The brain has been called The Final Frontier of medical research. President Barack Obama unveiled a major new initiative in brain research last week, while in January the EU committed more than a billion dollars for a research project attempting to create a synthetic “computerized brain.
Researchers trying to understand how the brain works have made another step forward. A new study headed by Dr. Jan Born in Germany has been working with the slow oscillating rhythm produced by every brain’s electrical patterns. Think of it as white-noise produced by your brain.
So far most o the research has been on rats, and synching their brain patterns has proven effective in improving sleep. Now they’ve moved on to people.
The scientists were able to match the electrical brain patterns of 11 people who were sleeping and using electroencephalograph leads expose their brains to those identical rhythmic patterns. It seems their ability to remember things was improved. Those exposed to their brain patterns while sleeping were better able to recall word associations they had been taught the night before than those exposed to rhythms out of sync with their brain patterns.
So what does any of this mean? Ultimately, it might help insomniacs, and could contribute to improving memory.