Often used to reduce the severity of seizures caused by epilepsy, researchers at Baylor University were able to use a responsive neurostimulation system implanted in the brain to improve verbal memory when activated.
According to the study, published in Neurosurgery, Baylor researchers administered a list-learning task to 17 patients with RNS implants.
“Patients were read a list of 12 semantically related words and asked to recall the list after 3 different learning trials,” the study says. “True or sham stimulations were performed for every third word presented for immediate recall.”
“Most patients had frontotemporal network stimulation—one patient each had insular and parietal stimulations. After a 20-min delay, they were asked to recall the list again, first freely and then through a yes/no recognition paradigm.”
The findings indicated that those with higher cognitive scores were part of the stimulation condition.
“Verbal memory improves by direct cortical stimulation during a list-learning task,” the results showed.
“This study has implications in the development of neurostimulation devices for cognitive enhancement in conditions such as epilepsy, dementia, and traumatic brain injury.”