'Thinking Cap' Now With TMS Coil

A "thinking cap" created by Sydney University researchers claims that a magnetic coil can stimulate greater creativity and enhance other skills.

In one experiment, volunteers were asked to draw a dog, horse or face from memory before and after being zapped for ten to 15 minutes.

Four of the 11 volunteers produced more natural pictures after wearing the cap.

Two also spotted written mistakes in pieces of text that they'd overlooked earlier, a Royal Society conference heard on Monday.

In a third experiment, the device boosted the ability to quickly estimate the number of dots shown on a screen.


(Thinking cap in operation)

The technique is the same used in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which has been studied on a more extensive basis for relief of depression, migraines and sleeplessness.

Science fiction authors (and audiences) have been fascinated for generations with the idea of helmets that bestow remarkable abilities.

In his 1937 short story Brain Control, Dave Cummins writes about a brain control helmet that delivers automatic reversed memory:

"...I merely lived through the five minutes before I entered this office, in reverse order; everything happened backward. .."

The doctor was pleased. "Evidently my process worked perfectly. I call it automatic reversed memory. By sending the proper electric currents through that helmet I reverse the electrical action of the nerve cells in the brain and produce this reversed memory... as real as actual experience."

"That helmet I have devised has a great number of small metal plates inside which I pick up the impulses from the various parts of the brain. They pass through the wires to my instruments and their beats, frequencies, and potentials are recorded..."

In his 1938 short story Easy Money, Edmund Hamilton writes about the control helmet:

"...our forefathers originated Control. It is a device to make certain that everyone has the same mental attitude on important questions. The wisest of our race is always the Controller. He wears the sacred Control helmet, the supreme achievement of our science, which amplifies and broadcasts the neuro-electric currents of his brain as a powerful vibration that affects every other human brain, setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all."

In his 1957 story Cities in Flight, James Blish uses a special helmet (plus gray gas of unspecified composition) to enhance learning, creating accelerated schooling:

They conducted you to your couch and helped you to fit over your head a bright metal helmet which had inside it what seemed to be hundreds of tiny, extremely sharp points which bit into your scalp just enought to make you nervous, but without enough pressure to break the skin. Once this gadget, which was called a toposcope, was adjusted to their satisfaction, the monitors left, and the room began to fill with the gray gas.

This gas was like a fog, except that it was dry and faintly aromatic... it made it impossible to see the rest of the room until the session was over, when it was sucked out with a subdued roar of blowers...

...the torrent of facts that came from the memory cells of the City Fathers into the prickly helmet was overwhelming and merciless.

More recent examples from sf movies abound.


(From Forbidden Planet 1956)

In the film Forbidden Planet, Professor Morbius gains amazing Krell secrets from brief helmet sessions.

In the classic Trek episode Spock's Brain, Dr. McCoy gains centuries of medical knowledge in a single episode.


(McCoy goes to super advanced alien med school)

From Daily Mail; thanks to Moira for writing in with this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.' - Doc Smith, 1934.

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.

Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'

Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.' - John Varley, 1984.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'

Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'

Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'

DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'

Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'

R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'

Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'

Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.

SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'

Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'

Clarke Was Right, Artificial Intelligences DO Dream
'Of course you will dream. No one knows why."

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.