Ready for some futuristic, “Matrix” style learning? Learning like Neo could be closer than you think thanks to research from a joint team from Boston University and Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories. Their experiments suggest that in the future we may be able to use brain technology to learn instantaneously. The technique would provide immediate knowledge for visual tasks.
New research suggests it may be possible to use this brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort.
The basic idea is this: using a technique known as decoded neurofeedback, or DecNef, people could be trained to alter their brain activity so it matched that of someone already possessing a certain skill.
Experiments conducted by researchers demonstrated that through a person’s visual cortex, researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks.
While the instant acquisition of complex skills, such as flying a helicopter as seen in the “Matrix,” might not be possible in the near future, researchers believe that DecNef might also have therapeutic value, such as people with mental illnesses could be trained to match the brain activity patterns of healthy individuals.