What would you do if you could download information directly into your brain? What skills would you want to learn? What would you want to learn how to do if that information was at the tip of your fingers with just a press of a button?
Sounds sci-fi, doesn’t it? Granted, this article is old, but, scientists at the National Science Foundation believes that it may be possible. Apparently it’s a Matrix way of learning. Now, I didn’t like the first movie and didn’t pay attention to it, or see the sequels, so I’m sure if it is like that or not, but it’s still a pretty cool concept.
They found through experiments at Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto that researchers can decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state. This would improve performance on visual tasks.
It’s like a person watching a computer screen the having their brain patterns modified to match those of someone who has already learned that activity. Not only that, but it may be able to modify the person’s brain patterns to recuperate from an accident or disease. It would allow knowledge to be inserted directly into the person’s brain through their visual cortex, bypassing learning curves and months of practicing.
The method could be used to more or less insert knowledge directly into a subject’s brain through the visual cortex, bypassing all of the months of practice and learning curves.
Neuroscientists have found that pictures gradually build up inside a person’s brain, appearing first as lines, edges, shapes, colors and motion in early visual areas. The brain then fills in greater detail to make a red ball appear as a red ball, for example.
They induced an activation pattern in the targeted early visual areas that corresponded to a pattern evoked by a specific visual feature in a brain region. After, they repeated it, wanting to see if the activation of this pattern caused improvement in the visual performance. What they found was that it was sufficient enough to cause long-lasting improvement in tasks. They also found that it worked even when the individuals weren’t aware of what they were learning.
Right now, scientists believe that this method of learning might be good for memory-, motor-based learning and rehabilitation.
What do you think about learning through this way? Would you be pro learning new skills like this?