A recent study, published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, has presented a wonderful finding – noise is beneficial for learning. As weird as it may sound, background noise can help children focus better.

As mentioned in the finding, noise can have a psychological effect on the mind which will eventually help a weak current pass through and make a child concentrate more on what they are doing.

While we traditionally prefer a peaceful environment to study, new research suggests that ‘noise’ may play an important role in assisting some people in improving their learning ability.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Onno van der Groen also claimed that the study showed that tRNS can, as a tool, assist people with neurological conditions.

Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) has been studied at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in a variety of settings and the results suggest that the technology has a wide range of potential applications.

Despite its name, tRNS doesn’t actually make use of noise in the traditional sense of the term. Instead, it examines electrodes attached to the head to enable a weak current to pass across specific regions of the brain.

The researchers believe that people with learning difficulties can benefit from using this finding to speed up their learning.

“If you do 10 sessions of a visual perception task with the tRNS and then come back and do it again without it, you’ll find you perform better than the control group who hasn’t used it,” Dr. van der Groen said.

Some concerns are prompted by the concept of boosting one’s learning potential via technologies like tRNS.

It raises the concern of whether a neurotypical person may enhance their intelligence to greater levels, similar to the idea in the film “Limitless,” even though it is primarily relevant to people with deficiencies and learning difficulties.

According to Dr. van der Groen, there is potential, but there are also signs that it won’t create a “new level” of intelligence.

“The question is, if you’re neurotypical, are you already performing at your peak,” he said.

The researchers cite a case study in which they tried to enhance a super mathematician’s mathematical abilities; with him, it had little to no impact on his performance, probably because he has already specialized in that field. However, if you’re learning something new, you might use it.

Although the technique is still in its infancy and people can only access tRNS by joining controlled trials, Dr. van der Croen said there was a lot of potential for a variety of applications given its practicality and apparent safety.

Stating that the concept is relatively simple, van der Croen further added, “It’s like a battery: the current runs from plus to minus, but it goes through your head as well”.

“We’re working on a study where we send the equipment to people, and they apply everything themselves remotely. So in that regard, it’s quite easy to use”, said van der Croen. 

Researchers from all over the world are also looking at how tRNS influences perception, working memory, sensory processing, and other behavioral elements. This is because the technology has the potential to treat a number of clinical conditions.

Anyway, this wonderful finding is likely to assist people with neurological conditions to improve their learning ability, using the tRNS tool.

The impact of this finding also seems immense because it has the potential to help millions of people living in the world with low attention spans and other kinds of learning difficulties.

However, an interesting aspect also remains unknown as to how far it is possible to make use of this finding so that it can be more generalized and make a greater impact on humanity. We look forward to its future developments!

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