The Potential to Enhance the Human Intellect's Existing Capacity to Learn New Skills
It's a case of life imitating art. Much as the sci-fi film "The Matrix" depicted a device capable of enhancing skill acquisition, researchers at HRL Laboratories, LLC, have discovered that low-current electrical brain stimulation can modulate the learning of complex real-world skills.
Dr. Matthew Phillips and his team of investigators from HRL's Information & System Sciences Laboratory used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in order to improve learning and skill retention. "We measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military pilots, and then transmitted these patterns into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an airplane in a realistic flight simulator," he says.
The study, published in the February 2016 issue of the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities. "We measured the average g-force of the plane during the simulated landing and compared it to control subjects who received a mock brain stimulation," says Phillips.
While previous research has demonstrated that tDCS can both help patients more quickly recover from a stroke and boost a healthy person's creativity, HRL's study is one of the first to show that tDCS is effective in accelerating practical learning. Phillips speculates that the potential to increase learning with brain stimulation may make this form of accelerated learning commonplace. "As we discover more about optimizing, personalizing, and adapting brain stimulation protocols, we'll likely see these technologies become routine in training and classroom environments," he says. "It's possible that brain stimulation could be implemented for classes like drivers' training, SAT prep, and language learning."
About HRL Laboratories, LLC
HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.
Most Popular Now
You might not want to depend on your smartphone app alone to help you avoid or achieve pregnancy, say the authors of a new study. A review of nearly 100 fertility awarene...Read more
30 June 2016, Berlin, Germany. Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin, its partners and event sponsor Roland Berger invite to the 2016 Health Summit - Innovation Cultures...Read more
Mobile health applications have a clear potential to bring significant benefits to individual citizens and to society as a whole. Citizens can benefit from continuous and...Read more
In the future, several illnesses can be quickly and painlessly diagnosed by the optical analysis of isotopes contained in exhaled air. VTT developed its first prototype f...Read more
The growth and evolution of the electronic environment in health care is taking a toll on U.S. physicians. That's according to a national study of physicians led by Mayo ...Read more
The new stem cell-containing bio ink allows 3D printing of living tissue, known as bio-printing. The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural poly...Read more
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computer programs to learn when exposed to new data without being programmed. Now, researchers in The Ne...Read more
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) has signed a licensing agreement with Visiopharm to offer their breast cancer panel software algorithms  with Philips IntelliSite ...Read more
That's the question Drexel University researchers hope to answer with one of two new studies launching this month. They have developed a computer game and smartphone app ...Read more