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Limitless Laboratory

Super Learning Method: tDCS + LTM Brain Hack

Posted on 2/15/2014 by Anthony Lee
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Imagine a learning method that took you from C's to A's IN A SINGLE HOUR! Now combine that with the amazing powers of tDCS. What do you get? Effin super powers probably.

If you have followed my self experimentation you are aware that I like to try any and all methods of cognitive enhancement individually and in varying combinations. That being said I am particularly excited about the potential I believe these two methods of enhancement offer. I think the reason this has so MUCH potential is because one of the methods I will mention isn’t actually a cognitive enhancer per se. You may recall a couple of months ago I posted THIS article about a study conducted that discovered a method of learning that could encode information into long term episodic memory WITHIN MINUTES!! That’s right, I said minutes. 

How it works is you take about 4 months of learning material (on any subject, biology, math, history) and condense it into an hour presentation. You take that hour and split it up into three comprehensive 20 minute lessons. Then you undergo the first 20 minute lesson and follow it up with a “distractor” activity (preferably physical). Boxing, dancing, whatever. It has to be SOMETHING though, because the brains still has to be activated, it just needs to be parts of the brain that have nothing to do with those activated during your lesson learning. After 10 minutes, go to the second 20 minute session of learning, then 10 more minutes of activity, then the last 20 minute session. 

In the study, students who underwent this “spaced learning” had their test scores compared with students who took 4 months of traditional learning and they scored about the same, and sometimes even higher. Could you imagine? Learning a semester worth of stuff in ONE HOUR! Grand total of six hours later and you could have a Bachelors Degree (I’m sure it’s not that simple, but you get my point). Just check out this one student who’s grades went from A, B, C average to straight A’s: 

 

“The lessons are very compressed. For example, the review of my whole Biology unit was completed in about 12 min. The nervous system, diet deficiencies, hormones and the menstrual cycle, drugs, and defense from pathogens all whiz by on slides shown at the dizzying rate of 7–8 per min. During the 10-min breaks we get physical, rather than mental, activities like basketball dribbling and teamwork games. So what happens inside your head during Spaced Learning that is different from what happens during a traditional lesson or review session? I can only answer for myself. I love rock climbing. You always have to be aware of what comes next, but you can’t consciously think about it. For me, Spaced Learning is a bit like my climbing. I don’t try to learn; I don’t write anything down, and I don’t review. It just seems as if I am seeing a movie in my mind that I have already seen before, and my understanding of the information presented becomes more precise—clearer—when I see it again. In the end, I am left with a movie in my head of the lesson, just like my memory of a climb. My first experience of Spaced Learning came in March 2007 when my class re-took our science exams from November 2006. We only had a one hour Spaced Learning review session (which had four months of work condensed into it from the summer before). Most of us did better on the exams after an hour of Spaced Learning review, even though we did no studying at all. I went from an A, B and C to straight A’s and an A+. It was amazing.” 

 

As if this by itself wasn’t incredible enough, I think it can be improved upon. This method encodes information into long term memory, but what if you combined that with a method that got you to the skill acquisition or the knowledge acquisition faster? What I am saying is, this should be combined with tDCS. The first 20 minute session of learning should take place WHILE stimulating with tDCS to cut the learning curve and reduce mistakes in processing the information. With more neural pathways being created and more neurons firing your brain is working harder to gather the information BEFORE it starts to encode it. If ever there was a Limitless formula, I think this could be it. 

Here is a video where I issue a challenge: 

HERE is the study.

image credit: Mr. Lightman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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