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

tDCS Depression Montage

Marom Bikson (no less!) demonstrating depression montage using the Soterix EasyStrap.

From a recent Marom Bikson slide deck.

From a recent Marom Bikson slide deck (pdf).

Canadian study tests electrical stimulation to treat depression in pregnancy | CTV News

Update 12/16/2015: Bouncing this story up to the top again today because of news of a new study that links Autism to SSRI (anti-depressant) use in pregnant women.

The analysis also found that women who were prescribed more than one class of antidepressants during the last six months of pregnancy were more than four times more likely to have a child with autism, compared with women who did not take antidepressants while pregnant.

Update 10/16/2015: Today I learned that this study is ongoing and recruiting participants. If you or someone you know is pregnant and dealing with severe depression, consider contacting study author Simone Vigod at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Study Protocol. You can also follow Simone on Twitter.

Watch the video at CTV.

Tatania Samburova, a Russia-born economist who immigrated to Canada two years ago, developed depression before becoming pregnant. Her depression left her feeling hollow, even suicidal.

“You do not feel yourself living. You do not want anything, you do not want to go somewhere, to do something,” she said.

Her doctor offered her antidepressants, but, while she knew they would offer her relief, she decided against using them over fears they may harm her child.

“Even if it will bring me, right now, some kind of relief, it can also affect the life of a little child,” she said.

Instead, she travelled to Mount Sinai (hospital) every day for three weeks to be treated as part of the study. She doesn’t know for sure if she received a sham treatment or the actual tDCT stimulation but suspects she had the actual therapy because within days her appetite returned and she felt her mood lifting.

“This treatment brought happiness back to me; it brought life back to me,” she said.

She remains well today, with her baby due mid-March.

Vigod notes that some women are so desperate for treatment that they are not waiting for the study results.

“I can tell you anecdotally that women are buying devices like this in the U.S. and using them at home, but they haven’t really been tested to see if it works to make the depression better.”

via Canadian study tests electrical stimulation to treat depression in pregnancy | CTV News. HDCstim (device shown)


From the study protocol: The active tDCS intervention is active 2 mA tDCS. Direct current is transferred continuously for 30 minutes with a pair of saline-soaked sponge electrodes (contact area of 5 × 7 cm), and delivered by a specially developed, battery-driven constant current stimulator. The electrodes are placed over F3 and F4 according to the 10–20 international system for electroencephalogram placement.

Positioning Electrodes

This instructional video demonstrates the correct way to measure and place electrodes. In a clinical setting, with a medical grade tDCS device (Soterix), a subject is measured for electrode placement on the primary motor cortex. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex region is also shown. This is the first time I’ve seen the video on Youtube (making it easy to share). Previously it could only be found here, where an associated pdf which includes illustrations is also made available.


Quick, to the rat cave! — Montage Explorer, a search engine for brain…

Nathan Whitmore just launched a tDCS search engine!

The goal of Montage Explorer is slightly different from that of a traditional montage website. While most of these sites attempt to provide details one a montage used in one or two studies, the goal of Montage Explorer is to provide an aggregate view and summary of all the research on a particular montage (including side effects that are discovered in studies by other authors and “null results” where an effect fails to replicate) and provide access to the original results and publications, using automated analysis of articles published on noninvasive brain stimulation.


A framework for categorizing electrode montages in tDCS

Excellent! A new paper proposes a framework for talking about tDCS montages!

Figure 1. Subgroups of tDCS montages: (A) unilateral monopolar, (B) unilateral bipolar, (C) unilateral multiple monopolar, (D) bilateral bipolar-balanced, (E) bilateral bipolar-non balanced, (F) bilateral multiple monopolar, (G) midline monopolar, (H) midline bipolar-balanced, (I) midline bipolar-non balanced, (J) dual channel- bipolar, (K) dual channel midline double monopolar, (L) dual channel bilateral double monopolar.

Subgroups of tDCS montages

Tdcs Journal Entry 1 | Steve Hockenyos

Steve Hockenyos is demonstrating a montage he got from which purports to Improve Insightfulness (Cathode T3, Anode T4). The ‘BraiNet Placement Cap’ Steve is using can be found at (For comparison, have a look at Soterix’s, ‘Easy Strap‘.) Hoping Steve continues this video tDCS journal! [Update: 1/11/15 Steve seems to be doing this daily. He’s not said yet whether his experiment is producing results.]

The anodal tDCS over the left posterior parietal cortex enhances attention toward a focus word in a sentence | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

In order to activate the left PPC (atDCS), the anodal electrode was placed over P3 in accordance with the 10–20 international system. The cathodal electrode was attached to the contralateral supraorbital area.


Head locations for the electrodes. The target region was the left posterior parietal cortex where the center of the electrodes was located at P3 in the 10–20 international measurement. The reference patch was located just above the eyebrow.


via Frontiers | The anodal tDCS over the left posterior parietal cortex enhances attention toward a focus word in a sentence | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

tDCS + Meditation — tDCS and Neurodynamics —A Modern Monk

The first type of meditation I practice is the standard “focus” meditation that is taught on, and there are great walk-throughs there. I use tDCS to calm the conscious mind by placing the cathode on FpZ the center of the forehead and the anode at OZ center of the back of the head. I do this montage for 5–10 minutes, then remove the electrodes and meditate, focusing on my breath, for 10–15 minutes. I usually do this in the morning, and afterwards, I usually place the anode at FpZ and cathode on upper left arm and run the current for another 5–10 minutes. I find this is helpful in getting into work mode.

via tDCS + Meditation — tDCS and Neurodynamics — Medium.

Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources. : tDCS

User x0rn just posted this to the tDCS SubReddit. Check original source (link at bottom) for updates.

Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources.(self.tDCS)
by x0rn

There seemed to be a lack of cited montage sources. Here is a compiled list:

**NOTE: Here is a link to the 10/20 placement chart. DLPFC (F3) means Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Position F3*

Anode (+) RED Cathode (-) BLACK Target Behavior Study
DLPFC (F3) DLPFC (F4) Decreased depression/ pain / increased organization Smith & Clithero, (2009)
DLPFC (F3) Right shoulder Decreased depression / reduced food alcohol craving Smith & Clithero, (2009)
LPFC (F3) Supra Orbital (Fp2) Improved Mood Vanderhasselt et. al., (2013)
DLPFC (F4) DLPFC (F3) Reduce risk taking Fecteau, et al., (2007)
Mastoid (P10) DLPFC (F4) Increased impulsiveness / Increased present awareness Beeli, et al., (2008), Ledoux, (1996)
Left Orbital (Fp1) DLPFC (F4) Improved social interaction / reduced punishment of unfair behavior Knoch, et al., (2008)
DLPFC(F3) DLPFC (F4) Reduced cigarette, alcohol, junk food craving Fregni, et al., (2007), Boggio et al., (2007) Fregni, et al., (2007)
Orbital PFC (Fp1 and/or Fp2) Shoulder Attention improvement Gladwin, et al., (2012)
Temporal (T4) Temporla(T3) Insight improvement / “Savant Learning” Chi & Snider (2011)
Temporal (T4 & T6) Parietal (P4) Shoulder Improved socialization Sébastien Hétu (20101
Parietal (P4) Parietal (P3) Improved math understating / increased verbal impariment Kadosh (2010)
Occipital (O1, Oz, and or O2) base of neck or CZ Improves visual motor reaction times Anatal & Paulus (2008)
Base of neck Occipital (O1 & O2) Reduced migraine pain Antal (2011)
Temporal (T3) Shoulder Improved audio processing Ladeira, et. al., (2011)
C3 and or C4 Orbital (Fp1 or Fp2) Improved fine motor control /reduced pain oppisite side of anode Lindenberg et al., (2010), Fregni, (2006) Vineset, et. al, (2006)
Supra Orbital (FP1 or Fp2 depending on pain side) Neck (opposite side) Pain reduction /possible increase in impulsiveness Mendonca (2011) Beeli (2008)
Right Temple (F10) Left shoulder Accelerated Learning Kruse (2008) DARPAD
DLPC (F3 &F4) Mastiod (P10 & P9) Theta-tDCS2 Improved sleep Marshal (2011)2

Please share more if you have them. I’ll add to the list.

1 Source article was indirectly talking about using tDCS to map social interactions.

2 The author used theta-tDCS which seems to induce theta waves unlike traditional tDCS.

via Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources. : tDCS.

tDCS clinical research – highlights: Cognitive Enhancement | Neurolectrics

Neurolectrics (Starstim device) published a white paper (pdf) in October 2013 that nicely collects pretty much all we know to date about tDCS and cognitive enhancement. I was reminded of this while visiting their montages page on their new wiki. Quoted is from the Chi / Snyder 9 Dot study (pdf).

Brain stimulation enables the solution of an inherently difficult problem – Certain problems are inherently difficult for the normal human mind. Yet paradoxically they can be effortless for those with an unusual mind. We discovered that an atypical protocol for non-invasive brain stimulation enabled the solution of a problem that was previously unsolvable.The majority of studies over the last century find that no participants can solve the nine-dot problem – a fact we confirmed. But with 10 min of right lateralising tDCS, more than 40% of participants did so. Specifically, whereas no participant solved this extremely difficult problem before stimulation or with sham stimulation, 14 out of 33 participants did so with cathodal stimulation of the left anterior temporal lobe together with anodal stimulation of the right anterior temporal lobe. This finding suggests that our stimulation paradigm might be helpful for mitigating cognitive biases or dealing with a broader class of tasks that, although deceptively simple, are nonetheless extremely difficult due to our cognitive makeup

via NEWP302305-WhitePaperClinicalEvaluationCogEnh – NEWP302305-WhitePaperClinicalEvaluationCogEnh.pdf.

Dave Siever – Mind Alive Revisited

We met Dave earlier on the blog. His company, Mind Alive Inc. operates out of Edmonton, Canada and sells a wide variety of ‘mind machines‘, including the Oasis Pro, which can be used for tDCS. Medical devices are controlled differently in Canada, the EU, and the U.S. About tDCS devices…

In Canada, it is not considered a medical device when used in a cognitiveneuroscience application.

I need to do a deep dive with an expert at some point, but for now, let’s operate under the assumption that it’s much easier to get a tDCS device in Canada or Europe. According to the Mind Alive ordering page, there does not seem to be anything special or awkward about ordering one of their devices. (I have no affiliation with Mind Alive).

Here Dave gives an overview of tDCS, how it’s theorized to work, and includes a set of tDCS montages for various purposes. Excellent!