Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

Download knowledge to your brain
Could instant learning become a reality?  CREDIT: REUTERS 
Feeding knowledge directly into your brain, just like in sci-fi classic The Matrix, could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, scientists believe.
Researchers claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter amount of time, comparing it to “life imitating art”.
They believe it could be the first steps in developing advanced software that will make Matrix-style instant learning a reality.
keanu reeves animated GIF
Enhanced training through NeurostimulationPlay!04:55

They studied the electric signals in the brain of a trained pilot and then fed the data into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an aeroplane in a realistic flight simulator.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 per cent better than a placebo group.
keanu reeves animated GIF
“Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system,” explained Dr Matthew Phillips.
“It sounds kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system.
“The specific task we were looking at was piloting an aircraft, which requires a synergy of both cognitive and motor performance.
“When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity.
“It turns out that certain functions of the brain, like speech and memory, are located in very specific regions of the brain, about the size of your pinky.”
Dr Matthews believes that brain stimulation could eventually be implemented for tasks like learning to drive, exam preparation and language learning
“What our system does is it actually targets those changes to specific regions of the brain as you learn,” he added.
“The method itself is actually quite old. In fact, the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago used electric fish to stimulate and reduce pain.
Photo: The Matrix / Warner Bros
The Matrix-style learning could become a reality
“Even Ben Franklin applied currents to his head, but the rigorous, scientific investigation of these methods started in the early 2000s and we’re building on that research to target and personalise a stimulation in the most effective way possible.
“Your brain is going to be very different to my brain when we perform a task. What we found is … brain stimulation seems to be particularly effective at actually improving learning.”
Meanwhile, a recent study found that intelligent people are more easily distracted at work.


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