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 & Peter Toshev ‘Your Electric Pharmacy‘ (excellent overview/intro).
  3. Marom Bikson Presentation on State of the Art tDCS 8/13.
  4. My podcast interviews – deep dives into tDCS with key players.
  5. tDCS SubReddit is where the action is. Now with tDCS FAQ!
  6. An ‘Open tDCS’ project.
  7. johnboy6785’s Off-the-shelf tDCS setup with links (Reddit)
  8. Dr. Brent Williams’ DIY device and protocol.
  9. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus
  10. Better Living Through Electrochemistry
  11. Clinical tDCS trials seek volunteers. All. Search. (Example: “tDCS AND Los Angeles”)
  12. Go deep! ATA at Brmlab continues to develop his tDCS page.
  13. Neuroscience: Brain buzz Nature Magazine
  14. DLPFC / F3 Locator (you’ll need a tape measure with Centimeters)
  15. Searchable database of tDCS articles from
  16. 10–20 international system

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Why I Love tDCS and the New tDCS Device from SSD | Brent Williams – SpeakWisdom

Review: New tDCS Device from SSD

Super Specific Devices has released a tDCS device that might be just right for that DIY tDCS person on your holiday shopping list (perhaps yourself!) The new tDCS device is a well-built variant of a DIY tDCS design that has floated around the internet for about two years now.

The Super Specific Devices (SSD) device offers solid performance, based on a 9 volt battery, and provides a feature I consider nearly essential – a meter that allows you to verify the current being delivered during your tDCS session.  That is coupled with a potentiometer (dial) that allows you to vary current level, making it easy to set 1, 1.5, or 2 mA or anywhere in between.  The user can also gently ramp current up and down using the dial – so discomfort and phosphenes are reduced or eliminated.


via Why I Love tDCS and the New tDCS Device from SSD | SpeakWisdom.

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With batteries included, brain stimulation devices prepare to go mainstream — NewsWorks

The San Francisco-based start-up is tight-lipped about what the Halo unit will look like, but it is confirming that the device will rely on something called transcranial direct-current stimulation, or tDCS, to channel small amounts of electricity through the brain.

“We want to build a product that’s a wearable, that’s ridiculously simple and easy to use…we also want it to be aesthetically pleasing, and not scary to look at or to wear,” he says.

With the catchphrase “Be Electric,” Halo plans to launch its device sometime in 2015. And if you’re picturing shock therapy, dial those expectations way back. TDCS uses a far smaller jolt for its intended effect.

via With batteries included, brain stimulation devices prepare to go mainstream — NewsWorks.

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Jamie Tyler – Focused Ultrasound – CSO & Founder of Thync

Somewhere in the course of running down the Rabbit Hole this morning, I found myself thinking, ‘Wait, this feels familiar.’ Then I remembered where I’d seen Jamie Tyler recently- on the About page for Thync! He’s the CSO and Founder! Exciting to think about what may evolve from Thync based on the links below. We do know that Thync’s first product, now in Alpha will be tDCS based.
Are you ready for Digital Heroin?
William ‘Jamie’ Tyler receives innovation award
Fingers on the pulse: Neuroscientists prove ultrasound can be tweaked to stimulate different sensations
Pulsed Ultrasound Differentially Stimulates Somatosensory Circuits in Humans as Indicated by EEG and fMRI
Remote Control of Brain Activity Using Ultrasound
You can deep dive into Jamie’s work from the Thync Scientific Publications page.

Other advantages of ultrasound are that it can be focused through the skull to any discrete region of the brain with millimeter accuracy.”

Tyler Lab of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

tyler lab experimental P1020128

…one experimental setup we are working on developing for cognitive enhancement applications. Tyler Lab

Tyler has so far investigated whether ultrasound stimulation could stop epileptic seizures, in which lots of brain regions start firing in synchrony. In one of their first experiments along these lines,Tyler’s team induced seizures in mice before applying ultrasound pulses to their skulls. The sound waves broke up the synchronous firing, ending the seizure. He has high hopes that the technique could be used to treat people with head injuries, who often have seizures. “What if you could develop a device that was an automatic external defibrillator, except for the brain, to treat brain injury?” says Tyler. “That’s my vision.”

The work has inspired Stuart Hameroff to test the technique on himself. An anaesthesiologist and consciousness researcher at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, Hameroff first suggested to a colleague that they try the therapy to treat chronic pain. The colleague agreed, on one condition. “He looked at me and said, ‘you have a nice shaped head, why don’t we try it on you’,” says Hameroff.

Mood lifter

So they did. They applied ultrasound to Hameroff’s temple for 15seconds. Nothing happened immediately. “But about a minute later, I started to get a buzz, like I had a martini, and felt really good for about 2 hours.”

via TranshumanTech: [tt] NS 2932: The knockout enigma: How your mechanical brain works. From New Scientist:

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Personality affects maths-enhancing brain-zap method | New Scientist

They found that participants with high maths anxiety made correct responses more quickly and, after the test, showed lower levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress. On the other hand, individuals with low maths anxiety performed worse after tDCS.
“It is hard to believe that all people would benefit similarly [from] brain stimulation,” says Cohen Kadosh. He says that further research could shed light on how to optimise the technology and help to discover who is most likely to benefit from stimulation.

via Personality affects maths-enhancing brain-zap method – life – 09 December 2014 – New Scientist.
Link to full paper: Cognitive Enhancement or Cognitive Cost: Trait-Specific Outcomes of Brain Stimulation in the Case of Mathematics Anxiety

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Taming the black dog—new approaches to depression – All In The Mind – (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Or download audio:

Lynne Malcolm: Colleen Loo says that this transcranial direct current stimulation treatment is best used for people with clinical depression who haven’t responded to other treatments. There are very few, if any, side-effects and some participants have even noticed benefits beyond changing their moods.

Colleen Loo: Yes, and this was very exciting. So when we did our first depression trial we were measuring things like memory and thinking…you know, it was just to be safe, to check these things. And one of the things we measured was we asked people to do a test which really showed you how quickly the brain was working. And as people went through the trial they were saying things like, ‘Gee, I don’t know what kind of stimulation I’m having, but it’s almost like my brain clears and I can concentrate and think so much more clearly after the stimulation.’

So we were very excited when we got the end of the study and we formally analysed the results of the formal test, that it showed exactly what people were saying to us, that after the act of stimulation the actual thinking speed was faster, and that has led our team to develop a whole parallel line of research of using TDCS to improve memory and thinking. So our main line of research is in treating depression, but I also have a very promising young researcher who is a clinical neuropsychologist, Dr Donel Martin, who is heading a whole program of research into using this to improve memory and thinking. For example, in people who are older and who are just starting to notice some changes in their memory and thinking.

via Taming the black dog—new approaches to depression – All In The Mind – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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A mood-changing headset, Thync, that uses electrodes to perk you up | The Guardian

Also, if you live in the Boston area, Thync is recruiting for alpha-testing.

Alcohol and coffee are about to get competition from a set of electrodes you wear on your head. Branded the Thync, the calming effect it produces is comparable to how you feel after an alcoholic drink, while the energising effect is similar to a cup of coffee, says Isy Goldwasser, the CEO and co-founder of this Silicon Valley-based startup. The company plans to start selling the device through its website in 2015.
Goldwasser envisages people using the Thync “vibes” to help them unwind after a long day at work, or to get a caffeine-free pick-me-up. “We are giving people a way to overcome a basic limitation – that no one is really wired to co-opt energy and calm on demand,” he says.
It doesn’t work for everyone though. About a third of people don’t have a strong response. When I try a prototype I feel a tingling where it makes contact with my skin, but no particularly serene feeling, even after a few sessions. The energising vibe also fails to do much for me.

via A mood-changing headset, Thync, that uses electrodes to perk you up | Technology | The Guardian.

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Has the brain-zap backlash begun? | New Scientist

I think of Vincent Walsh as the most skeptical of the tDCS researchers. You can get a clear understanding of his doubts and concerns in this video from the Davis Summit on tDCS from 2013.

However, Vincent Walsh, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, is less convinced. “This is an important paper,” he says, especially because it casts doubt on the aspect of this research that until now had been assumed to be the most robust – the physiology.
“In terms of cognition, which is the other aspect that people make claims about, tDCS is massively hyped. The danger is that people have been promised better memories, better reading, better maths, increased intelligence… you name it. The effects are small, short lasting, and no substantial claims have been replicated across laboratories. This paper is hopefully the beginning of a counterweight to all the bullshit.”

via Has the brain-zap backlash begun? – health – 28 November 2014 – New Scientist.

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CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Use TDCS Home Device Kit (June 2013)

I wonder what factors led to this… Because the company was incorporated in California? Was there a complaint? News story catch the eye of someone at the DCPH? Have other manufacturers seen this and as a result done things differently? From June of 2013.

TDCS Device Kit, Inc. of Petaluma, Calif., is voluntarily recalling the TDCS Home Device Kits because the product has not been federally approved to market in the United States, and has not been determined to be safe and effective for their intended use. During a recent inspection, CDPH determined that the devices had not been manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practices for medical devices. Also, the devices were found to be labeled without adequate directions for use and without adequate warnings against uses that may be dangerous to health.

Use of the device could pose a health risk including, but not limited to: epileptic seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, optic and otic nerve injuries, skin irritation, headaches, blurred vision, and dizziness. No illnesses or injuries have been reported at this time.

via CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Use TDCS Home Device Kit.

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Forget Coffee, Techies Giving Brain An Electric Jolt To Stay More Focused | CBS San Francisco

“Especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where everyone is a hacker of some type or the other…you’ve got a lot of people who don’t have any qualms about hooking some electrical thing to their head where they may not know how it works,” said Jared Seehafer.
But before you scrounge around for parts…
“I sure wouldn’t put anything I made for $25 on my head and turn on the switch,” says Stanford Law & Bio-sciences Director Hank Greely, who specializes in the ethical, legal and social implications of these new technologies. “Before you run volts through your brain, um, I think it’s really important to try to make sure that it’s safe and it’s effective.”

via Forget Coffee, Techies Giving Brain An Electric Jolt To Stay More Focused « CBS San Francisco.

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