RVI’s leaders and advisors combine world-class neuroscience research credentials with broad-based business expertise and a deep commitment to making the benefits of our clinically-tested, peer-reviewed neurotech innovations as widely accessible as possible.

Our Co-Founders

image of April Benasich

Dr. April Benasich

Chief Scientist

April is the Elizabeth H. Solomon Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (the country’s first such endowed chair) and Director of the Infancy Studies Laboratory at the Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University.

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With dual PhDs from NYU in Experimental/Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology, Dr. Benasich was the first to show that the ability to perform non-speech acoustic discriminations in early infancy is highly predictive of later language development. Recognizing that improving that ability could move young children to a better learning track informed much of her groundbreaking research on the impact of rapid auditory processing, brain plasticity and sleep on brain development and performance and resulted in 16 patents and 70+ peer-reviewed papers supporting the scientific innovations incorporated in RVI products. 

Julia Whitehead

Finance & Administration

Julia has spent more than twenty-five years providing strategic, financial, and operational advice to corporate clients and has often been quoted on financial issues in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Financial Times.

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She is a co-inventor on a mortgage restructuring patent as well as on RVI’s patents for creating sound environments supporting the neural circuity on which language processing is dependent. A mother of three, she has a long-standing interest in child development, co-authoring a book on parenting as well as a parenting advice column for American Baby Magazine. She received a BA in political science and economics from Yale University and an MBA from the SC Johnson School of Business at Cornell University.

Jeff Baltz

Sales & Business Development

Jeff has a long track record of success in launching and building new consumer retail products, international supply chain management,  and the development of retail sales distribution (both online and brick and mortar including through Best Buy, Target, Amazon and Costco), logistics and fulfillment strategies. 

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He has also been responsible for the creation and execution of go-to-market plans for products in a variety of spaces including IoT and consumer wearables. Mr. Baltz received his BA in Business Administration and Management from Cal State-Chico.

Our Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Stephen Kosslyn

President of Active Learning Services & Founder/Chief Academic Officer of Foundry College

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Foundry is an online college designed to provide automation-resistant skills. Dr. Kosslyn formerly served as Founding Dean of the Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute, Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and Chair of the Department of Psychology as well as Dean of Social Sciences at Harvard University. He received his BA from UCLA and a PhD from Stanford, both in psychology and, among other honors, the Cattell Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and election to Academia Rodinensis pro-Remediatione, the Society of Experimental Psychologists and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Dr. Nina Kraus

Hugh Knowles Professor of Neuroscience at Northwestern University

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She is also the Director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory which focuses on the biology of auditory learning. Dr. Kraus was one of the first to show that the adult nervous system has the potential for reorganization following learning and, through a series of studies involving thousands of research participants, her research has found that our lives in sound shape auditory processing.  She received a BA from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern, has served on the advisory or editorial board of numerous scientific publications and currently is a member of the Research Committee of the American Hearing Research Foundation.

Dr. Michael Merzenich

Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer of Posit Science

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He has published more than 250 scientific papers, received numerous awards and prizes including the Russ Prize, Ipsen Prize, Zülch Prize, Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and Purkinje Medal and, in 2016, was awarded one of the world’s top neuroscience honors, the Kavli Prize, for his achievements in the field of brain plasticity. Grantee of nearly 100 patents, he and his work have been highlighted in hundreds of books about the brain, learning, rehabilitation, and plasticity. A member of both the National Academy of Medicine and National Academy of Science, he earned his BS at the University of Portland and his PhD at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Terrence Sejnowski

Francis Crick Chair, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

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He is also head of the Computational Neurobiology Lab at UCSD and Co-Director of the Institute for Neural Computation and the NSF Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, is one of only 12 living individuals elected to the three National Academy branches. Dr. Sejnowski received his BS from Case Western Reserve University and PhD from Princeton University and has published 12 books and more than 500 scientific papers.