Electrical Memories

Recent research, published by scientists at Boston University, in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience, has shown that by stimulating the human brain for 25 minutes, using an alternating current, it is possible to halt the decline in working memory associated with ageing,


A participant  having her brain stimulated by alternating current as part of the memory study. Photo courtesy BOSTON UNIVERSITY

This ground-breaking study reminded me of work conducted by the American – Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Graves Penfield during the ‘fifties and ‘sixties.

Penfield’s found that by directly stimulating the exposed brain with an electric current it was possible to recapture memories the patient long believed had vanished for ever.

In this short video we see Wilder Penfield discussing his work and performing surgery in the operating theatre.

The patient is conscious and able to respond to instructions from the surgeon as he probes the exposed cortex. You will also hear some of the memories which the technique brought to life.


If you would like to learn practical ways of improving your own memory, go to www.askdrdavid.co.uk ‘Mind Enhancement’ where you can watch my interview with World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brian and learn the secrets of his amazing powers of retention and recall.