Have you missed out on the huge brain hacking trend sweeping this great nation? Yeah, us too.
We had no idea there was some move towards shocking your brain to make you super smart, but apparently that’s a thing. It’s called Transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS. And frankly, it must not be that big, because the Wikipedia page is shockingly (heh!) one sided and the discussion section is almost non-existent. The idea seems to be that stimulating the brain with a low charge could improve your working memory, mental arithmetic, focused attention, creativity and could even help treat depression.1
Sadly, IEEE’s Spectrum reports that brain hackers might just have to wait a bit longer for their superpowers. Following in the steps of New Scientist, Spectrum reports on the results of the largest analysis of the procedure, a study entitled by its author’s: Quantitative Review Finds No Evidence of Cognitive Effects in Healthy Populations from Single-Session Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
And this is in a journal called Brain Stimulation. Harsh, man. Harsh.
But wait. There’s more. It’s a scientific controversy! Felipe Fregni of Harvard University says that tDCS does work.
[blockquote cite=” Felipe Fregni” type=”left, center, right”]tDCS is not a magic…bullet, and the effects are very small,” he says. “But we’ve seen over and over in different studies that it helps you to learn new skills. It helps you to activate neural networks that were deactivated or never used before.[/blockquote]
Also on the positive side of the argument, Jamie Tyler, CEO of Thynk – a device that will bring tDCS right to your smartphone. Well, that’s convincing.
Well, you can read the Spectrum article, Brain Hackers Beware: Scientist Says tDCS Has No Effect, and make up your own mind, but I think I’d want to see just a titch more evidence before I start shocking my brain.
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