Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

According to this report in Current Biology (Vol 23 No 11), use of noninvasive brain stimulation resulted in subjects ability to learn new arithmetic operations two to five times faster than a control group. The experimental group also had considerably better retention when tested against the control group six months later.

Of course these aren't the first researchers to experiment with lite electrical brain stimulation. Here is an interesting clip from the video series 'Through the Wormhole' where Dr Allan Snyder uses brain stimulation to boost creativity in order to improve problem solving.

You don't have to be a futurist to envision the possibility of children in a future classroom putting on a 'thinking cap' before beginning their daily studies. Perhaps it would look something like products which are currently on the market being sold to researchers such as the Starstim by Neuroelectrics.

So what would be the implications of a future with brain enhancing technology at our disposal? Well you'll be happy to know that smart people are already debating the issue and if you're interested you can read this nice University of Oxford article to get up to speed.

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