Brain computer interface may help learning

September 6, 2005

Ohio researchers say they have discovered animal learning can be significantly enhanced by using a brain-computer interface.

Stephen Berry and colleagues from the Miami (Ohio) University Department of Psychology and Center for Neuroscience showed when older rabbits were trained in classical eyeblink conditioning -- a common task used by neuroscientists studying memory -- age-related learning impairments were eliminated.

The training tasks were administered during periods of a certain type of neural signaling called theta activity in the hippocampus region of the brain. Previous studies suggested theta activity accurately predicts the ability to learn different behaviors, and other studies have shown damage to the hippocampus via lesions or drug administration impairs learning.

Berry said his research reveals the critical modulatory role the hippocampus plays in learning, and raises the possibility of optimizing learning and counteracting deficits by coordinating learning tasks to coincide with theta brain activity.

The research is detailed in this week's early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Protein in human umbilical cord blood rejuvenates old mice's impaired learning, memory

Related Stories

Is soda bad for your brain? (and is diet soda worse?)

April 20, 2017

Americans love sugar. Together we consumed nearly 11 million metric tons of it in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture, much of it in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks and soda.

Brain's 'GPS' does a lot more than just navigate

March 30, 2017

The part of the brain that creates mental maps of one's environment plays a much broader role in memory and learning than was previously thought, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature by researchers ...

Peptide acts as mediator for learning

April 7, 2017

The ability of the brain to respond and adapt to changes is scientifically called brain plasticity. This ability is the basis of all learning processes. New neurons, which can still be generated in the adult brain in specific ...

Recommended for you

Is dark matter 'fuzzy'?

April 28, 2017

Astronomers have used data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the properties of dark matter, the mysterious, invisible substance that makes up a majority of matter in the universe. The study, which involves 13 ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.