News Release 

Brain stimulation speeds up visual learning and recovery

Safe and painless approach could improve quality of life for underserved patients

Society for Neuroscience

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IMAGE: Neuroradiological images and visual perimetries of CB patients. All patients sustained damage of early visual areas or the optic radiations resulting in homonymous visual field defects as shown by the... view more 

Credit: Herpich et al., JNeurosci (2019)

A combination of visual training and a recently developed brain stimulation technique boosts learning in healthy adults and cortically blind patients, according to research published in JNeurosci.

Lorella Battelli at the IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and collaborators Krystel Huxlin and Duje Tadin at the University of Rochester demonstrate enhanced learning in healthy men and women with only 10 days of training. Transcranial random noise stimulation of early visual areas resulted in twice as much improvement on a visual motion task compared to other stimulation techniques or training alone. Surprisingly, the study found this enhanced learning persists for at least six months.

By extending their findings to patients who suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury affecting their visual cortex, the researchers suggest this safe and painless two-pronged approach could lead to faster visual recovery and improved quality of life for this underserved patient population.

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Manuscript title: Boosting Learning Efficacy With Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Intact and Brain-Damaged Humans*

*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on bioRxiv

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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