8/23/13

Can the Foc.us tDCS system instantly make you smarter and happier?


So I just received the tDCS headset from foc.us and wanted to share some thoughts and information.  

At the highest level I wanted to share some information on an absolutely fascinating technology that's been gaining tremendous momentum of late.  The technology is "tDCS", which is an acronym for "Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation".  tDCS has been showing some truly remarkable results in well-done clinical trials that seem to be publishing with increasing frequency.  

While not exactly "the first", www.foc.us just started shipping the first serious and well put-together tDCS headset.  I got mine this afternoon and am more than a little excited to use it!  Check back as I'll post my experience with it soon!

In the interim, I've collected some notes (below) for those not yet educated on tDCS technology.  I'm curious to know if you find it interesting/terrifying/snake oil, all three?  For now, have a look at these findings:

So Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation which uses constant, low-current delivered directly to the brain through various vectors (various cognitive functions appear to be affected more significantly depending where on scalp electrodes are placed).

tDCS was originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes. However, more recently tests on healthy adults have demonstrated that tDCS can significantly enhance cognitive performance on a variety of tasks, increase working memory, alleviate depression, the list goes on, and the benefits depend on the placement of the electrodes on the head and area of the brain being targeted for stimulation. 

tDCS has thus far been utilized to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, working memory, learning, and coordination.  In some of the more interesting studies below you'll learn that tDCS, being used by the US military, reliably increases overall learning speed by 230%!  

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/427177/diy-kit-overclocks-your-brain-with-direct-current/

http://j.mp/PopSCItDCS

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) can modify brain behavior by inducing changes in its function. To better understand the effects of tDCS, study examines tDCS' impact on performance on working memory and underlying neural activity

http://j.mp/shockingtdcsAustralianstudy

http://j.mp/tDCS

http://j.mp/tDCSstudy

http://j.mp/tDCSstudysummary

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/the-gaming-headset-that-literally-shocks-your-brain-to-attention/

http://www.diytdcs.com/

As I said, I'll be posting updates shortly with my personal experience...that is if I don't set my brain on fire.

Any thoughts? Warnings?  

Christian Hunter's Twitter Latest