Science Fiction
Dictionary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

'Thinking Cap' Now With TMS Coil

A "thinking cap" created by Sydney University researchers claims that a magnetic coil can stimulate greater creativity and enhance other skills.

In one experiment, volunteers were asked to draw a dog, horse or face from memory before and after being zapped for ten to 15 minutes.

Four of the 11 volunteers produced more natural pictures after wearing the cap.

Two also spotted written mistakes in pieces of text that they'd overlooked earlier, a Royal Society conference heard on Monday.

In a third experiment, the device boosted the ability to quickly estimate the number of dots shown on a screen.


(Thinking cap in operation)

The technique is the same used in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which has been studied on a more extensive basis for relief of depression, migraines and sleeplessness.

Science fiction authors (and audiences) have been fascinated for generations with the idea of helmets that bestow remarkable abilities.

In his 1937 short story Brain Control, Dave Cummins writes about a brain control helmet that delivers automatic reversed memory:

"...I merely lived through the five minutes before I entered this office, in reverse order; everything happened backward. .."

The doctor was pleased. "Evidently my process worked perfectly. I call it automatic reversed memory. By sending the proper electric currents through that helmet I reverse the electrical action of the nerve cells in the brain and produce this reversed memory... as real as actual experience."

"That helmet I have devised has a great number of small metal plates inside which I pick up the impulses from the various parts of the brain. They pass through the wires to my instruments and their beats, frequencies, and potentials are recorded..."

In his 1938 short story Easy Money, Edmund Hamilton writes about the control helmet:

"...our forefathers originated Control. It is a device to make certain that everyone has the same mental attitude on important questions. The wisest of our race is always the Controller. He wears the sacred Control helmet, the supreme achievement of our science, which amplifies and broadcasts the neuro-electric currents of his brain as a powerful vibration that affects every other human brain, setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all."

In his 1957 story Cities in Flight, James Blish uses a special helmet (plus gray gas of unspecified composition) to enhance learning, creating accelerated schooling:

They conducted you to your couch and helped you to fit over your head a bright metal helmet which had inside it what seemed to be hundreds of tiny, extremely sharp points which bit into your scalp just enought to make you nervous, but without enough pressure to break the skin. Once this gadget, which was called a toposcope, was adjusted to their satisfaction, the monitors left, and the room began to fill with the gray gas.

This gas was like a fog, except that it was dry and faintly aromatic... it made it impossible to see the rest of the room until the session was over, when it was sucked out with a subdued roar of blowers...

...the torrent of facts that came from the memory cells of the City Fathers into the prickly helmet was overwhelming and merciless.

More recent examples from sf movies abound.


(From Forbidden Planet 1956)

In the film Forbidden Planet, Professor Morbius gains amazing Krell secrets from brief helmet sessions.

In the classic Trek episode Spock's Brain, Dr. McCoy gains centuries of medical knowledge in a single episode.


(McCoy goes to super advanced alien med school)

From Daily Mail; thanks to Moira for writing in with this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.' - Frederik Pohl, 1965.

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...' - Philip K. Dick, 1960

PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.' - Larry Niven, 1969.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.'

SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
"I am Landru. I am he! All that he was, I am."

Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.'

Capture Asteroids In A Bag
'... just as a small boy catches a swift ball in his cap.'

Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.'

Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'

Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.'

Sheepskin Parchment Helped Medieval Lawyers Prevent Fraud
'The single sheet he held, and even the words and signatures upon it, were all integral parts of a single giant molecule...'

Space 'Hurricane' Has Been Seen
'... it was the biggest of the four hundred odd storms raging in the Fifty Suns region.'

PR2 Fencing Robot Perfect For Kwisatz Haderach-in-training
'Now, we'll work on your timing. Let me see you catch that thing sinister.'

Sole Morphing Astronaut Boots - A New Pair Of Moon Boots?
'Itís an ideal device for kangarooing along in lunar gravity.'

Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
'... in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottled babes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.'

3rd Century BC Gold Bee Is Just The Start
Bees knees, I order you to freeze!

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.