DIY tDCS Start Here


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

  1. Become a tDCS expert in only a few hours! Davis tDCS Summit 9/5/13.
  2. Marom Bikson Presentation on State of the Art tDCS 8/13.
  3. My podcast interviews – deep dives into tDCS with key players.
  4. tDCS SubReddit is where the action is. Now with tDCS FAQ!
  5. tDCS headset now available.
  6. johnboy6785′s Off-the-shelf tDCS setup with links (Reddit)
  7. Dr. Brent Williams’ DIY device and protocol.
  8. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus
  9. Better Living Through Electrochemistry
  10. Clinical tDCS trials seek volunteers. All. Search. (Example: “tDCS AND Los Angeles”)
  11. Go deep! ATA at Brmlab continues to develop his tDCS page.
  12. Neuroscience: Brain buzz Nature Magazine
  13. DLPFC / F3 Locator (you’ll need a tape measure with Centimeters)

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Electric “thinking cap” controls learning speed

From Vanderbilt University Research News. This article got a lot of traction this week. I would be very curious to see the results of the same study with tDCS applied at the time the tests were being given (rather than before). I’ve heard this described as ‘online’ testing.
Interesting to see Mind Alive’s Oasis Pro device being used clinically.

Reinhart and Woodman set out to test several hypotheses: One, they wanted to establish that it is possible to control the brain’s electrophysiological response to mistakes, and two, that its effect could be intentionally regulated up or down depending on the direction of an electrical current applied to it. This bi-directionality had been observed before in animal studies, but not in humans. Additionally, the researchers set out to see how long the effect lasted and whether the results could be generalized to other tasks.

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Brain zap rouses people from years of vegetative state – – New Scientist

Wow! This is significant.

TALK about an awakening. People who have been in a minimally conscious state for weeks or years have been temporarily roused using mild electrical stimulation.
Soon after it was applied to their brains, 15 people with severe brain damage showed signs of consciousness, including moving their hands or following instructions using their eyes. Two people were even able to answer questions for 2 hours before drifting back into their previous uncommunicative state.

“I don’t want to give people false hope – these people weren’t getting up and walking around – but it shows there is potential for the brain to recover functionality, even several years after damage,” says Steven Laureys at the University of Liège in Belgium, who led the research.
People with severe brain trauma often fall into a coma. If they “awaken”, by showing signs of arousal but not awareness, they are said to be in a vegetative state. This can improve to a state of minimal consciousness, where they might show fluctuating signs of awareness, which come and go, but have no ability to communicate.
External stimulation of the brain has been shown to increase arousal, awareness and aspects of cognition in healthy people. So Laureys and his colleagues wondered if it would do the same in people with severe brain damage. They used transcranial direct current stimulation tDCS, which doesn’t directly excite the brain, but uses low-level electrical stimulation to make neurons more or less likely to fire.

via Brain zap rouses people from years of vegetative state – health – 26 February 2014 – New Scientist. See Also: Waking up from a coma

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Stanford Law School tDCS Survey

Background: I was contacted by a Stanford researcher about the survey via email. She got my contact information from Nick Fitz whose interest in tDCS relates to the ethics of cognitive enhancement. While I don’t know the ultimate purpose of the survey, I know that it associates with Stanford professor Hank Greely who “…specializes in the ethical, legal, and social implications of new biomedical technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience, genetics, or stem cell research.” Certainly the notion of community includes researchers and scientists. In that most of us will be reporting 0 side effects, I can see how it could be beneficial to have Stanford-level researchers armed with good and correct information. I don’t see a downside and encourage participation.

They’ve done their homework!
Please select the tDCS device you bought (You can choose more than one):
FOC.US headset
tDCS Transcranial Stimulation Kit (
tDCS device kit (
Oasis Pro (
Dynatron ibox Iontophoresis Delivery Device
Chattanooga Ionto™ Iontophoresis System
Activa Dose II Contoller Ionto Device
The Biocurrent Kit
The DC-Stimulator (

As the first systematic study on DIY tDCS user community, the goal of this research is to understand what is happening in this community, and more specifically to know about current patterns of usage and users’ thoughts on effects and safety of tDCS. I believe that this research will provide a precious opportunity to collect the voice of DIY tDCS user community.

Do you want to share your experiences with DIY tDCS?

Stanford University Law School is now conducting a research study on the DIY tDCS user community. We’d love to know about who you are, why you are using tDCS and what your thoughts and concerns, if any, are regarding this special device. We believe that this research will provide a precious opportunity to collect the voices of DIY tDCS users.

Please click the following link to participate in an online survey on your tDCS experiences!

