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Hack the Brain 2016

Hack yourself better (or worse)

Hackathon: 24-26 June in Amsterdam
Pre-event:   evening of 19 May


E.E.G. KISS by artist duo Lancel/Maat




Made in Amsterdam

Powered by NeuroTech[AMS]
Chapter of NeuroTechX - The International Brain Hacking Network

"Hacking the brain is both challenging as well as doable, both philosophical as well as practical, both artistic as well as business, both scientific as well as futuristic.”

This is the century to unravel the working mechanisms of our mysterious brains. Brain cells and structures as well as live neuronal activity and –connections can be visualised with techniques such as EEG, fMRI, and PET. While neuronal activity can be influenced by techniques like transcranial- and deep brain stimulation.

There is an increasing market for consumer brain-imaging devices. Open the papers or the tv-guide, browse through forums and podcasts: everybody is talking about the brain – how it works, how it develops, how we use it and how we can use it better. With our hackathons we invite anyone – from the most experienced bio-hacker to the curious neuroscientist and the hardcore programmer to the eccentric artist – to tackle their own brainy ideas.  

The Waag's Theatrum Anatomicum at the Nieuwmarkt is Amsterdams centre for inventive and creative brain hacking. Just like in the 17th century, when anatomists worked closely together with artists to depict the human anatomy in a public setting.
Once a year we organise a three-day creative hackathon which includes two public events, talks and discussions on Friday evening and pitches and prizes on Sunday afternoon. This year’s hackathon will be held on 24-26 June 2016.
The purpose of the hackathon is to explore and extend what is currently possible. We tap into the participants’ creativity and create future solutions and scenarios, now.

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This year’s theme is Health: “Hacking for vitality”

In a three-day creative hackathon we bring together people from all walks of life. Starting from curiosity and unanswered questions we will hack into our brains with ideas on health, care and quality of life. Participants can work with different EEG-type techniques to measure, visualize and interpret their own brain activity – live. 



But we go further! What can you do with brainwaves? Can we measure happiness, health, love? Can we erase your bad memories? Can we bring back your beautiful dreams? Can we enhance your cognitive kissing skills? Can we influence the brain to improve our quality of life? How healthy is your brain? Does your brain care? And what about your second brain, the one in your gut system? In the weekend of 24-26 June 2016 ideas will be formed, obstacles will be tackled and prototypes will be presented.

Apart from hacking the brain we also touch on different ethical and philosophical aspects. Next to the actual hacking, there will be keynotes and discussions with the experts on the Friday evening. We will end with public pitches and reflection of the teams on the Sunday afternoon. Both will be accessible to a wide audience and in the scenic Theatrum Anatomicum at the Waag. This year’s edition is made possibly by the European Brainhack project and is part of the Future Emerging Technologies (FET) programme.

Expected Participants for the multidisciplinary teams:

Hackers People who live and breathe technology and know how to put technology to novel, unexpected use.

Scientists With state of the art knowledge of brains, brain-computer interfaces and behavior.

Artists and Designers Thinking and probing out-of-the box, exploring new frontiers and overthrowing old ones.

Programme for Friday 24.06.2016 to Sunday 26.06.2016

To be filled in

Evening: Key-notes and discussions with the experts [public!]


Afternoon: Pitches and award ceremony [public!]



From Hack the Brain 2014 one of our aims has been to build and facilitate a growing community of ‘makers’ that appropriate new technology and put it to societal use. Last year we saw our first intercontinental brain-hack between our hackers in Amsterdam and a simultaneous hackathon in Montreal. This year we collaborate with partners in Europe (the BrainHack initiative) and we are part of the NeuroTechX world-wide brain-hackers network. This year simultaneous and follow-up brain hackathons will be organized in at least six other cities world-wide!

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 686987.


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