8x-QG1l4mW8V

Posted on March 14, 2022 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Launches the Mental State of the World Report 2020

Washington, D.C. –  Sapien Labs announces the launch of its inaugural Mental State of the World Report for 2020.  This report is the first annual report of the Mental Health Million project providing a view of mental wellbeing trends across eight English speaking countries.

The Mental Health Million project was conceived as a public interest project to enable a comprehensive view of the evolving mental wellbeing of our world so that we can better manage it both individually and collectively. Mental wellbeing extends beyond our feelings of happiness or life satisfaction to encompass the breadth of our emotional, social and cognitive function and capabilities. The project utilizes a uniquely designed online assessment called the Mental Health Quotient, or MHQ.  The MHQ scores mental wellbeing based on a comprehensive list of capabilities or assets as well as challenges that encompass symptoms across ten major mental health disorders, to reflect the spectrum of mental wellbeing across the general population.  Furthermore, by incorporating demographic and life experience elements it can be used to gain deep insights into what drives our mental wellbeing status.

This report includes ~49,000 responses, providing comparisons of aggregate mental wellbeing and its six functional dimensions by countries, age groups and gender, with a particular focus this year on the impact of major lifestyle factors and Covid-19 related adversities and traumas. While the data represented in this report was collected beginning in April following the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns, a few thousand people were surveyed in 2019 offering a point of comparison. While it is clear that Covid has had, and continues to have, a significant impact on our mental wellbeing, the data tells a story of more long-term global challenges, only exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.

The report is available at mentalstateoftheworld.report

Posted on March 15, 2021 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Launches the Mental Health Million Project

Washington, D.C.Sapien Labs announces the launch of the Mental Health Million Project to map the evolving mental wellbeing of the global population.  Using the unique Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) assessment tool, collected data will assess how individuals stand on a normal spectrum of wellbeing and identify those at risk of a clinical disorder. It will also identify drivers of mental wellbeing that can guide more effective policy and intervention.
The existing national mental health crisis has been exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic. A recent American Psychiatric Association poll reported 36% of Americans identified the pandemic as seriously impacting their mental health. Understanding the evolving state of mental wellbeing is imperative now more than ever.  The MHQ therefore specifically probes individual experience of the COVID-19 pandemic such as illness, losing loved ones, isolation or lost employment to understand how the pandemic and its repercussions are impacting mental wellness.

Sapien Labs hopes many individuals will participate in the Mental Health Million Project by taking the MHQ, and also help spread the word by sharing the assessment link at sapienlabs.org/mhq/.  The MHQ can be completed anonymously and takes less than 15 minutes.  An overall mental health score is provided at the end and those who provide an email after completion receive a detailed report providing their scores in six categories giving insight into an individual’s cognitive abilities; emotional regulation and outlook; the perception of self; the nature of relationships with others; and the connection between mind and body.

“Importantly, the MHQ is not an assessment of happiness or life satisfaction, but of the ability to cope with life and its challenges,” stresses Dr. Jennifer Newson, Sapien Labs’ Lead Scientist for Mental Health.  It can however evolve with circumstance and Individuals should take the assessment at different time intervals.”

Sapien Labs also invites partnerships from local governments and other mental health organizations to help build a deeply insightful view of our evolving collective mental wellbeing.

Posted on May 5, 2020 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Introduces the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ)

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs has published a new tool that provides a general assessment of mental well-being called the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ). The tool will be used to sample mental health and ill-health across a large cross section of the global population to aid our understanding of the spectrum of mental well-being.

The MHQ assessment tool is based on self report and was developed by reviewing over 120 different clinical questionnaires and interviews available within the scientific literature to build a comprehensive categorization of mental functions and symptoms (Newson et al., Frontiers in Psychiatry). The final assessment tool takes 12-15 minutes to complete and spans the full breadth of mental functions and symptoms associated with common mental health disorders. It contains 26 questions that focus on mental functions which can either be problems or assets, and 21 questions that focus on specific categories of problems that are associated with disorders. It also collects demographic and situational information to accompany the core part of the assessment.

The resulting score or MHQ consists of a composite score on a scale of -100 to +200 along with subscores across 6 categories on a scale of -50 to +100.  The specific subscores provide an insight into an individual’s cognitive abilities (core and complex), emotional regulation and outlook, the perception of self, the nature of relationships with others and the connection between mind and body. The scoring mechanism is nonlinear in nature and takes into consideration various factors including the severity of consequences and inter-relationships.

More often, discussions on mental health focus around the diagnosis of specific disorders, but the development of a disorder independent tool allows us to gain a more detailed insight into the entire spectrum of mental wellbeing, from positive function to dysfunction, and can have application both within and outside the clinic.

