Scientists from Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, have used a functional magnetic resonance machine (fMRI) to decode the process of learning.
The procedure - known as Decoded Neurofeedback or “DecNef” – stimulates the visual cortex by sending signals that change the brain activity pattern.
For example, by placing a juggler into a fMRI machine and have them imagine juggling, scientists, can capture the brain patterns and then pass the information onto someone else. (See What If You Could Download New Skills? Scientists Say It's Possible.)
Maybe in the future, rather than writing a manual, technical writers will get into an fMRI machine and imagine each of the tasks of an application. The brain patterns we produce will be our deliverable, the new manual.
(As a related article, see Brain Waves and the Stimulation of Motivation/Creativity, a post I wrote several years ago.)
Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.