The Science Behind Empowered Brain™

Evidence from professional research that validates Brain Power’s products and methods.

The Most Scientifically Validated Education Product

We could not be more committed to empowering the brains of your children / students. There is nothing more important.

This is why we have assembled a world-class team of brain scientists (PhDs and MDs). It is also why we have submitted all of our methods and results to the scrutiny of the international community of research scientists and clinicians, via the gold-standard process of peer-reviewed publication.

A large set of peer-reviewed medical research papers support Brain Power’s products – more than any product we know of in the education space. This page is an index of this ever-growing set of papers: You can browse the short, plain-language summaries here, then click any to explore the paper in greater detail.

Evidence of Therapeutic Efficacy

The professional, peer-reviewed research papers that are summarized in the tiles below report studies that report actual efficacy, namely whether Empowered Brain works and provides clinical benefit.

It is critical to ensure that time and energy are spent only on providing educational technologies that are evidence-based and proven to benefit students. The published, quantitative research summarized here shows that Empowered Brain® is an efficacious digital tool that reduces symptoms of autism and ADHD in school and lab settings. Additionally, qualitative research shows that teachers and parents have noticed improved educational, communication, and behavioral skills, among students who use the system. Further research is underway, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted independently of Brain Power at a top-ten US research university.

Tolerability and Feasibility

These published studies represent Brain Power’s first line of research, namely investigating whether our methods and technology were feasible and tolerable in people with autism or ADHD.Children with autism and/or ADHD struggle with new interventions.

They commonly have attentional challenges, sensory sensitivities, and difficulties with transitions. The adoption of some assistive technologies is simply not realistic by many time-pressed teachers who are running a busy classroom. Empowered Brain is different and has been proven to be tolerable and usable by over 90% of children and adolescents with autism. Teachers and therapists have found that they can practically and feasibly use Empowered Brain in real-life classrooms and their own students.


These published studies relate to attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Millions of students in the US struggle with ADHD (~11%), and millions more have some degree of inattention or hyperactivity. These students don’t reach their educational potential, and can also increase the demands on educators. While many children now receive psychiatric medication to help them with their symptoms, research has shown that Empowered Brain can reduce symptoms associated with ADHD. Multiple studies on Empowered Brain have demonstrated decreased hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Preliminary results also suggest that the Empowered Brain can predict the severity of ADHD symptoms, providing teachers with another powerful tool to inform their instructional strategies. Additional research is actively underway.


These published studies relate to autism.

Over 550,000 US students have autism and are on IEPs, placing a huge demand on an already stretched special educational system. Autistic students have worse long-term educational, health, job, and relationship outcomes compared to their peers, so an intervention that accommodates their needs and fits within the school’s system well can unlock much of this potentially lost potential. Core challenges in autism include social and emotional skills. A wide body of research on Empowered Brain has shown that it can teach these skills and address a wide range of autism-related challenges. Empowered Brain is a transformative digital tool for special education, and these studies show that it is proven to improve social communication, cognition, motivation, and behavior.

Dr. Vahabzadeh is a prominent medical doctor in the US with many research publications. He is trained in child psychiatry, adult psychiatry, family medicine, and addiction medicine.

“As a child psychiatrist, I see many individuals with autism or ADHD, and interact closely with their concerned parents. Each situation is unique but families are united in hoping for self-sufficiency and social integration for their loved-ones. Empowered Brain excites me because it is a toolset based on technology not drugs, which empowers people to learn social skills that increase self-sufficiency. These skills are transformative both at school-age and when seeking a job (and one of the best protectors against negative mental health outcomes is being employed). Overall, Empowered Brain in an exciting clinically-proven toolset for the young and old, severely affected and mild.”

– Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh

Young and old, speaking and non. All empowered.

School-Related Research

These published papers report research studies carried out in school settings. Some of these papers are also in groupings above.

Children spend over a third of their lives at school. Any digital intervention must not only meet children at their developmental level but should meet them in real-world settings where they will naturally build their social, emotional, and academic skills. The research studies have shown that the Empowered Brain is suitable and effective for a wide range of students, usable by educators of different backgrounds, and across a mixture of classroom and school settings.


Newsletter Signup

Sign up for our newsletter to learn about product releases, discounts, promotions and the latest thinking from Brain Power’s team!