A trial public version is available here.

Posted on July 25, 2019 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs to Host Virtual Symposium on EEG and Inter-Person Variability

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs will host virtual symposiums on various themes with the goal of bringing together cross disciplinary perspectives on significant questions relating to the human brain.  Particularly the themes will relate to emerging approaches to measuring, studying and altering the human brain, the inter- and intra- person variability in brain activity and function, and their consequences.

These conferences, each on a specialized topic, will feature a series of short talks over two days along with Q&A.  The virtual format provides a cost-effective way for people from around the world to attend and interact with one another during interactive open floors following each session.  Recorded talks will be made available to conference attendees for viewing after the symposium to ensure that registered attendees do not have to miss a talk due to conflicting schedules or time zones.

The first symposium titled EEG: Analytical Approaches and Applications will take place on June 6-7, 2019 and will be organized into sessions around four themes.

  • Potential Biomarkers and Applications of EEG
    Recent advances in the prediction of brain states such as pain, fatigue, sleep, anesthesia and cognitive health
  • Novel Analytical Approaches to the EEG Signal
    New ways to look at the EEG signal, particularly showcasing ideas from other fields such as LFP analysis and speech processing.
  • Common Methods, Challenges and Pitfalls in EEG Analysis
    These tutorial style sessions will cover common methods used in EEG analysis and some of the methodological challenges and pitfalls that can arise.
  • EEG Resources, Toolkits and Repositories
    Presentations of various code libraries, pipelines, data repositories and other resources for EEG.

Registration opens April 10th.

Posted on March 25, 2019 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Review of EEG Frequency Bands and Mental Health Disorders Featured in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Washington, D.C. – Sapien Labs’ review in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience covers resting state analysis of EEG relating to to 10 mental health disorders across 184 papers revealing that many disorders have the same profile, and pointing to an immense inconsistency in both methods and results across the literature.

EEG frequency band analysis, commonly referred to as delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma waves, is a brain imaging technique commonly used to investigate changes in resting-state brain signals in patients with mental health disorders, and to support the potential development of therapeutic and diagnostic biomarkers. The use of frequency bands, however, evolved from a pre-computer era, and has resulted in the arbitrary division of the brain’s electrical activity into five macro bands, which demonstrate wide variation across the neuroscience research community.

The ease of splicing up the frequency spectrum into these macro bands has also encouraged the emergence of myths, propagated in popular media and scientific literature, as to the significance and function of each of these bands (for example beta being commonly associated with alertness, alpha with relaxation). Furthermore, from a clinical perspective, the pattern of activity within these bands has gained particular relevance to disorders such as ADHD, where the ratio of theta to beta has been approved by the FDA as a diagnostic marker, despite considerable criticism. This raises a question as to the value of this commonly used approach.

In this review recently published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Sapien Labs takes a cross-disorder perspective by reviewing 184 studies, spanning ten mental health disorders including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic disorder  to determine whether the patterns of frequency band change are unique to particular disorders, or whether they are more generic across disorders – in other words, can resting-state frequency band analysis deliver disorder specific EEG signatures?

The review also covers the variety of methodological disparities in the literature and therefore inconsistencies in results that make it difficult to draw reliable conclusions.

Read the results here.

 

 

Posted on January 10, 2019 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Welcomes Its First Neurolab Partner in Sudan

Khartoum, Sudan – We are delighted to announce The University of Khartoum in Sudan as our Neurolab partner.

The University of Khartoum is the oldest Universitiy in Sudan with a student body of approximately 25,000.  The University has a diverse range of programs in the Physical Sciences, Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.  The Neurolab program will seed a human neuroscience program within the department of Physics with participation of students and faculty from multiple disciplines including physics, electrical engineering, Biology, Mathematical sciences, computer sciences and medicine.

As part of the Neurolab program, faculty and students will be trained in basics of Neuroscience along with data collection and analysis techniques in human EEG.  It will also develop a robust research program that seeks to build an understanding of brain disorders across Sudan’s diverse population and raise awareness of brain health in Sudan.  The Neurolab program will integrate with ongoing rural health outreach programs conducted by the students and faculty of medicine and dentistry.

Sudan’s 42 million strong population is 67% rural and consists of more than 597 tribes that speak more than 400 dialects and languages.  Khartoum, as its largest city, is also home to over a million refugees from the southern war zone and the drought-affected regions of the country.

The program will be headed by Dr. Yousuf Hasan Yousuf Bakhit, a lecturer of Medical Biochemistry at faculty of Dentistry with whose research presently spans several aspects in clinical neuroscience and neurogenetics.

