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Stimulating Brain with Electricity may synchronise Brain waves and help improve short-term working Memory: Study

According to researchers, applying a weak electrical current through the scalp can align different parts of the brain that helps in boosting working memory

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A researcher holds a human brain. VOA
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London, March 15, 2017: Stimulating the brain with electricity may synchronise brain waves and help improve short-term working memory that could improve treatments for people with traumatic brain injury, stroke or epilepsy, a study has found.

According to researchers, applying a weak electrical current through the scalp can align different parts of the brain, synchronising brain waves and enabling people to perform better on tasks involving working memory.

“What we observed is that people performed better when the two waves had the same rhythm and at the same time,” said lead author Ines Ribeiro Violante, a neuroscientist at the Imperial College London.

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“The hope is that it could eventually be used for patients with brain injury, or even those who have suffered a stroke or who have epilepsy,” Violante added.

For the study, published in the journal eLife, the team used a technique called transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS) to manipulate the brain’s regular rhythm in 10 volunteers.

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Using TCAS, the researchers targeted two brain regions — the middle frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule — known to be involved in working memory.

The findings revealed that when the brain regions were stimulated in sync, reaction times on the memory tasks improved.

Functional MRI images of the brain showed changes in activity occurring during stimulation, with the electrical current potentially modulating the flow of information.

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“The results show that when the stimulation was in sync, there was an increase in activity in those regions involved in the task. When it was out of sync, the opposite effect was seen.

“The hope is that it could eventually be used for patients with brain injury, or even those who have suffered a stroke or who have epilepsy,” Violante added. (IANS)

 

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)