OCT 19, 2017 7:02 AM PDT

Can Nerve Stimulation Improve Learning?


When the brain has to learn new skills and adapt to new environments, that process is called "neuroplasticity." It's crucial to learning and retaining information. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have received a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to look at ways to improve this brain function and possibly even speed it up.

Using stimulation of the nerves peripheral to the brain, in the head and neck area, the team of medical engineers, neuroscientists and medical professionals at UW-M hope to show that learning can be enhanced with stimulators along the key nerves that surround the brain. It's a technique that's similar to what acupuncturists do. It's been known for decades that stimulating these nerves can boost neuromodulators in the brain like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. These can then improve neuron connections and speed up the time it takes to learn a new task or familiarize oneself with a new environment. This ability would be especially valuable for military service members.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 26, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
AI Creates Proteins that Rival Those in Nature
JUL 26, 2020
AI Creates Proteins that Rival Those in Nature
Proteins are crucial for the function of cells in living organisms. Now, researchers have developed a machine leaning-le ...
AUG 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Discover Record-Breaking Rodent
AUG 05, 2020
Scientists Discover Record-Breaking Rodent
In a year of extremes, researchers have also unveiled a new record-breaking animal—the highest dwelling mammal on ...
AUG 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
AUG 06, 2020
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
The Associated Press reports that the world's smallest and rarest wild pig species is undergoing its own virus lockd ...
AUG 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
AUG 10, 2020
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
The Earth's magnetic field is crucial for life on Earth. Generated by the molten iron core 3000 km beneath our plane ...
AUG 14, 2020
Plants & Animals
Tracking the Iconic American Bison
AUG 14, 2020
Tracking the Iconic American Bison
The Great Plains of Montana are home to one of the United States' largest land restoration projects, known as the Am ...
AUG 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
AUG 22, 2020
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
Researchers from Ohio State University have theorized that there may be more rogue planets (planets that don't orbit ...
Loading Comments...