 

 

Posted on August 16, 2018 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Offers a Sneak Peek into Brainbase

Washington, D.C. – Brainbase is data management and sharing/ collaboration platform for EEG with access to EEG related protocols and resources and sophisticated metadata handling including data linking, validation and search features.  Brainbase is still in beta and by invitation only as we continue to refine metadata handling mechanisms and fix bugs and upload over 40,000 public datasets.  In the meantime, we have now enabled a look inside feature and invite feedback.  Try it now!

Posted on February 25, 2018 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Welcomes its First Neurolab Partner in Brazil

Chapeco, Brazil – Sapien Labs welcomes its first Neurolab partner in Brazil headed by Dr. Felipe Beijamini at the Universidade Federal de Fronteira Sul.  The Federal University is a broad system with campuses in six cities.  Realeza where Beijamini is located is a small, rural town located in the southwest region of the Paraná state of Brazil.  The surrounding economy is very agriculture dependent but has a high human development index compared to other regions of Brazil.

Dr. Beijamini studies the ecology of sleep, particularly how different environments, lifestyle and life conditions influence sleep physiology and the impact of different sleep patterns on health and memory consolidation. In a recent study conducted in Brazil Beijamini has characterized sleep patterns of over 1300 participants with different profiles.  He has also been involved with a study that relates genetic ancestry with chronotype identifying clear differences.

Dr. Beijamini’s work has taken him further than his University town in Brazil. He has also conducted research in Mozambique, using actygraphy recordings to compare sleep patterns a newly modernizing African town to a nearby village that is yet to modernize.  The study demonstrated that access to electricity delayed sleep but that intense physical labour and less comfortable sleeping arrangements contributed to poorer sleep in the village showing that modernization does have benefits for sleep. His main take away message is that environment matters in sleep. How else, he wonders, might environment impact the human brain and experience?

As a Neurolab partner, Dr. Beijamini will add EEG to his research with a particular interest in taking typically lab based paradigms out into the field to understand differences between reported sleep quality, EEG patterns and cognitive outcomes.  Particularly,  these studies will shed further light on the differences on rural and urban environments on human sleep patterns and their cognitive consequences.

Posted on January 4, 2018 Continue Reading

Brainbase wins Brainnovation Harnessing Big Data

Washington, D.C.  – Sapien Labs was at the Sharp Brains Summit yesterday and won the Brainnovation harnessing Big Data for its work on Brainbase.  The 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit hosted by Sharp Brains focused on the future of brain enhancement, particularly ways to enhance brain health and performance in light of emerging neuroscience and digital technologies.

Posted on December 7, 2017 Continue Reading

Sapien Labs Wins MIT SOLVE Brain Health Challenge

Boston, MA –  The Neurolab Seed program of Sapien Labs won the MIT SOLVE Brain Health Challenge.  As an MIT Solve Challenge winner,  Sapien Labs become part of the SOLVE Community working to further the larger goal of brain health and mental well-being for all. The final event was held at the Apella center in New York on September 17, 2017.

The Neurolab solution provides a research platform to accelerate and amplify human neuroscience by making it easy for non-neuroscientists operating in underrepresented regions of the world to quickly and cost effectively become productive EEG researchers.   Neurolab Seed accomplishes this through a startup kit that provides EEG equipment, access to Brainbase (brainbase.io) a collaborative research and data management platform, analytical tools, video based tutorials and online workshops.  The program aims to contribute to our understanding of brain health by creating a global open access EEG database that is representative of diverse populations around the world.  Today, the vast majority of data on the human brain comes from educated populations in wealthy, industrial nations and is not representative of the brain’s diversity worldwide. However, preliminary research has revealed much larger divergence in brain activity across human populations than previously thought.  Neurolab Seed will expand understanding of the human brain across diverse populations, enabling a more inclusive and large scale view of the brain function and health.  In helping researchers around the world to collect EEG data of diverse minds outside of the West, Sapien Labs will bring brain diversity to the forefront of the discussion, helping people from all corners of the Earth to benefit from our understanding of the brain.

SOLVE is an MIT initiative to connect innovators with the network and resources they need to succeed in solving global problems. They aim to identify the best, most actionable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, bring these trailblazers together, and create a community of changemakers intent upon piloting innovative solutions. The Brain Health Solve Challenge was an open global call to submit solutions to the issue of brain health and mental well-being.  The brain health initiative of SOLVE aims to:

  • Empower people anywhere in the world to improve their overall brain health and fitness, mental well-being, and mental resilience
  • Enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of problems
  • Increase access to and efficacy of treatments
  • Help build a positive, stigma-free culture in which all people feel empowered to proactively seek better brain health and mental fitness

Working together with other innovators in the field, Sapien Labs is excited to amplify its efforts to bring inclusive insights and understanding of the brain.

Posted on September 18, 2017 Continue Reading