A new study by American scientists showed that stimulating the brains of people over 60 years of age a mild electric current to force function of their working memory is not worse than the 20-year-old. The results of the experts published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Earlier experiments have shown that stimulating the brain with electric current could improve working memory in adulthood. However, the author of the new study, Dr. Robert Reinhart of Boston University, explains that his experiment is notable in that it improved working memory in the elderly was maintained for nearly one hour after the stimulation of the brain, making it impossible to achieve in earlier studies.
Electric current supplied through close to the skull cap, which have monitored the brain waves of each participant. According to Reinhart, the participants of the study this current is felt as a slight tingling or itching for about 30 seconds. The skin get used to the effects of current.
The idea of the researchers was to improve communication between the anterior division of the prefrontal cortex and the left temporal division of the cerebral cortex, as activity rhythms in these two areas are not synchronized with each other in people of advanced age. Thus, researchers applied the current to these two areas of the brain. According to Reinhart, the results of the experiment provided new evidence that communication between these areas leads to loss of working memory with age.
The study involved 42 participants aged about 20 years, and another 42 participants aged 60-76 years. As part of the test they had to first look at the first image on the computer screen, then a blank screen for three seconds, and then to consider the second image which was either identical or slightly changed. After this, subjects decided whether the image is the same.
During sham stimulation the older group was less accurate on the test than younger participants. However, in the present brain stimulation by electric current, older people showed a good result, as young volunteers. This improvement was observed among the participants in adulthood, for at least 50 minutes after the end of stimulation, then the researchers stopped testing.
The study’s author contends that additional research before the technique of electrical stimulation of the brain can be officially approved as a way of strengthening working memory in the elderly.
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128