DIY tDCS Start Here


New to DIYtDCS? This is the ‘start here’ collection of articles and posts.

  1. DIYtDCS Feed, all articles
  2. Recommended device? (29V / 2mA model. Promo code ‘diytdcs’ for discount)
  3. Is this (tDCS for depression in pregnancy) the first ‘killer app’?
  4. Cognitive Enhancement with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (video) Roy Hamilton MD
  5. Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources.
  6. Marom Bikson & Peter Toshev ‘Your Electric Pharmacy‘ (excellent overview/intro).
  7. Marom Bikson Presentation on State of the Art tDCS 8/13.
  8. My podcast interviews – deep dives into tDCS with key players (iTunes link)
  9. tDCS SubReddit is where the action is. Now with tDCS FAQ!
  10. An ‘Open tDCS’ project.
  11. Dr. Brent Williams’ DIY device and protocol.
  12. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus
  13. Better Living Through Electrochemistry
  14. Clinical tDCS trials seek volunteers. All. Search. (Example: “tDCS AND Los Angeles”)
  15. Neuroscience: Brain buzz Nature Magazine
  16. DLPFC / F3 Locator (you’ll need a tape measure with Centimeters)
  17. Searchable database of tDCS articles from
  18. 10–20 international system
  19. Kadosh The Stimulated Brain: Cognitive Enhancement Using NIBS

University of British Columbia Explores tDCS With Yoga in Treatment of Depression

Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, is exploring the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation combined with yoga, to see if it can be used to treat depression.

From UBC: Harnessing electricity to treat depression – in a kinder, gentler way

Caputron Announces New Version ActivaDose ll 29V 2mA Max Setting

Robin at Caputron sends word of their new ‘exclusively from Caputron’ ActivaDose 29V 2mA max Iontophoresis device. My one caveat with the ActivaDose had been the potential for user error in choosing a 4mA setting (rather than the 1 or 2mA setting traditionally used in tDCS research). This new device removes that possibility. This is the device you could confidently show your Mom how to use. The new version maintains the ActivaDose FDA approval for iontophoresis. This new version becomes the device I can recommend in all confidence, also because Caputron stands behind all the products they offer.
Readers of the blog get a generous discount on this, or any other (including GoFlow) device purchased at Caputron using promo code diytdcs at checkout.


Spotlight on Halo’s Engineering: An Interview With Brett Wingeier, CTO | Medium


A big challenge for us has been: how do you get through the hair? Well, quite simply, with something that looks like a comb or brush. We engineered the primers to reflect a comb-like design — with rows of soft elastic foam tips called nibs. We spent the last two years coming up with the best shape, material, stiffness, angle, and geometry for these nibs, and then figuring out how to make them.

Spotlight on Halo’s Engineering: An Interview With Brett Wingeier, CTO

Memory Test | BBC One

Memory test
Featuring Swansea University researcher Claire J. Hanley Lucy Owen explores a new way of improving her memory. Will she score better at a memory test once her brain has been stimulated by electromagnetic impulses?

>@clairejhanley What would you call that montage?
Claire J. Hanley @clairejhanley
@DIYtDCS the montage used was position T7 (anode)/T8(cathode) from the 10-10 system Adds Online 3d Head Model For Help With Electrode Placement

From an email press release received 9/1/16.

To help with electrode positioning we have updated a 3d model head with the 10/20 electrode placements. Click the position name e.g. F3, and it will appear on the head. You will still need to translate this to your own head but we hope it helps. (Move the model around with your mouse.)

We are also now selling a version of Go Flow Pro that includes our 1020 position cap instead of the headband. It includes everything you need to get started.

tdcsFocusHead1 Shown here with F3 & F4tdcsFocusHead2


TMS and Aspergers

Fascinating stories of people with Aspergers who discover feelings and empathy as participants in TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) studies. Begs the question, what if, as the effects of TMS fade, tDCS could be used to ‘top up’ their emotional awareness?

Frame of Reference From NPR’s amazing ‘Invisibilia’.
We all carry an invisible frame of reference in our heads that filters our experience. Alix and Hanna talk to a woman who gets a glimpse of what she’s been missing – and then loses it.

And Switched On, Snap #721 – Fortress of Solitude, from WNYC’s awesome Snap Judgement podcast

Why DIY?

Market forces, the for-profit bias that imbues every aspect of health care in America, skew R&D towards solutions and products that are highly profitable. That’s one of the reasons I was so curious about tDCS. You can do it at home. It doesn’t cost a fortune. My initial curiosity was inspired by research papers that seemed to indicate the potential for cognitive enhancement, primarily memory and learning. Many papers later, I’m not so sure, but where it comes to tDCS and depression I’m much more confident. There does seem to be an overwhelming amount of both research and anecdotal evidence to support the use of tDCS in depression. If that were better known, perhaps someone like the woman featured in this NBC news clip would have had somewhere to turn when she was denied coverage for continuing TMS treatment for depression.

Injured Workers Face Stacked Deck During Workers’ Comp Appeals Process, Critics Say

Olympic Athletes Are Electrifying Their Brains, and You Can Too | IEEE SPECTRUM

Eliza Strickland covered the HaloNeuro tDCS device. This clip shares my hopes about the Halo… that sports serves as a gateway until they can get established. IMO we need a device manufacturer with deep pockets who can satisfy the research and regulation requirements to make tDCS (or any other form of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation – NIBS, that is effective) mainstream.

While the authorities dither, Halo will do its best to slip into the mainstream. And athletes are just the first customers targeted by this ambitious company. In South Carolina, a neurologist is currently testing the Halo with stroke patients to see if stimulating the motor cortex speeds up rehab. Chao envisions a whole range of Halo products offering consumers different kinds of mental boosts. “What if you want to learn Chinese and we stimulate the language center?” he says. “What if we stimulate the memory center and pair that with brain-training games?”

Olympic Athletes Are Electrifying Their Brains, and You Can Too


Citizen Science! The Verdict Is In!

Just kidding. C’mon folks. The smallest bit of Googling… At least he doesn’t seem to have hurt himself.

NEVER connect electrodes directly to a 9 volt battery.
Sticky (TENS) electrodes are HIGHLY not recommended.

Youtuber theCharmIsGlobal 7/25/16

YouTuber theCharmIsGlobal 7/25/16

Based on his perception of the Sally Adee article/study featured on RadioLab 9-Volt Nirvana episode, YouTuber TheCharmIsGlobal attempted to replicate the experience in an experiment he called, “TDCS EXPERIMENT WITH CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III” The 43 minute video is mostly onscreen playing of Call Of Duty, but he starts the video with a discussion of tDCS, applies tDCS as shown above at around 10:40, and declares victory at 42:50.

So the verdict is in, yeah, it does work! It really does work!

How TMS and Genome Testing Pulled Me Out of a Severe Depression | Toby Wachter

No mention of tDCS in his journey to find relief from severe depression, but some new to me and interesting information about treating his depression with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Especially interesting is that a genome test recommended by his psychiatrist led to the awareness that many of the drugs typically used to treat depression would most likely be overwhelming to his system. Also that his insurer, Anthem Blue Cross (through the ACA, Obamacare) covered his TMS treatment. Links below to full article.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a depression treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2008. It involves placing a magnetic coil on the patient’s head, and stimulating neurons in a specific part of the brain known to be underactive in depression (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Best of all, it has very few side effects: only some uncomfortable tapping on the head where treatment is applied. There are none of the standard side effects we’ve come to associate with medications.

How Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Genome Testing Pulled Me Out of a Severe Depression

Halo Neuroscience in the News

There’s been a lot of attention to the Halo Neuroscience device, much of it around use by olympic-level athletes. Halo Sport is a VC-backed tDCS device that targets the Motor Cortex. We’ve covered it previously elsewhere on the blog.

US Olympic track star out to prove Halo Sport headphones make him faster, stronger
The Brain-Zapping Olympians
Olympic Athletes Try Zapping Their Brains to Boost Performance

Sleep Spindles tACS and Memory Consolidation | Frohlich Lab

For the first time, UNC School of Medicine scientists report using transcranial alternating current stimulation, or tACS, to target a specific kind of brain activity during sleep and strengthen memory in healthy people.

Flavio Frohlich, PhD

Full Story: No dream: electric brain stimulation during sleep can boost memory
Paper: Feedback-Controlled Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation Reveals a Functional Role of Sleep Spindles in Motor Memory Consolidation