Advisory Board

Dr. Alan Gevins

The MIT Technology Review article My Brain on Booze: A unique EEG test reveals how alcohol sets the brain aglow said

It’s noon on a sunny day in San Francisco, and I’m trying to down a double vodka cranberry as fast as I can. Despite reporters’ reputation, drinking is not my typical lunchtime activity. Today I’m visiting neuroscientist Alan Gevins, who has spent the past 40 years developing better ways to analyze the electrical signals emanating from our brains and, in turn, to study how our ability to remember and pay attention changes with different drugs, with the neural glitches of disease, and with the decay of age. In 20 minutes or so, when the alcohol has brought my brain to its peak boozy state, Gevins’ team will measure how it has impacted my neurons as they struggle through a series of memory tests.

Alan Gevins, Ph.D. is founder of SAM Technology which develops advanced systems for research on human brain function.
Alan is internationally known for pioneering engineering and basic science research on brain electrical signals of human cognition, and is the first author of more than 125 scientific publications and of 17 US patents. His Lab’s research is currently supported by competitive grants from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Strokes, The National Institute of Mental Health, The National Institute of Aging, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, The National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, The National Institute of Drug Abuse, The Air Force Research Laboratory, The Office of Naval Research, and DARPA.
Alan coauthored Neurophysiological Measures of Working Memory and Individual Differences in Cognitive Ability and Cognitive Style, Monitoring working memory load during computer-based tasks with EEG pattern recognition methods, High resolution evoked potential imaging of the cortical dynamics of human working memory, Seeing through the skull: Advanced EEGs use MRIs to accurately measure cortical activity from the scalp, Beyond topographic mapping: Towards functional-anatomical imaging with 124-channel EEGs and 3-D MRIs, Neurophysiological indices of strategy development and skill acquisition, and Effects of marijuana on neurophysiological signals of working and episodic memory.
His patents include Brain wave source network location scanning method and system, Ceramic single-plate capacitor EEG electrode, Neurocognitive adaptive computer interface method and system based on on-line measurement of the user’s mental effort, Three-dimensional magnetic resonance image distortion correction method and system, Low noise magnetoencephalogram system and method, Parallel processing system having a broadcast, result, and instruction bus for transmitting, receiving and controlling the computation of data, and Non-invasive human neurocognitive performance capability testing method and system.
Alan earned a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967, and earned his a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the California Institute of Asian Studies in 1971.
In 1972, he joined the Electroencephalography (EEG) Laboratory of the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco as a Senior Operations Research Analyst and became Director of the laboratory in 1974.
He incorporated the EEG Systems Laboratory as an independent non-profit institute in 1980, now known as The San Francisco Brain Research Institute. In 1986, he founded SAM Technology to develop advanced systems for research on human brain function.