Can noisy environments unlock some people’s learning potential?-thip

Sydney, Sep 5 (IANS) Though most of us seek solitude, a quiet place to study, researchers now reveal that ‘noise may play a key role in helping some people improve their learning potential.

A team of researchers found that the transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) technology could have many applications for some people with cognitive difficulties.

“The study showed tRNS has promise as a tool to assist people with compromised learning capabilities”, said Dr Onno van der Groen, the lead author at Edith Cowan University in Australia, adding that “the effect on learning is promising: it can speed up learning and help people with neurological conditions.”

The study, published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, said that the tRNS doesn’t utilise auditory sense of the word but rather it sees electrodes attached to the head so a weak current can pass through specific parts of the brain.

The tRNS technology works by allowing the brain to form new connections and pathways, a process known as neuroplasticity.

“It had two effects on the brain: the ‘acute’ effect, which allows a person to perform better while undergoing tRNS, and the modulating effect which saw lasting results”, Dr Groen said.

The idea of expanding one’s learning potential via tech such as tRNS raises questions like whether a neurotypical person can take their intelligence to new levels, to which Dr Groen replied, “The potential is there, but there are also signs it won’t create a ‘new level’ of intelligence.”

Though the technology is still in its infancy and people are only able to access tRNS by entering controlled trials, its practicality and apparent safety meant there was a lot of potential for a range of applications, said researchers.

Scientists worldwide are also investigating tRNS’ effects on perception, working memory, sensory processing and other aspects of behaviour, with the technology showing promise as a treatment for a range of clinical conditions.



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