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Learning Like Neo? Matrix-Style Learning Might Be Here

A method called "decoded neurofeedback" may help people learn instantaneously


Ready for some futuristic, Matrix-style learning? Learning like Neo could be closer than you think thanks to research from a joint team from Boston University and Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories. Their experiments, featured in the latest issue of Science, suggest that in the future we may be able to use brain technology to learn instantaneously and without any conscious effort.

The researchers were able to "use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state." In other words, a person seeking to learn a topic would watch a computer screen and have her brain patterns modified to match those of a person who already knows the content or how to do something.


According to the researchers, the methods can "cause long-lasting improvements in tasks that require visual performance." And the technology worked even when subjects were unaware that they were learning. That raises questions of whether people could be hypnotized or programmed to behave or think a certain way. But the researchers hope decoded neurofeedback will be used for more wholesome purposes —like memory and motor rehabilitation.

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Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

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via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

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