Make people use awkwardly designed tools to re-learn old skills and thereby improve neuroplasticity in adults
Image credit: Deal2day
Darko SavicApr 11, 2022
Please leave the feedback on this idea
Is it original or innovative?
Is it feasible?
Is it targeting an unsolved problem?
Is it concisely described?
Bounty for the best solution
Provide a bounty for the best solution
Bounties attract serious brainpower to the challenge.
A long-term experiment in which people have to re-learn old skills because the world around them changed. For example, backward goggles, backward bikes, etc. Could this improve one's ability to learn new skills? If yes, develop it into a product.
Extreme cognitive exercises.
An experiment to see if this could improve an adult's ability to master new skills faster?
Could it improve the brain's ability to adapt to change faster?
How it works
People sign up for a few months of back-to-back reality-shifting experimentation. Their cognitive abilities are thoroughly tested before the experiment begins to establish their baseline.
For the next few months their world changes. They wear gadgets that make everything different. They can't take them off for the entire duration of the experiment.
For example, week 1: redirected field of view to make it feel as if peoples' eyes are in the back of their heads. Week 2: make it feel as if the left and the right eye have switched places. And so on. The goggles use mirrors that direct the light through tubes the same way as miscroscopes do.
Simultaneously have people ride the backwards bike and other devices following a similar concept:
Come up with many such "world-changing" devices.
Every few days, people should switch to a brand new "mind trick" following a similar concept. Change something that causes a person to re-learn a skill they previously mastered. Something major (like vision, hearing, etc) should constantly be affected in new ways. In addition, several minor things should challenge people on a daily basis. Make each day packed with novelty aimed to overwhelm the brain. The idea is to replicate similar circumstances as when babies are learning to master their environment.
The experiment lasts a few months after which people's cognitive abilities are re-tested. Has the neuroplasticity improved? Are they able to learn new skills faster? If yes, come up with a way to make this into a product that people can use on demand.
Before joining the extensive, long-lasting program you propose, people could get instructions on how to prepare for the challenge to come by doing simple, related exercises at home, that don't require special gear.
Examples: doing things that you normally do with your right hand, with your left hand (if you're right-handed and vice-versa) all day; taking your T-shirt off in a different manner than you usually do (pulling by the top vs pulling by the bottom); parking your car by driving backwards, rather than forwards, etc.
This would help the brain to slowly get used to such "stress".