What was mere fantasy a few years back could become a reality soon - it will soon be possible to become like Neo (of The Matrix fame), who became a kung fu master in a matter of minutes after the necessary "skills" were downloaded into his brain.
Scientists from Boston University and ATR computational Neuroscience laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, are reportedly working on a new technology using fMRI (a functional magnetic resonance machine) that will enable skills to be "downloaded" into a person's brain.
Researchers said that if fMRI sends signal into visual cortex of brain (the part of cerebral cortex that takes charge of processing visual information), that process (called 'Decoded Neurofeedback' or 'DecNef') changes the brain activity patterns which is responsible for inducing knowledge and learning. Research on decoding the learning process using fMRI was published in the journal Science.
This process neither needs any medications nor does the subject need to be rendered unconscious. It simply requires plugging into a computer and sending signals and voila - in a matter of minutes, someone can become a kung fu master like Neo, can bend it like David Beckham or even dance like Michael Jackson without long training and practice.
The research team experimented on two groups and found that the group using fMRI process has shown improvement in visual skill of juggling compared to the other group that received no treatment.
"However, in this study we confirmed the validity of our method only in visual perceptual learning. So we have to test if the method works in other types of learning in the future. At the same time, we have to be careful so that this method is not used in an unethical way," Takeo Watanabe a leader of research team, said.
Indeed, fMRI has wide-spread ethical ramifications. If someone can become like Neo or Beckham through this process, one can also become like Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden, using the same method.
Meanwhile, for those who're feeling nostalgic, we've inserted below the video clip of the kung fu fight scene between Neo and Morpheus. Enjoy.