In the Matter of Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc., File No. 1423132 #00034

Submission Number:
00034
Commenter:
Michael Proulx
State:
Outside the United States
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc., File No. 1423132
Dear FTC Colleagues, The decision to take punitive action against Dr Aaron Seitz is the wrong one for the public, for the field of translational research, and for the personal attack on this researcher. He is an excellent and well-regarded scientist in psychology and neuroscience. I am an expert in multisensory perceptual learning, and his work has been very influential for our research on vision restoration technology for the visually impaired. I am a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and I was honored as a torchbearer in London 2012 for my work in this field. Dr Seitz's work is reputable, replicable, and certainly up to the standards necessary to state his App game is scientifically validated. There is no accepted procedure for double-blind placebo trials in this field due to the complexity of the low-level neural mechanisms involved. This is not the same as introducing a new pharmaceutical product -- it is no different than having an App to improve someone's performance at a foreign language. There are a number of ways to scientifically validate such an intervention, and it appears the FTC did not fully consider this in its decision given that even the testimony of top scientists in the field appeared to be ignored. Not only was the decision wrong, but the punishment applied is astoundingly cruel and shortsighted. Dr Seitz created this App in good faith to share his expertise with the public, and the size of the penalty and the decision to attack the individuals involved is disgraceful. This has generated a lot of discussion and has essentially convinced a whole generation of scientists that translational research is not worth the trouble. This means that you have betrayed your own guidelines and created massive harm to the public as a result. You should apologize and correct this grave error immediately. Sincerely, Dr Michael J Proulx Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Bath Director, Crossmodal Cognition Lab Fellow, American Psychological Association