Saturday, January 29, 2011

Learn more quickly by transcranial magnetic brain stimulation

Dr. Klaus Funke - What sounds like science fiction is actually possible: thanks to magnetic stimulation, the activity of certain brain nerve cells can be deliberately influenced. What happens in the brain in this context has been unclear up to now. Medical experts from Bochum under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Klaus Funke (Department of Neurophysiology) have now shown that various stimulus patterns changed the activity of distinct neuronal cell types. In addition, certain stimulus patterns led to rats learning more easily. The knowledge obtained could contribute to cerebral stimulation being used more purposefully in future to treat functional disorders of the brain. The researchers have published their studies in the Journal of Neuroscience and in the European Journal of Neuroscience.

...Since the mid-1990's, repetitive TMS has been used to make purposeful changes to the activability of nerve cells in the human cortex: "In general, the activity of the cells drops as a result of a low-frequency stimulation, i.e. with one magnetic pulse per second. At higher frequencies from five to 50 pulses per second, the activity of the cells increases", explained Prof. Funke. Above all, the researchers are specifically addressing with the effects of specific stimulus patterns like the so-called theta burst stimulation (TBS), in which 50 Hz bursts are repeated with 5 Hz. "This rhythm is based on the natural theta rhythm of four to seven Hertz which can be observed in an EEG", says Funke. The effect is above all dependent on whether such stimulus patterns are provided continuously (cTBS, attenuating effect) or with interruptions (intermittent, iTBS, strengthening effect).

... It is unknown to a great extent how precisely the activity of nerve cells is changed by repeated stimulation. It is assumed that the contact points (synapses) between the cells are strengthened (synaptic potentation) or weakened (synaptic depression) as a result of the repeated stimulation, a process which also plays an important role in learning. Some time ago, it was also shown that the effects of TMS and learning interact in humans. ...

via Learn more quickly by transcranial magnetic brain stimulation.

Is there a rebound effect where you learn more slowly than normal after doing this for a while?

1 comment:

oliver stieber said...

"The knowledge obtained could contribute to cerebral stimulation being used more purposefully in future to treat functional disorders of the brain."

That sounds like it's going to be a good earner, I know just a few people who could do with that kind of help, mostly in government and then working the way down to the park bench.
Unfortunately knowledge is not wisdom, and in-fact can often be quite the opposite, especially if your the kind of person who needs to be taught right from wrong [I assume they exist since they seem to think that's how others should be taught, so one would assume it's what made them so perfect] and triangulation would require, well, telling a lie or something like a quick trip to the church and a half hour of prayer for rain. As opposed to experimentation and science.