In the blockbuster film “The Matrix,” lead character Neo is able to download information directly to his brain resulting to instant learning of any skill. Sounds fictional, doesn’t it? Wrong! This amazing technology could soon be science fact!
Researchers from the Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratory of Japan have developed a functional magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) neurofeedback method which stimulates the areas of the brain involved with learning. The technology replicates the neural patterns during traditional learning and transmits them to the brain’s visual cortex.
Results showed that subjects who underwent the neural training using the FMRI displayed brain patterns similar to those who have learned a particular skill through conventional methods. The participants also displayed higher proficiency levels when performing the induced skills after the neuro training. Interestingly, participants also responded better when they are unaware of the skills being learned through the technology.
The researchers concluded that the adult brain is “plastic” enough to be influenced by induced visual stimuli. This means that one day, it may be possible for us to learn to gain skills for a sport, play a musical instrument, and master a martial art with significantly less time and effort. Talk about direct learning!