Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), in which weak electrical currents are applied to the scalp using electrodes, is the first non-invasive way of stimulating the brain that can more than double visual memory performance. In future, Chi says, it might eventually be possible to use tDCS to "develop a 'thinking cap' that enhances learning". Subjects then repeated the experiment 12 times, with one group receiving so-called anodal tDCS (which boosts activity) on their right ATL and cathodal tDCS (which inhibits activity) on their left. A second group received the opposite stimulation and a third group received a placebo treatment, which did not stimulate either side of the brain.
Pubmed Plos One - Temporal Lobe Cortical Electrical Stimulation during the Encoding and Retrieval Phase Reduces False Memories provides details on the stimulation procedure
Those in the first group more than doubled their scores after receiving tDCS, experiencing a 110 per cent improvement in visual memory.
A previous experiment using the same visual task, but without tDCS, showed that people with autism outperformed non-autistic individuals by roughly the same margin as the improvement seen in this experiment, says Chi.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the technique has already been shown to boost verbal and motor skills and to improve learning and memory in healthy people - making fully-functioning brains work even better. It is also showing promise as a therapy to cure migraine.
OTHER WORK THAT COULD ENHANCE LEARNING OR PERFORMANCE
Controlled and targeted electrical stimulation, magnetic stimulation, audio stimulus or feedback methods could be used to assist people into getting into optimal performance zones (optimal for learning or various kinds of performance).
There are other methods such as biaural beats to put the brain into modes that are more receptive to learning.
There is other research towards using feedback and other means of placing the brain into a mode that is conducive to better learning.