Automated Learning by Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback

Learning skills like characters on The Matrix set to become a reality, say scientists | Mail Online

Scientists at Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, believe that in the future learning a new skill might involve nothing more than sitting in front of a computer screen and waiting for it to ‘upload’.

They have been studying how a functional magnetic resonance machine (FMRI) can ‘induce’ knowledge in someone through their visual cortex by sending signals that change their brain activity pattern.

This process is called Decoded Neurofeedback, or ‘DecNef’.

nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Vision Scientists Demonstrate Innovative Learning Method - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

The result, say researchers, is a novel learning approach sufficient to cause long-lasting improvement in tasks that require visual performance.

What's more, the approached worked even when test subjects were not aware of what they were learning.

The finding brings up an inevitable question. Is hypnosis or a type of automated learning a potential outcome of the research?


At present, the decoded neurofeedback method might be used for various types of learning, including memory, motor and rehabilitation.