Memory “boosted” using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Researchers at Northwestern University claim to have successfully improved memory functions through the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive technique used to excite or inhibit neurons within the human brain. Prior to testing the participants’ memory abilities, each individual’s brain activity was recorded during an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan in order for researchers to precisely target specific regions of the brain responsible for memory functions. After mapping the participant’s brain structures, the participants underwent a pre and postmemory test. The prememory test was used to establish the baseline memory ability in each participant. In this task, participants were shown an image of a face while simultaneously hearing an unrelated word and were asked to learn and remember the wordface pairs. Immediately after, the images were again shown to the participants as they tried to recall the words associated with the faces. After completing the prememory test, participants then underwent high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation through a device hovering just above the head, which induced electrical activity in short, frequent pulses. The stimulation sessions lasted twenty minutes a day for five consecutive days. After the final stimulation, each participant’s memory ability was tested again using the same faceword association task.
The results unveiled that 30% fewer mistakes were made after receiving the TMS treatment. The TMS successfully better “synchronized” the brain regions being studied with neighboring regions including the hippocampus. After one week, the experiment was conducted yet again with a placebo device. The individuals in the experimental group were then switched with those in the control. Those in the control group shown zero signs of memory improvement. ...
Cited: Ciccarelli, Saundra K., and Noland J. White. Psychology with DSM5 Update. 3rd ed. N.p.:
Pearson Custom, 2014. Print.
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