13 March 2010

How Will You Boost Your Brain?

True "brain-boosting" can occur when the brain's ability to form new neurons and new synaptic connections is enhanced. Such cognitive enhancement can occur from the use of certain drugs, for example some anti-depressants and even ritalin.

But there are other ways to boost your brain, besides drugs. Deep brain stimulation using electromagnetism can work. And now, new research shows that brainwave training in the alpha frequencies can enhance brain plasticity and synaptogenesis.
Researchers from Goldsmiths and the Institute of Neurology have demonstrated that half an hour of voluntary control of brain rhythms is sufficient to induce a lasting shift in cortical excitability and intracortical function.

Remarkably, these after-effects are comparable in magnitude to those observed following interventions with artificial forms of brain stimulation involving magnetic or electrical pulses. The novel finding may have important implications for future non-pharmacological therapies of the brain and calls for a serious re-examination and stronger backing of research on neurofeedback, a technique which may be promising tool to modulate cerebral plasticity in a safe, painless, and natural way. _SD

The Mindflex device ($80 from Walmart and Amazon) is a fairly inexpensive way to train your brain in alpha wave relaxation. There is also a wide array of brain-machines that claim to entrain relaxation brain-wave frequencies -- including alpha. Learn how to make such a device yourself. Or browse around and see if anything here interests you. Even more here.

These are all tiny little baby steps compared to the type of brain-machine interfaces that are coming. Neurofeedback machines are available at all levels of sophistication and expense. With a sophisticated neurofeedback machine, you can go far beyond simple alpha training. But alpha wave relaxation is not a bad place to start. As long as it is just a start.

In the future, some individuals will use brain-machine interface as an escape from daily problems and challenges. What will be far more exciting is the level of challenges that people will be able to solve using various types of brain training, and machine-assisted brain plasticity.

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Blogger Chuck said...

And taking a backup?

Saturday, 13 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Technology is not even close to that point. The most advanced brain boost technology is roughly the equivalent of a cattle prod.

But even milk cows are fed growth hormone to boost their milk production. I wonder what else BGH boosts?

Sunday, 14 March, 2010  

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