If you have watched The Matrix, you can think of this study as similar to the one in the movie where Neo learns how to do Kung Fu in just a matter of seconds after uploading all the information he needs to his brain. Although the study is not even close to the Hollywood fiction, feeding knowledge to your brain may just be possible.
A team of researchers from HRL Laboratories claimed that they have developed a brain simulator that can “upload” information to the brain. Imagine learning something as easy as falling asleep!
The researchers say that the information can be directly fed into the brain and he or she can instantly learn the new skills in a much shorter amount of time. The study is just one of the first few steps to developing an advanced piece of software such as in the mentioned sci-fi classic.
Novices Pilot a Plane in the Study
The research involved studying a trained pilot’s brain electrical signals. These electrical signals were captured by the researchers and they were used as data, which were then fed into the brain of the novice participants. Using a realistic flight simulator, the subjects were able to learn how to fly a plane.
The study was published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal in which it was explained further:
- All the participants were novices when it comes to maneuvering a plane simulator.
- They were divided into two groups. The first group had subjects who received electric brain stimulation and the other is a place group.
- The first group had brain stimulation through an electrode-embedded cap, which was placed on their heads.
- The result: The group that received the brain stimulation learned the task 33% more effective than the other group with no stimulation.
The scientists chose flying an aircraft because this activity requires both motor and cognitive skills. According to the researchers, a process known as neuroplasticity happens when we learn something new. Neuroplasticity takes place when connections are created and strengthened. The researchers are quite ecstatic about the future and are positive that what they have discovered can give way to more useful information. They believe that what they have learned could be implemented in studying new things, such as driving, language learning, and even preparing for an exam.
The electrical brain stimulation targets specific changes in the areas of the brain that are affected when we discover something, such as a skill or new piece of information.