Tuesday, 07 Jul, 2009 Science
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Researchers Closer to Creating Thinking Cap Able to Boost Brain Power

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After performing tests to demonstrate that magnets increase brain power, researchers managed to get one step closer to creating a thinking cap that can boost its wearer's ability to learn. It was found that brain learns a certain task much better when a magnetic pulse passes through the premotor cortex, an area in the brain that is found behind the forehead.

According to a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, a thinking cap could be used to boost the intellectual ability and thus help people who suffer from learning difficulties. Dr Lara Boyd, the lead researcher, carried out a test among 30 volunteers, in which the goal was to track a target on a monitor with a red dot using a joystick.

At first the target on the screen moved randomly, then it started moving in a repeated section and afterwards returned to random movement. The participants were not aware of the programmed pattern, considering that the target always moves randomly. Volunteers were divided into two groups - volunteers in the first group had their brain stimulated by magnets whereas those in the other group did not. It was revealed that participants in the first group showed much better results in tracking the target than those in the second group during the repeated section, reports The Telegraph. As for the random section than the results were not much different between the two groups.

"With this tool we hope to be able to promote learning in patient populations who otherwise have great difficulty in acquiring new motor skills. In fact we are actively investigating this possibility right now in my lab," said Dr Boyd. Powered by www.infoniac.com

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