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Scientists develop incredible thinking cap

If you thought you had hidden talents, a new so-called thinking cap from some brainy scientists at Australia's Sydney University may bring them out.

If you've always thought you were a wonderful singer, but somehow failed to produce your best in karaoke bars, scientists may have found a solution.

At last, some of the world's finest brains have gotten together to release the finest parts of everyone's brain.

Yes, soon you may be able to buy your own thinking cap, put it on, and be the person you always thought you could be.

The cap looks a little like a hairnet, but please don't let that put you off. The theory behind the incredible thinking cap is that it will be able to switch different parts of your brain on and off, thereby allowing specific parts of your gray matter to blossom to their full potential.

Scientists from the University of Sydney have studied brilliant people like Dustin Hoffman. Or, rather, brilliant people like the Qantas Airways-knowledgeable savant Dustin Hoffman plays in Rain Man.

This is not a thinking cap. But wouldn't it be great if it came in pink? CC Breibeest

Mirroring the way savants are both brilliant and mentally not quite there (remind you of any techies you know?), the thinking cap's scientific milliners use tiny magnetic pulses to either deaden a part of your brain or excite it beyond its normal level of stimulus, thereby allowing the excited part to reveal the full glory of its capabilities.

Professor Allan Snyder's optimism for your ability to, say, rumba like a Cuban while being an analyst for Mark Cuban, is boundless: "I believe that each of us has within us nonconscious machinery which can do extraordinary art, extraordinary memory, and extraordinary mathematical calculations."

Once the thinking cap buzzes experimentees up for 10 or 15 minutes, some are able to draw in a far more lifelike manner. Others, and this will please many at this site greatly, become far better editors, able to spot mistakes in a text that they could not see before the "OUT OF ORDER" sign has been hung on certain areas of their brains.

There is, however, a little bad news. The effects of the thinking-cap zap wear off after an hour. This might lead to some very unfortunate occurrences.

You've impressed someone over dinner with your ability to simultaneously sing hits from the '70s and balance a spoon on your nose. You go back to your place. The clock strikes midnight, the spoon falls off and, in the middle of some particularly apposite Barry Manilow rendition, you hit more bum notes than Britney Spears hits live.

But even this bad news might bring with it some good. The technique in the thinking-cap experiments, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation, also seems to be helpful in treating depression.