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 -
L'Oreal To 3D Print Human Skin
'...She helped the doctor spray on surrogate skin.'- Robert Heinlein, 1951.
NASA FINDER To The Rescue In Nepal
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'- Frank Herbert, 1958.
Moran Cerf, When Will We Get Neuro Tech For Ourselves?
If brainwave-sensing consumer products tickle your fancy, try real science!
Performance Enhancing Drugs - In Gaming?
'A faint smell of rachag stimulant wafted down the table.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
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.
Self-Driving Truck Corridor From Manitoba To Mexico?
Maybe this would be safer...
Electronic Tongue Knows Beer Better Than You
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle.'
NASA's Robotic Mining Competition
''Dave,'[Powell] said. 'You're a stable, rock-bottom mining robot...'
Should Humanity Switch To Robotic Pets?
'What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat?'
L'Oreal To 3D Print Human Skin
'...She helped the doctor spray on surrogate skin.'
LG Display Creates OLED Wallpaper
'A television that unrolled like a poster...'
Cool Foldable Mini-Quadcopter
'Eddie pocketed the bee cam...'
NASA's Subvocal Speech System
'She took a subvocal input device from its rack...'
Cicada UAV Dropped In Swarms
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'
AI's Now Being Taught Anger
Actually the Prime Radiant was just a display device.
Cicret Interactive Skin Display Prototype
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'
Lily Camera Video Sport Selfie Drone
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
Metal Composite Floats Your Boat
'A metal that was apparently as light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Six Terabyte Solid State Drive Just 2.5 Inches
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'
Israeli 'Food Replicator' Inspired By Star Trek
What flavor would you like?
Robotic Trash Can Wants Your Garbage
'The can pivoted on broad rubber treads and rolled toward her...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories