May 29, 2017 08:02 AM EDT
The human brain is a powerful machine that can hold millions of information than the most powerful computers that exist. What's more amazing is that humans can actually command their brains to physically change and DARPA wants to utilize this capability more to fast track learning.
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to rewire itself to create new neural connections. This ability is also an important component or learning. Scientists already know this but DARPA wants to find out further if the brain can be stimulated to learn more quickly.
In order to find out, they have launched the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training or TNT, a program where they will try to activate the brain's synaptic plasticity using different kinds of safe neurostimulation methods.
Through this program, DARPA hopes to find out if these neurostimulations can bring the brain into a state known as downloadable learning. In this state, the brain is placed in a very high receptive and neuroplastic state that it will just download the new skill and adapt to it instead of taking months to learn it.
DARPA said that the program will have two stages. The first stage will explore neural mechanisms enable nerve stimulations to influence brain plasticity. The second stage will use all the training exercises learned during the first stage.
The program will also explore and compare the difference between implanted devices used to stimulate the brain and non-invasive stimulations. The department ensured that they will also explore the ethics of the process as well as ways how to avoid potential risks and side effects.
The program will involve foreign language specialists and intelligence analysts to help the scientists refine the methods. Practical uses of the research will be to enhance the full potential of the men and women in the Armed Forces first before it becomes available to the public.
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