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 |

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 ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

 

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

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.