Who while watching the sci-fi classic Matrix didn’t fantasise becoming like Neo? The protagonist, played by Keanu Reeves, was able to learn kung fu in minutes after the martial art is ‘uploaded’ straight to his brain. How convenient!

Though this seemed very far-fetched then, downloading knowledge straight into our brains might soon become reality. Scientists at HRL Laboratories in California, US, have attempted to do so, though on a smaller scale, reported the Mirror. Downloading knowledge straight into your brain could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, they believe.

How did they do it? 

  • The scientists claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter amount of time. In this case, they sought to transfer the skills of a professional airplane pilot to those who did not know how to fly a plane.
  • Dr. Matthew Phillips, the lead researcher analysed the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military pilots. After mapping this activity out, the team used transcranial direct current stimulation to transmit these patterns onto novice subjects as they learned to pilot an airplane in a realistic flight simulator.
  • After they undertook the study, they found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 percent better than a placebo group.

 Dr Matthew Phillips said in a statement,

“Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system. It sounds kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system.”

Watch how brain stimulation system works:

Credit: HRL Laboratories, LLC/YouTube