HRL Laboratories' researchers discover how information can be directly transfered into a brain.
Feeding knowledge directly into the brain may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it could soon become a reality.
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Drawing inspiration from classic sci-fi movie “The Matrix,” HRL Laboratories’ researchers have demonstrated how stimulating the brain can improves one’s learning skills. In other words, researchers have found a way to feed information directly into a person’s brain.
Researchers believe that this electrical brain stimulation technique could prove first step in developing software that will one day make Matrix-like instant learning a reality.
In the movie, Neo is able to learn Kung Fu in seconds after martial arts is uploaded to his brain. But in the latest study, researchers have been able to transfer knowledge from expert pilots to beginners using a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
“We measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military pilots and then transmitted these patterns into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an airplane in a realistic flight stimulator," said Dr. Mathew Philips, lead researcher from HRL’s Information & System Sciences Laboratory.
“We measured the average g-force of the plane during the simulated landing and compared it to control subjects who received a mock brain stimulation.”
When the results were analyzed, researchers found that those novices who had received the actual brain stimulation from the pilots performed better than those who had not.
“Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system. It’s sound kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system.” Phillips explained.
“When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity.”
Researchers believe once they get sufficient amount of information and better understanding of the whole process, they will be able to develop the optimal device. And it has implications for various fields like driver’s learning, SAT prep, language learning and routine classroom environment.