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Beauty and the Brain | Spark with Nora Young | CBC Radio

A little zap to the brain may improve the way you feel about a picture. Neurologist Zaira Cattaneo is the co-author of a new study called The world can look better: enhancing beauty experience with brain stimulation. For the experiment, Zaira and her fellow researchers stimulated the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to see if that would enhance the experience of beauty. The results? Listen to her full interview with Nora now!

via Beauty and the Brain | Spark with Nora Young | CBC Radio.
Or read/download the full paper: The world can look better: enhancing beauty experience with brain stimulation

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Jump-Starter Kits for the Mind –

Yes, the promise of tDCS and yet… having just listened to 6 or so hours of leading edge tDCS science I’d have to say we are actually farther away from the dream of simple and easy cognitive enhancement than when I first became interested. Things like… What if 2mA doesn’t have twice the effect of 1mA, but has an entirely different effect altogether? What if the differences in the shapes of people’s heads renders any notion of standard current flow a ludicrous idea? What if most of the experiments on which we base our understanding of tDCS were poorly designed and in fact don’t tell us anything like what they say they do? Did you know that the standard tDCS dose of 1-2mA was a ‘historical accident’? Certainly the questions are becoming finely focused and it does look to me like some very smart scientists are highly motivated to get a better understanding of what exactly is going on. Stay tuned!

Whether it’s hitting a golf ball, playing the piano or speaking a foreign language, becoming really good at something requires practice. Repetition creates neural pathways in the brain, so the behavior eventually becomes more automatic and outside distractions have less impact. It’s called being in the zone.

But what if you could establish the neural pathways that lead to virtuosity more quickly? That is the promise of transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS — the passage of very low-level electrical current through targeted areas of the brain. Several studies conducted in medical and military settings indicate tDCS may bring improvements in cognitive function, motor skills and mood.

Jump-Starter Kits for the Mind –

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NYC Neuromodulation 2013 Conference – November 22-23

NYC Neuromodulation 2013 brings together pioneers and emerging innovations in Transcranial Electrical Stimulation. Cutting edge research, clinical trials, and techniques are introduced in a dynamic and interactive format. Learn how the field developed to its current state and the outlook for the next five years. Technologies covered include transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS), transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (tRNS), and High-Definition transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS). Topics covered include design of clinical trials, integration with monitoring technologies (EEG), and deployable technology. Frequent opportunities to interact with speakers and attendees, sponsor exhibits, two large poster sessions, two panel discussions, social events and a certification course provide plenty of networking, educational, investment and collaboration opportunities.

Home: NYC Neuromodulation 2013 Conference.

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SpeakWisdom | Wisdom for the Leading Edge of Life

Brent Williams shares his vision for the future of tDCS…

I have been reading studies, attending training, experimenting with, and writing about transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for about two years now.  Needless to say, I am enthusiastic about what tDCS can do for many people who use it for depression, chronic pain, enhanced creativity, and memory. It may also may have positive effect for other important conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – there are certainly studies that show that to be the case.

Given that it has positive effect on many who try it, it could improve the quality of life of millions of people around the world. All of this without drugs, without the cost of drugs, and with no significant side-effects.

With all the great things I’ve learned about tDCS, I thought I’d share a little of my tDCS Wish List for the next five years:

In The Next Five Years I Wish That:

every appropriate medical practitioner (and counselor) would at least become aware of tDCS. A treatment this good, this simple, this safe, with so much positive effect should not be overlooked. It should be a tool in the kit of considered-treatments for every practitioner

SpeakWisdom | Wisdom for the Leading Edge of Life

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tDCS clinical research – recent highlights: Pain

The developers of Starstim, Neurolectrics, have a blog where they frequently discuss tDCS (and EEG). Here’s a snippet from their latest on tDCS & pain. Hit the link below to their full article.

Is transcranial current stimulation tCS, including direct current, tDCS, alternating current, tACS, or random noise stimulation tRNS effective? Now that is a good and difficult question! Let me try to review recent developments. In a recent post I provided an overview of tCS in Stroke. Here I do the same but for Pain. Please let me know if you think I am missing some important one! I have relied on Google Scholar and also PubMed to carry out the search, including the terms of tDCS, tACS, tRNS as well as Pain since 2012 and till Sep 2013.

via tDCS clinical research – recent highlights: Pain.

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Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation UC-Davis Sept. 5, 2013 Videos

The ‘current’ state of the art! Thanks UC Davis for sharing!

Dr. Marom Bikson, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of The City University of New York, discussing the cellular mechanisms of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain.

Dr. Vince Clark, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of New Mexico, speaking on the role of tDCS in cognitive enhancement in a talk at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain.

In this talk at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain, Dr. Roy Hamilton, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses a range of clinical applications of the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) technique.

Dr. Michael Nitsche, a pioneer in the field of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) from the University of Goettingen in Germany, speaking about the physiological basis of tDCS at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain.

Dr. Dylan Edwards of the Burke Medical Research Institute, speaking on the role of tDCS and robotics in human motor recovery in a talk at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain.

Dr. Vincent Walsh of University College London, discussing the current evidence for and against the role of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) in improving cognition at the Summit on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) at the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain.

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