Brain waves suggest memory performance

Sept. 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM
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ALBUQUERQUE, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists report it's possible to predict how well people will remember information by monitoring their brain activity while they study.

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico said they were able to demonstrate predictions based on the results of monitoring test volunteers with electroencephalography sensors.

The research team, led by Laura Matzen of Sandia's cognitive systems group, monitored test subjects' brain activity while they studied word lists, then used the EEG to predict who would remember the most information.

For example, "if you had someone learning new material and you were recording the EEG, you might be able to tell them, 'You're going to forget this, you should study this again,' or tell them, 'OK, you got it and go on to the next thing,'" Matzen said in a Sandia release Tuesday.

One of the study's goals, she said, is to discover if recording a person's brain activity while they use their natural approach to studying can predict what kind of training might work best for that person.

"That's promising because one of the things we want to do is see if we can use the brain activity to predict how people react to the training, whether it will be effective for them," Matzen said.

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