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Matrix Foretells Future of Learning

by Tom Johnson on Dec 15, 2011 •
categories: technical-writing

Matrix Foretells Future of LearningApparently the Matrix was somewhat prophetic in showing us the future of learning. The idea that you can download knowledge is becoming more of a reality. According to Fox News:

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 side note, try reading the original article in a science journal. Then compare it with the Fox news article. Talk about dumbing down the content!

(As a related article, see Brain Waves and the Stimulation of Motivation/Creativity, a post I wrote several years ago.)

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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