Summary Images

Above: One of Brain Power’s scientific publications was selected by the editor of the research journal (“Children”) to be featured on the cover of the journal (pictured above — click to expand on your screen).

Above: Two plots that summarize key results across several of our clinical and school-based research studies. (Click them to expand.) You can find the detailed results in the papers visually summarized below.

Click to expand any image:


  1. Liu R, Salisbury JP, Vahabzadeh A, Sahin NT. (2017). Feasibility of an autism-focused augmented reality smartglasses system for social communication and behavioral coaching. Frontiers in Pediatrics , 5, 145.
  2. Sahin N, Keshav N, Salisbury J, Vahabzadeh A. (2018). Safety and Lack of Negative Effects of Wearable Augmented-Reality Social Communication Aid for Children and Adults with Autism. Journal of Clinical Medicine , 7(8), 188.
  3. Keshav NU, Salisbury JP, Vahabzadeh A, Sahin NT. (2017). Social communication coaching smartglasses: well tolerated in a diverse sample of children and adults with autism. JMIR mHealth and uHealth , 5(9).
  4. Salisbury JP, Keshav NU, Sossong AD, Sahin NT. (2018). Concussion assessment with smartglasses: validation study of balance measurement toward a lightweight, multimodal, field-ready platform. JMIR mHealth and uHealth , 6(1), e15.
  5. Sahin NT, Keshav NU, Salisbury JP, Vahabzadeh A. (2018). Second Version of Google Glass as a Wearable Socio-Affective Aid: Positive School Desirability, High Usability, and Theoretical Framework in a Sample of Children with Autism. JMIR Human Factors , 5(1).
  6. Sahin NT, Abdus-Sabur R, Keshav NU, Liu R, Salisbury JP, Vahabzadeh A. (2018). Case Study of a Digital Augmented Reality Intervention for Autism in School Classrooms: Associated with Improved Social Communication, Cognition, and Motivation as rated by Educators and Parents. Frontiers in Education, 3, 57.
  7. Keshav N, Vahabzadeh A, Abdus-Sabur R, Huey K, Salisbury J, Liu R, Sahin N. (2018). Longitudinal Socio-Emotional Learning Intervention for Autism via Smartglasses: Qualitative School Teacher Descriptions of Practicality, Usability, and Efficacy in General and Special Education Classroom Settings. Education Sciences , 8(3), 107.
  8. Liu R, Osada K, Vahabzadeh A, Sahin N. Experimental study demonstrates adult learners achieve high proficiency in use of Empowered Brain, a novel socio-emotional educational technology, following a single one-hour training session. Preprint.
  9. Keshav NU, Vogt-Lowell K, Vahabzadeh A, Sahin NT. (2019) Digital Attention-Related Augmented-Reality Game: Significant Correlation between Student Game Performance and Validated Clinical Measures of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children , 6(6), 72.
  10. Vahabzadeh A, Keshav NU, Salisbury JP, Sahin NT. (2018). Improvement of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in School-Aged Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults With Autism via a Digital Smartglasses-Based Socioemotional Coaching Aid: Short-Term, Uncontrolled Pilot Study. JMIR Mental Health, 5(2)
  11. Vahabzadeh A, Keshav N, Abdus-Sabur R, Huey K, Liu R, Sahin N. (2018). Improved Socio-Emotional and Behavioral Functioning in Students with Autism Following School-Based Smartglasses Intervention: Multi-Stage Feasibility and Controlled Efficacy Study. Behavioral Sciences , 8(10), 85.
  12. Salisbury JP, Keshav NU, Sossong AD, Sahin NT. (2018) Concussion Assessment With Smartglasses: Validation Study of Balance Measurement Toward a Lightweight, Multimodal, Field-Ready Platform. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 6(1):e15. doi:10.2196/mhealth.8478
  13. Salisbury JP, Liu R, Minahan LM, Shin HY, Karnati SVP, Duffy S, Keshav NU, Sahin NT. (2018) Patient Engagement Platform for Remote Monitoring of Vestibular Rehabilitation with Applications in Concussion Management and Elderly Fall Prevention. IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI), New York, NY, 422-423, doi: 10.1109/ICHI.2018.00082.