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In The Future Will We Be Able To Download Complex Skills To Our Brain?

Updated on March 17, 2013

This would be possible through something called visual perceptual learning which recent experiments conducted at Boston University suggest may be a sufficient learning approach. Imagine staring at a computer screen until your brain patterns begin to match those of high performers of specific skills, such as playing an instrument or sport. In a sense, this would be like hypnosis or a sort of automated learning where one does not even have to be conscious of the skill they are attaining.

Some people are comparing this to what happens to Neo in the movie The Matrix. The idea of not having to put time and effort into learning a new skill is certainly appealing for many reasons but also a bit scary to some. When it comes to automated learning there are concerns that this could be done in an unethical way. Of course, it could also be extremely helpful, for example, there is the potential it could help people recuperate from a brain injury or illness.

More testing and research will certainly be completed regarding this fascinating discovery. You can see the full Boston University study titled, "Perceptual Learning Incepted by Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback Without Stimulus Presentation," in the journal Science.


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    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      It would be handy, to say the least!

      You could have made more of this, though. It's too brief, but it's well written.

      I'm sure you'll think of something to add, like a summary or digest of said Boston University study that we can look through, to see if it's understandable to the common pleb like yours truly. One day, maybe, we'll all be geniuses - or maybe not, it'd be a bit boring, wouldn't it.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      5 years ago from California, United States of America

      This truly is fascinating. Of course, there is a certain joy in the process of learning which I would feel is left out in this downloading of skills. Still I can see the potential of it in very good ways.

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