Memory Improved By Direct Electrical Stimulation
Direct electrical stimulation has been demonstrated to improve memory for the first time, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Scientists showed that the stimulating current, administered through electrodes in a specific area of the brain, greatly improved performance in a virtual driving game that tests spatial memory.
(University of Pennsylvania taxi-driver game to test memory)
“People should run to replicate this study, because the implications are incredibly exciting, both for understanding the mechanism for encoding new memories, and ultimately for the treatment of neurological diseases” like dementias, said Michael J. Kahana, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the research.
In the new study, a team of doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles, focused on a neighboring area, called the entorhinal cortex. The entorhinal cortex is now the center of intense study. It is where the first signs of damage in Alzheimer’s disease usually appear, and it has dense connections to the hippocampus, through which it transmits the streaming data of daily experience, studies suggest — presumably for sifting and encoding.
Improvements of 40 to 90 percent were noted in observations of how well the patients performed on a computer taxi driver game.
People have been fascinated by the electrical nature of the brain, and by experiments to improve or alter brain function using electrical stimulation for a long time; the use of electrodes to capture the electrical phenomena in the brain was first demonstrated in 1912 by Russian physiologist Vladimir Pravdich-Neminsky.
Golden Age science fiction writer Dave Cummins wrote about the idea of enhancing brain memory playback with electrical stimulation in his 1937 short story Brain Control:
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."
(Read more about automatic reversed memory)
Via New York Times.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/12/2012)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Erased Memories In A Flash Of Light
'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories...'- Philip K. Dick, 1966.
'Artificial Spleen' Cleans The Blood
'The workability of wholly mechanical organs... '- Philip K. Dick, 1964.
PrintAlive Bioprinter 3D Printed Skin Grafts Video
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-deem...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
Sense.ly Virtual Nurse Will See You Soon
The virtual nurse is IN.
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.
Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'
High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
'They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other...'
Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?
Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'
'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'
3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'
Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'
Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'
Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'
Scheherazade, An Open Story Generator
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'
Sample The In Vitro Meat Cookbook
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'
'Diamond Nanothreads' Now, Someday Space Elevators?
'It is a continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal'
Erased Memories In A Flash Of Light
'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories