Brain Sciences


UCL neuroscience company helps businesses and athletes perform better

London Cognition applies artificial intelligence (AI) and gaming to neuroscience to understand how the brain works, increasing our ability to learn and be productive.

london cognition

18 February 2021

The PhD study of Javid Jafari Farahani (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) became a startup business whose clients now include Google, The Football Association, England Rugby, and leading pharmaceutical and financial organisations.

Javid's research with Premier League clubs explored the brain function of elite athletes. Using cognitive tests, Javid found he could measure and improve decision-making skills, response times, and the ability to find a visual target - all fundamental to the game of football. The study helped clubs identify and develop future star players.

Javid launched London Cognition with Vincent Walsh (Professor of Human Brain Research at UCL) to pursue the research's many applications. With a top pharmaceutical company, they devised personalised guidance for managing workload based on staff's cognitive performance. The startup also worked with a financial institution's employees to evaluate the results of a wellness training programme. Partnering with Helios, Europe's largest healthcare provider, London Cognition investigated the effect of heart surgery on cognitive health and performance.

UCL Innovation & Enterprise has given London Cognition free support, guidance and access to dedicated startup incubator space in BaseKX, UCL's entrepreneurship hub. Through UCL's network, London Cognition gained access to leaders in AI and gaming, who helped the business choose the optimal technology platform. These connections included staff at DeepMind, the company founded by Dr Demis Hassabis who studied his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL.