Moran Cerf

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Leading Neuroscientist and Expert on Hacking the Human Brain to Make Better Decisions; Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Biography

Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist and business professor at the Kellogg School of Management and the neuroscience program at Northwestern University. He is also a member of its institute on complex systems.

In his work, Cerf helps individuals and businesses harness the current knowledge of the brain to improve thinking and understanding of customers and business decisions. His academic research uses methods from neuroscience to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology, behavior changes, emotion, decisions and dreams.

Cerf addresses questions such as: “How are conscious percepts formed in our brain?”, “How can we control our emotions?” and “How can we make content that is engaging for the brain?” Recently, his research has addressed questions pertaining to the neural mechanisms that underlie decision-making, thereby offering a new perspective on predicting future choices and investigating how much freewill we have in our decisions.

In his acclaimed work, Cerf studies patients undergoing brain surgery by recording the activity of individual nerve cells using electrodes implanted in the patient’s brain. Thus, his work offers a novel way to understand our psyche by observing the brain directly from within.

Cerf holds multiple patents and his works have been published in wide-circulation academic journals, including Nature and Journal of Neuroscience, as well as popular science journals, including Scientific American Mind, Wired, New Scientist, and others. Additionally, his work has been portrayed in numerous media and cultural outlets, such as CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, NPR, Time, MSNBC, and dozens of others. He has also been featured in venues such as the Venice Art Biennial and China’s Art, Science and Technology association, and has contributed to magazines such as Forbes, The Atlantic, Inc., and others.

Cerf has made much of his research accessible to the general public via his public talks at PopTech, TED, TEDx, Google Zeitgeist, DLD and other venues, gathering millions of views and a large following. Additionally, he is the beneficiary of several awards and grants for his work, including the Instructional improvement grant, and the prestigious president scholarship for excellence. He was recently named one of the “40 leading professors under 40.”

Prior to his academic career, Cerf spent nearly a decade in industry, holding positions in computers security (as a hacker), pharmaceutical, telecom, fashion, software development, and innovations research. Currently, Cerf is on the board of a number of neuro-tech companies (Nervanix, VR Americas, Best Fit) and is the co-founder of ThinkAlike. He is also the founder of B-Cube, which applies neuroscience to help society.

The Alfred P. Sloan professor at the American Film Institute, where he teaches an annual screenwriting class on science in films, Cerf is also a consultant to various Hollywood films and TV shows, such as CBS’ “Bull” and “Limitless,” USA Network’s “Falling Water,” and more.

Cerf holds a doctorate in neuroscience from Caltech, and his master’s (philosophy) and bachelor’s (physics) degrees from Tel-Aviv University. Most importantly, he is left handed.

Moran Cerf is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Consumer Neuroscience

(The MIT Press, November 2017)

Single Neuron Studies of the Human Brain: Probing Cognition

(The MIT Press, May 2014)

Intro Video

Video ThumbnailHow our Brain Tells us What is Engaging | Moran Cerf | TEDxChicago - youtube Video

A-Z Name

Cerf, Moran

Biography

Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist and business professor at the Kellogg School of Management and the neuroscience program at Northwestern University. He is also a member of its institute on complex systems.

In his work, Cerf helps individuals and businesses harness the current knowledge of the brain to improve thinking and understanding of customers and business decisions. His academic research uses methods from neuroscience to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology, behavior changes, emotion, decisions and dreams.

Cerf addresses questions such as: “How are conscious percepts formed in our brain?”, “How can we control our emotions?” and “How can we make content that is engaging for the brain?” Recently, his research has addressed questions pertaining to the neural mechanisms that underlie decision-making, thereby offering a new perspective on predicting future choices and investigating how much freewill we have in our decisions.

In his acclaimed work, Cerf studies patients undergoing brain surgery by recording the activity of individual nerve cells using electrodes implanted in the patient’s brain. Thus, his work offers a novel way to understand our psyche by observing the brain directly from within.

Cerf holds multiple patents and his works have been published in wide-circulation academic journals, including Nature and Journal of Neuroscience, as well as popular science journals, including Scientific American Mind, Wired, New Scientist, and others. Additionally, his work has been portrayed in numerous media and cultural outlets, such as CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, NPR, Time, MSNBC, and dozens of others. He has also been featured in venues such as the Venice Art Biennial and China’s Art, Science and Technology association, and has contributed to magazines such as Forbes, The Atlantic, Inc., and others.

Cerf has made much of his research accessible to the general public via his public talks at PopTech, TED, TEDx, Google Zeitgeist, DLD and other venues, gathering millions of views and a large following. Additionally, he is the beneficiary of several awards and grants for his work, including the Instructional improvement grant, and the prestigious president scholarship for excellence. He was recently named one of the “40 leading professors under 40.”

Prior to his academic career, Cerf spent nearly a decade in industry, holding positions in computers security (as a hacker), pharmaceutical, telecom, fashion, software development, and innovations research. Currently, Cerf is on the board of a number of neuro-tech companies (Nervanix, VR Americas, Best Fit) and is the co-founder of ThinkAlike. He is also the founder of B-Cube, which applies neuroscience to help society.

The Alfred P. Sloan professor at the American Film Institute, where he teaches an annual screenwriting class on science in films, Cerf is also a consultant to various Hollywood films and TV shows, such as CBS’ “Bull” and “Limitless,” USA Network’s “Falling Water,” and more.

Cerf holds a doctorate in neuroscience from Caltech, and his master’s (philosophy) and bachelor’s (physics) degrees from Tel-Aviv University. Most importantly, he is left handed.

Moran Cerf is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Media

Array

Books & Research

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Recommendations

“Superstar!”

— David Rowan, Editor of Wired

“Super awesome talk!”

— Joi Ito, former director of the MIT Media Lab

“Fascinating speaker. One of the few who can explain a complicated topic in a way that makes it seem trivial.”

— Philip Kotler, father of modern marketing

​”Really managed to combine so many elements of a perfect talk. Story-telling, humor, brilliant explanation, jaw-dropping moments.”

— Chris Anderson, TED

“The best talk we have had this year.”

— Coca-Cola

​”Absolutely amazing. One of the best talks we have had.”

— Talks @ Google

​”High quality. Engaging and thought-provoking.”

— Rubin Museum

​”Amazing thought leader.”

— Ivy

“Fascinating and important.”

— Corey Doctorow, author

​”Inspirational.”

— Will Gompertz, BBC arts editor

​”You should abolish your scientific career and write stories.”

— Yossi Vardi, godfather of Israeli high-tech

​”So much good stuff!”

— Tom Bilyeu, host of Impact Theory

​”Great story-teller.”

— Bruce Schneier, father of modern cryptography

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