Download Knowledge Directly to Your Brain, Matrix-Style: Led by BU neuroscientist Takeo Watanabe, researchers used a method called decoded fMRI neurofeedback to stimulate the visual cortex. First they showed participants circles at different orientations. Then they used fMRI to watch the participants’ brain activity. The researchers were then able to train the participants to recreate this visual cortex activity.
The volunteers were again placed in MRI machines and asked to visualize shapes of certain colors. The participants were asked to “somehow regulate activity in the posterior part of the brain” to make a solid green disc as large as they could. They were told they would get a paid bonus proportional to the size of this disc, but they weren’t told anything about what the disc meant. The researchers watched the participants’ brain activity and monitored the activation patterns in their visual cortices.