What You Need to Know About Neuroperformance
Imagine: It’s December 2025…just a few years from now. You have a critical meeting in an hour, and you need to be at the top of your game. But something’s off. Your thinking is fuzzy. You’re nervous, discombobulated.
You snap on your portable brain monitor. And it confirms, “Your brain fog score is 7.” You tell the device, “I need to get in the zone. Dial me in.” Three minutes later, after an intensive cognitive intervention, you’re there: at your mental peak. (And of course you nail it in the meeting.)
That experience is just around the corner.
Due to groundbreaking recent neuroscience advances, we now have the proven ability to dramatically enhance human brain function, measurably improving capacities like memory, processing speed, learning speed and the ability to perform under pressure. And with these neuroscience-fueled breakthroughs, a new industry is rapidly emerging, called neuroperformance.
By leveraging the brain’s extraordinary ability to rewire itself, companies in this industry are employing technology to help people focus, remember more, perform better, learn more quickly and much more.
Customer and investor interest in the neuroperformance space have been growing at an almost exponential pace, as evidenced, for example, by Facebook’s acquisition in September 2019 of CTRL-Labs, a pre-revenue startup neuroscience company specializing in Neural Interface Platforms, for a reported price of more than $500 million.
Why is there so much interest in neuroperformance?
The major driver of the neuroperformance revolution is the massive competitive advantage it can offer in a variety of important arenas.
Consider professional sports. During the past few years, professional athletes like Tom Brady and Steph Curry have begun aggressively incorporating advanced, scientifically proven brain “training” systems into their daily regimens—and they credit these systems as one of the main reasons for their ongoing success.
The reasoning here is easy to understand. Because sports is 90 percent “mental,” now that the brain science is established, it makes sense for elite athletes to train their brain (e.g., to accelerate its “reaction speed”) in the same way they train their body. This technology is rapidly becoming a strategic necessity in the sports world.
At my company, PlatypusNeuro, we recently did a case study with hedge fund portfolio managers illustrating how neuroperformance technology will soon disrupt the finance industry in a similar manner.
During the study, we measured portfolio manager’s brainwaves during the course of their trading day and demonstrated that (a) the portfolio manager’s brains went in and out of two distinct and measurable “states” during the day; and (b) in one of those states, their trades were profitable, whereas in the other state, they tended to lose money.
Clearly, once you can accurately measure and optimize portfolio managers’ brains in real time, that capability can immediately be translated into alpha. And so, in the same way that the technology is disrupting the sports world, it will soon be a strategic necessity in a broad array of financial arenas.
How will the industry evolve?
The first wave of neuroperformance technologies will be relatively unobtrusive, something like brain training apps and neurofeedback devices. Over time, however, as people become more and more dependent on these technologies, the boundaries about what they find to be acceptable will slowly expand.
Within five years, devices that allow people to electrically stimulate their brains will become commonplace, and just a few years after that, people will begin implanting microscopic sensors into their skulls which, for example, will allow them to download new capabilities directly into their brains and connect their brains directly to the internet, affording them a broad new range of cognitive capabilities.
And so, as with other transformative technologies, via a series of gradual, almost imperceptible steps, neuroperformance technology will soon become pervasive, transforming multiple industries, offering a broad array of powerful, easy-to-use medical and consumer applications and ultimately transforming the very nature of the human experience.
What does this mean for you?
As a starting point, it’s certainly worthwhile to stay on top of the industry as it emerges because of the immense impact it will soon have on your life. If you enjoy investing in new technology, now is absolutely the right time to be looking at the neuroperformance space.
With the huge amount of capital that’s pouring into the arena right now, there are certain to be some failed companies along the way. But there will also be some major successes that create immense value. In a world where yield is increasingly hard to find, neuroperformance technology today represents a unique and compelling wealth creation opportunity for savvy investors.
David Bach is a Harvard-trained scientist, physician and serial entrepreneur. Bach founded and built three healthcare companies, each of which grew to over $100 million in value. His latest, PlatypusNeuro, translates cutting-edge neuroscience discoveries into practical tools and programs that measurably enhance human performance and advance scientific knowledge.