Stimulating the visual cortex of the brain for 20 minutes with a mild
electrical current can improve vision for about two hours, and those
with worse vision see the most improvement, according to a Vanderbilt
University study published this week in Current Biology.
“It’s actually a very simple idea,” said
co-author Geoff Woodman, associate professor of psychology. “This kind
of stimulation can improve cognitive processing in other brain areas, so
if we stimulate the visual system, could we improve processing? Could
we make someone’s vision better—not at the level of the eye, like Lasik
or glasses, but directly at the level of the brain?”
Twenty young, healthy subjects with normal or near-normal vision were
asked to evaluate the relative position of two identical vertical lines
and judged whether they were perfectly aligned or offset. The test is
more sensitive than a standard eye chart, and gave the researchers are
very precise measurement of each subjects’ visual acuity.
The researchers then passed a very mild electric current through the
area at the back of the brain that processes visual information. After
20 minutes, the subjects were asked to perform the test again, and about
75 percent showed measurable improvement following the brain
The researchers performed several variations of this experiment to
test the effects of different intensity levels, current directions and
electrode placements. This third experiment was important because it
confirmed that the electrodes had to be positioned specifically over the
brain’s visual processing center in order to affect the subjects’
eyesight—that the effect wasn’t simply a response to stimulus anywhere
in the brain.
They also measured how the stimulus changed the speed with which the
brain processed visual information and whether the stimulation also
improved the subjects’ contrast sensitivity—their ability to
differentiate between multiple shades of gray.
The contrast experiment was notable because they found that the
stimulation only improved contrast sensitivity at frequencies also
associated with visual acuity, indicating that it was just the subjects’
visual acuity that was being affected, not the contrast sensitivity.
Lead author Robert Reinhart, an incoming assistant professor in the
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University who
conducted this research as a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt, said this
finding had interesting implications for future basic science.
“Now we have a new tool that could be valuable for researchers
investigating fundamental questions about how the visual system works.”
For their last experiment, the researchers wanted to see if the
improvement they saw in the first experiment was significant enough to
translate into a real-world task—reading a standard eye chart.
They found that the stimulation effects
improved the subjects’ vision by an average of 1 to 2 letters, though
Reinhart noted that there was significant variation between subjects. “We
saw that those who came in with poorer vision, who might be on their
way to needing glasses, had these big leaps, while others who came in
with excellent vision showed no change.”
Reinhart speculated that these findings could be explained in several
different ways. The prevailing belief is that the current might simply
be boosting the visual signals so certain neurons can process them more
rapidly, but Reinhart thinks it’s also possible that the current
essentially injects white noise into the visual system, which drowns out
extraneous information and enables the brain to capture visual
information more easily.
The researchers stress that much more research needs to happen in a
clinical setting in order to confirm the safety of the procedure and
that members of the public should never attempt to replicate the
experiment at home.
“So, just let
me do the talking, okay?” Tony began, sitting just behind Steve as he piloted
the jet towards their meeting in Geneva.
“I’ve done this bureaucratic crap a million times, so I know how to
“Fine by me,
just work in my point of view here and there, if it’s not too hard to
“Oh, I think
I’ve got it,” Tony scoffed, “goes something like, ‘screw the Accords and you
asshats that wrote them’, right?”
prompt: reader has day put with nat and wanda and she gets a hair cut
A/n: i dont know you guyse have this thing that after you get a hair cut you regret how short it is even if its not or maby its only me? anyway its a bit long so enjoy!
Today is the day, it’s your girls day out with Nat,Wanda and Pepper which means you guys will have time for your selfs. When you live in the avengers tower it’s nice to have some girl time but this time Pepper couldn’t make it (she had a important meeting that she had to go to) but she felt bad for diching all of you on your special day so she booked all of you a appointment at some fancy spa.
“this place is fancy as hell” you said as you walked in the spa, you looked like a child going to the candy store for the first time, Nat and Wanda couldn’t stop laughing at your reaction. There wasn’t a lot of people, but it was a nice place, you guys guessed that Pepper booked your appointment when it wasn’t really busy. After a while of pampering you got yoyur nails and toes done but knowing your job you guys knew that it wouldn’t last a week. You laughed at that thought while looking at your phone to see if your boyfriend Bucky had send you a text, he did it said that he ‘misses you and when will you be back’ before you could answer back you saw Nat and Wanda giggling beside you. “Why are you guys gigling like school girls” you asked your team mates with a raised eyebrow “oh nothing Y/N what are you doing on your phone” Nat asked grining at you “i am just ugh.. checking the time thats all” you said bitting you bottom lip as you(tried to) lied “oh sure you are’’ Wanda said teasingly after that you didn’t bother look back at your phone. “Y/n didn’t you want to cut you hair? you should get it done today while we’re here’’ Nat said “yeah I think your right, it would be great not getting any hair on your face on missions’’ you said while playing with the tip of your hair. Wanda and Nat nodded in agreement, both of them had that problem as well, after you got your hair cut you left and headed to the tower you liked your hair cut it looked nice on you but like always you felt it was a bit to ‘short’. Both Nat and Wanda told you wasn’t short and you looked really nice but you still hid your hair in the hood of your hoodie so nobody can see it, you always had that problem when it came to your hair.
There was only Bucky,Sam,Clint and Vision in the tower, the others where on a mission and Thor was in Asgard. When reached the base you praticlly ran to your room when you heard a familiar voice call out you, it was Bucky “hey doll did you have good time’’ you didn’t turn aroud to face him “ Y-Yeah i have to do something” you said as ran as fast you can, Bucky was worried he thought you where mad at him so he ran after you, when you reached your room you got a video call from Pepper, You aswered as fast as you could “ Heyyyy Y/N did you enjoy your spa day” Pepper said with a big smile on her lips as you pulled your hood a bit to cover you hair a bit “ Pepper you should’ve came with us it was so much fun” you knew Nat had told her that you got a hair cut “ Y/N I have to go can you show me your hair pls” she praticlly begged you gave in and showed it to her, she said that it was a great look on you “ok Y/N i will have to go now i will talk to you when I come back” you hung up then you heard a knock on your door “Y/N doll it’s me Bucky can I come in?” you put hair back in the hood of your sweater and let him in “ hey Buck’’ you said ‘’are you ok I am so sorry with what ever I did I promis I will make it up to you Y/N and-’’ you stoped Bucky with a kiss “ can you always make me shut up like that” he said with a smirk on his face ‘’yes and every thing is fine Buck you did nothing wrong” he furrow his eyebrow in confusion ‘’ then whats wrong love didn’t you have a good time at the spa’’ he said pulling you into his cheast you nooded “ i had a great time at the spa” “then what’s wrong” he said kissing your head ‘’ Well… you see I cut my hair and now it feels a bit weard cuz i think its a bit short’’ Bucky looked at you with a excited look on his face “OMG I am so happy that your not mad at me and i wanna see your hair’’ he let you go so you can show him your hair you could’nt help but laugh at your boyfriend’s expression, so took off your hood and his jaw dropped you laughed at boyfriend’s expression ‘’ its not that bad” you said teasingly “ no it’s it- you looked amazing like you really do” he said honestly ‘’thanks Bucky” you said as you gave him a hug. After you pulled away Bucky looked at you with a smirk on his face ‘’what?” you said with a raised eyebrow “ well it’s not every one that is blessed with gorgeous hair like me” he said teasingly and you playfully hit his shoulder “ I AN BUCKY, OF AVENGERS TOWER AND I AM BURDENED WITH GLORIOUS HAIR” both of you couldn’t stop laughing at his imitation of Loki.