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5 Sci-Fi Brain Hacks That Modern Science Is Making Possible

5 Sci-Fi Brain Hacks That Modern Science Is Making Possible

    Think about some of your favorite sci-fi films. How many of them reference futuristic technologies that are used to augment a character’s brainpower?

    Turns out that not all these movies, books, and TV shows are based in completely in fiction. Modern scientific research is slowly working to make these brain hacks a reality. Here are five of the best hacks that might be coming your way soon.

    1. Stop Sleeping to Increase Your Productivity

    As seen in: The science fiction novel “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress

    Made possible by: Real-life DARPA scientists

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    Imagine how much more productive you could be if you didn’t need to sleep for eight hours every night. In her novel, Kress imagines a world where the ruling class are the “Sleepless”: genetically modified humans who no longer feel the need for sleep, and use the extra time to create goods and earn more money. But that sort of thing is just science fiction, right?

    Wrong. Turns out DARPA developed a drug that replaces sleep back in 2008. The drug takes the form of a nasal spray, and contains certain hormones that eliminate the body’s craving for a nice long nap. According to Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, “It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess.”

    However, Dr. Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, is less optimistic about the drug’s promise. “New research indicates that not getting enough sleep is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders,” said Twery.

    Can’t get your hands on this wonderdrug? Hack your brain with the Uberman Sleep Schedule, and train your brain to function perfectly on just two hours of sleep.

    2. Controlling Intelligence in the Womb

    As seen in: The novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

    Made possible by: Real-life geneticists and proponents of the “Mozart Effect”

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    The novel “Brave New World” opens with a lengthy tour of a “hatchery”: a facility where human beings are created in test tubes. Each batch of humans is given a grade from Alpha to Episilon, and has their intelligence altered accordingly.

    While we’re a long way from hatchery technology, solid pre-natal nutrition and genetic testing can help parents give their child the best possible chance for becoming intelligent. Parents looking to give their unborn child extra help also turn to “the Mozart Effect”: the belief that playing classical music for a baby in the womb can increase its intelligence.

    This theory does have some scientific basis, and was first brought to the attention of the general public after being mentioned in a 1993 in the journal “Nature”. Not every scientist agrees, however…but maybe after another decade of research, we’ll have more power to alter intelligence in utero.

    3. Altering or Retrieving Memories

    As seen in: The indie sci-fi flick “Sleep Dealer”

    Made possible by: Real-life neuroscientists and researchers

    In “Sleep Dealer,” a woman sells her memories, which can then be uploaded into the minds of other people. And while altering or retrieving memories in this fashion seems far-fetched, a Wired article hints at a possible technology for boosting or retrieving memories using a PDA in the future.

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    According to the article, “Researchers have found a telltale mental signature that predicts whether an experience will be remembered. Once deciphered, the signals could be used to help people know when their brains are primed to remember, perhaps using an iPhone app.”

    “There’s no reason not to believe that this is possible,” added one of the researchers. “It could be part of a PDA.”

    4. Brain-Computer Interface Chips

    As seen in: The TV show “Fringe”

    Made possible by: Real-life sleep researchers

    On the “Fringe” episode entitled “Dream Logic,” the team encounters a man with a Brain-Computer Interface Chip. The chip was originally installed to help the man control his sleepwalking, but instead the chip malfunctions and causes the patient to attack his co-workers.

    These types of chips do exist in real life. According to Dr. David Carley, they have even been used on humans. “For example, deep-brain-stimulating electrodes have been used in an attempt to treat intractable epilepsy,” Carley says. “However, BCIs have not been used in an attempt to control sleep cycles.”

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    5. Brain Treatments to Reverse Mental Handicaps

    As seen in: The film “The Lawnmower Man”

    Made possible by: A study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    In “The Lawnmower Man”, a doctor uses drugs, virtual reality treatments, and direct brain stimulation to increase the intelligence of a handicapped man. The mentally handicapped gardener learns Latin overnight and also becomes telepathic.

    Telepathy is definitely off the table (for now), but researchers at MIT have been able to reverse Fragile X syndrome in mice. Fragile X is one cause of both autism and mental deficiency. According to reports from the BBC, “The researchers, based at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, targeted an enzyme called PAK which affects the number, size and shape of connection between brain cells. They found that inhibiting the enzyme stopped mice with Fragile X Syndrome behaving in erratic ways.”

    What sci-fi brain hack are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

    11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

    11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

    Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

    Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

    Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

    1. Lumosity

    This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

    Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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    Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

      2. Fit Brains Trainer

      This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

      Free.

      Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

        3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

        Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

        First four games free, then $13 a month.

        cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

          4. Brain Fitness Pro

          The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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          Buy for $3.99.

          5. Happify

          If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

          Free to use.

          Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            6. Clockwork Brain

            You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

            Free.

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            Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              7. ReliefLink

              Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

              Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                8. Eidetic

                Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                  9. Braingle

                  Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                  Free.

                  Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                    10. Not The Hole Story

                    If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                    Free.

                    Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                      11. Personal Zen

                      This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                      Free.

                      personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                        Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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