Do you know Kung-Fu?

In a reversal to improved methods of reading, recording and interpreting brain patterns, researchers at California’s HRL Laboratories have developed a method of transmitting learning patterns directly into the brain. While this technique isn’t quite as convenient as the rapid upload of new skills to the brain as depicted in ‘The Matrix’, it does appear accelerate learning functions for complex skills.

The experiment involved recording and studying the brain patterns of six commercial and military aircraft pilots. These patterns were then transmitted to students that were learning to fly aircraft on realistic flight simulators, via electrodes placed on their scalps. The result was that the students learned their new skills 33 percent faster than the control group.

“Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system,” says lead researcher Dr. Matthew Phillips. "It sounds kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system. The specific task we were looking at was piloting an aircraft, which requires a synergy of both cognitive and motor performance. When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity. It turns out that certain functions of the brain, like speech and memory, are located in very specific regions of the brain, about the size of your pinky.”

Phillips feels this technique could one day be a commonplace method of accelerating learning for various physical and intellectual skills. "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." 

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