From Neuroscience to the Web and Wellbeing

May 14, 2019 (as part of The Web Conference)

"What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it" - Herbert Simon, 1971

In an age where multiple apps, advertisements and an abundance of social media are vying to get the user’s attention, attention has become an extremely scarce resource. Never before has the need to understand attention economy been more acute. Designing effective solutions that are mindful of user’s attention call for better understanding of attention - how it works in the brain, how it can be measured at scale on the web, and its current applications as well as challenges.

To raise the community's awareness on this issue, we present the first multi-disciplinary workshop on “Attention - from Neuroscience to the Web and Wellbeing” at the Web Conference 2019. This workshop has been designed with the vision of bringing together leaders in academia and industry to share the state-of-the-art on Attention from diverse disciplines. We believe this workshop will spearhead new research initiatives towards better use of attention for digital wellbeing on the web and apps.

The workshop includes 2 keynote speakers. Dr. Thales Teixeira from Harvard Business School who will speak on the “Economics of Attention”, and Dr. Tom Insel from MindStrong Health (ex-director of National Institute of Mental Health) who will speak on “Digital Wellbeing”.

The workshop will begin with experts showcasing insights from 4+ decades of work in Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology on the science of attention. This will be followed by talks on different methods to study attention at scale on the web. The afternoon session will focus on the applications of attention in different domains, including Search, Advertising, Design, Brain health and Digital Wellbeing.

We hope that you will find the workshop program interesting, providing you with a valuable opportunity to learn and share ideas with other researchers and practitioners from institutions around the world.


Vidhya Navalpakkam,


Laurent Itti,

University of Southern California, Los Angeles.