Wright State Research Institute hires nationally recognized neuroscientist Michael Weisend « Wright State University

The Wright State Research Institute has hired renowned neuroscientist Michael Weisend, Ph.D., as a senior research scientist. Weisend is a pioneer in the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which applies electricity to specific areas of the brain to enhance learning.

“We’re thrilled to have Mike join our team,” said WSRI Director Jason Parker, Ph.D. “His research is truly profound and has the potential to transform human performance and healthcare. He’s an excellent addition to the group of talented neuroscience researchers at Wright State and the Research Institute.”

via Wright State Newsroom – Wright State Research Institute hires nationally recognized neuroscientist « Wright State University.

tDSC Papers of Note April 2013

Regional personalized electrodes to select transcranial current stimulation target (pdf)
…with the present work we developed a procedure to properly shape the stimulating

(The familiar looking square electrodes were the reference electrodes.)
Tags: electrodes, tACS

The Sertraline vs Electrical Current Therapy for Treating Depression Clinical StudyResults From a Factorial, Randomized, Controlled Trial (pdf)
At the main end point, there was a significant difference in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale scores when comparing the combined treatment group (sertraline/active tDCS) vs sertraline only, tDCS only, and placebo/sham tDCS… There were 7 episodes of treatment-emergent mania or hypomania, 5 occurring in the combined treatment group.
Tags: depression

Noninvasive transcranial direct current stimulation over the left prefrontal cortex facilitates cognitive flexibility in tool use (pdf)
The results support the hypothesis that certain tasks may benefit from a state of diminished cognitive control.
And a related news story discussing the same paper.
Brain hacking: Electrifying your creative side
Each person was shown pictures of everyday objects and asked to come up with a new uses for them.
The group which received the TDCS muting the left prefrontal cortex was better in coming up with unusual uses than the others — and did it faster.
Tags: creativity, Sharon Thompson-Schill, cathodal stimulation,

 Orchestrating neuronal networks: sustained after-effects of transcranial alternating current stimulation depend upon brain states (pdf)
Long lasting after-effects foster the role of tACS as a tool for non-invasive brain stimulation and demonstrate the potential for therapeutic application to reestablish the balance of altered brain oscillations.
Tags: tACS

Different Current Intensities of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Do Not Differentially Modulate Motor Cortex Plasticity (pdf)
targeting M1 …10 minutes of anodal tDCS at 0.8, 1.0, and 1.2 mA
These results suggest that the aftereffect of anodal tDCS on facilitating cortical excitability is due to the modulation of synaptic mechanisms associated with long-term potentiation and is not influenced by different tDCS intensities.
Tags: M1, dosage

Transcranial direct-current stimulation increases extracellular dopamine levels in the rat striatum (pdf)
Following the application of cathodal, but not anodal, tDCS for 10 min, extracellular dopamine levels increased for more than 400 min in the striatum. There were no significant changes in extracellular serotonin levels.
Tags: dopamine

Spark of Genius: A new technology promises to supercharge your brain with electricity. Is it too good to be true?
Surprisingly good pop-sci overview of where we’re at with tDCS. Chock full of relevant links.

Using computational models in tDCS research and clinical trials (pdf)
Hypothesis: Appropriately applied computational models are pivotal for rational tDCS dose selection.
Tags: Comptational modeling, Marom Bikson,

Boosting brain functions: Improving executive functions with behavioral training, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback  (pdf)
This review provides a synopsis of two lines of research, investigating the enhancement of capabilities in executive functioning: a) computerized behavioral trainings, and b) approaches for direct neuromodulation (neurofeedback and transcranial electrostimulation).
Tags: cognitive enhancement

Focal Modulation of the Primary Motor Cortex in Fibromyalgia Using 4×1-Ring High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS): Immediate and Delayed Analgesic Effects of Cathodal and Anodal Stimulation (pdf)
We found that both active stimulation conditions led to significant reduction in overall perceived pain as compared to sham.
Tags: Fibromyalgia, HD-tDCS, Marom Bikson, pain

Concerns and Considerations From The Neuroscience Perspective

Probably you’ll want to skip to around 8:30 where Dr. Davis begins to discuss the use of tDCS in healthy people for the purpose of enhancing cognition and motor skills. He and Dr. Pascual-Leone  go on to discuss their concerns around DIY tDCS, especially the possibility that, for instance, while one aspect of cognition may be enhanced, another may be depressed.

Would TDCS make me smarter? – Mary H K Choi – Aeon

One of the first things I notice about TDCS is that it’s like being able to set an appointment for a power nap. Time goes by at an unbelievable clip. Twenty minutes is a long time just to sit near someone blinking at you, so Fugedy leaves the room. He gives me a big gold Salvation Army bell so I can alert him when the 20 minutes are up. When he comes back into the room, I think he must have forgotten something. It feels like only five minutes, but it turns out 19 have already passed. I’m even slightly annoyed, as if I’ve been interrupted.

TDCS sort of feels like you’re about to fall asleep while knowing that you won’t completely conk out. My breathing slowed way down, and I started to feel cold. I was so relaxed, I couldn’t imagine having to shoot a gun like Sally Adee. I don’t know what ‘flow’ feels like but my thoughts became jumbled. I often daisy-chain absurd thoughts to entertain myself as I drift into sleep but this was different. I felt like I had no control over the remote.

via Would TDCS make me smarter? – Mary H K Choi – Aeon.
With the most valuable bit of info in the comments from Mrd about the montage he uses for his bipolar disorder…

What I currently do which involves suppressing the area between p4 and t4 while activating the left motor cortex or Wernickes area which means the current goes across from one side of the brain to the other has worked very well. I compliment this with using the typical montage for depression on alternate days.. I have found that I no longer need to do these as much probably due to neuroplasticity.