Short naps, meditation, exercising, chewing gum...if you think you've tried everything to remember things better, check out this new method.
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers report that a small electric pulse -- at the exact right place and exact right moment -- can improve your memory.
Michael Kahana, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, discovered with his team of researchers that patterns of electrical activity can lead to a 15 percent improvement in memory. These findings indicate potential ways that those with memory problems (especially caused by Alzheimer's disease or brain injuries) can be treated.
Kahana's team had a computer deliver pulses of electricity to different parts of a patient's brain, just before a memory lapse was to occur. Because the experiment was done with 25 patients with epilepsy who were in the hospital for seizure treatment, the researchers were able to work with participants who already had wires in their brains being used to monitor electrical activity.
Although Michael Sperling, who works closely with epilepsy patients and research, says we "still really lack any experiments in people with other conditions" to know for certain "whether [the treatment] would prove effective or not" -- he remains optimistic that these findings could prove beneficial for some people. He even says that there is a "good chance" something like an implantable device for memory improvement will become available within just a few years from now.
What exactly does a 15 percent boost in memory look like? Assuming that we don't forget about this research, you may soon be able to find out.