Amping Up Brain Function: Transcranial Stimulation Shows Promise in Speeding Up Learning: Scientific American

Wow! Check the article for the photo showing US Army use/placement of electrodes.

They used magnetoencephalography MEG to record magnetic fields brain waves produced by sensory stimulation sound, touch and light, for example, while test subjects received TDCS. The researchers reported that TDCS gave a six-times baseline boost to the amplitude of a brain wave generated in response to stimulating a sensory nerve in the arm. The boost was not seen when mock TDCS was used, which produced a similar sensation on the scalp, but was ineffective in exciting brain tissue. The effect also persisted long after TDCS was stopped. The sensory-evoked brain wave remained 2.5 times greater than normal 50 minutes after TDCS. These results suggest that TDCS increases cerebral cortex excitability, thereby heightening arousal, increasing responses to sensory input, and accelerating information processing in cortical circuits.

Remarkably, MRI brain scans revealed clear structural changes in the brain as soon as five days after TDCS. Neurons in the cerebral cortex connect with one another to form circuits via massive bundles of nerve fibers axons buried deep below the brain’s surface in “white matter tracts.” The fiber bundles were found to be more robust and more highly organized after TDCS. No changes were seen on the opposite side of the brain that was not stimulated by the scalp electrodes.

via Amping Up Brain Function: Transcranial Stimulation Shows Promise in Speeding Up Learning: Scientific American.

1 thought on “Amping Up Brain Function: Transcranial Stimulation Shows Promise in Speeding Up Learning: Scientific American

  1. Wow! More robust fiber bundles! How is it measured? Is it like ‘prevailing’ in a military conflict? Is the lack of specificity a methodological problem, or a marketing/advertising one directed at the gullibility of the diffident and the credulous? What is ‘mock TCDS’, some form of placebo electricity? Clear structural changes in the brain can also be caused with a hammer blow. I used to expect more from Scientific American, until they started pushing hard on a neuroscience whose electrical foundations were at odds with the laws of the very physics that provided the technology it used to develop MRI imaging.

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