During the research phase, electroencephalogram (EEG) data was also collected, and it established that the laser treatment generated a spike in brain activity. Notably, this is the first research to find a direct link between tPBM and a human subject’s working memory. The team behind the research is proposing that this novel method could help people living with attention-related conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Interestingly, the research team — which includes experts from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. and Beijing Normal University in China — is yet to figure out why exactly the tPBM treatment is improving the short-term memory of test subjects. As well, it is unclear whether these benefits are only short-lived. The findings, which only cover visual memory retention in humans and no other sensory memories, have been published in the journal Science.
Professor Ole Jensen from the Centre for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham notes that this light exposure might be stimulating the nerve cells in the target brain area, which enhances their efficiency as a result. Previous research has already established that tPBM therapy can improve working memory (WM) in mice, while behavior analysis suggests this method also yields positive results for sustained attention and executive functions.