Our team conducted pilot studies on foreign language learning. 25 users participated in an hour-long session, where they learned 20 foreign language words that were presented to them aurally through in-ear headphones. Users had to learn the meanings of foreign words in the English language. 10 of these words were paired with non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation that was delivered through the left ear.
While the users learned the association between foreign words and their corresponding English translation, we observed that for 80% of the users (20 out of 25), learning was up to 25% faster for the words that were paired with stimulation. 3 participants showed no significant improvement on stimulated words, and 2 participants showed impairment in learning when paired with stimulation.
REVAI is developing a technology that will allow for non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve via an earbud placed in contact with the outer ear. This device couples highly precise nerve activation and audio inputs to produce the desired neuromodulatory effect. The consumer-ready hardware will interface with intuitive software that allows for custom programming of audio and stimulus parameters as needed for each unique application.