On completion of training, participants in the active stimulation group had more than double the perceptual sensitivity of the control group. Furthermore, the performance enhancement was maintained for 24 hours. The results show that tDCS augments both skill acquisition and retention in a complex detection task and that the benefits are rooted in an improvement in sensitivity d′, rather than changes in response bias ß. Stimulation-driven acceleration of learning and its retention over 24 hours may result from increased activation of prefrontal cortical regions that provide top-down attentional control signals to object recognition areas.
Photograph by Matt Sornson
It should be noted that Sornson studies marketing, not neuroscience, and the rest of his crew specialize in software and website design. “This machine will be designed for people interested in experimental use,” Sornson says.
The GoFlow β1 has yet to go on sale, but there are some specs available. It will cost $99 and come with a 60-pack of disposable electrodes, a placement map, and a 5-milliamps safety fuse, which is nice. Sornson has started to contact professors at Michigan State and Western Michigan University about conducting tests with the contraption—and hopefully adding some scientific rigor to the device.
via Buy a DIY Brain Supercharger for $100 – Businessweek.
GoFlow has a video now.
This would be huge.
Detailed Clinical Trial Description
Subjective tinnitus is a distressing condition characterized by the sensation of sound or noise in the absence of internal or external stimuli. Research indicates that tinnitus may develop due to maladaptive plastic changes in the auditory cortex and limbic system. These changes can be targeted using safe and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques like transcranial direct current stimulation tDCS. TDCS alters the excitability of the cortex using a weak direct current and may lead to long-term plastic changes, making it a potential therapeutic tool for the treatment of tinnitus.
Transient improvements in tinnitus have been reported after inhibitory stimulation of the auditory cortex and after excitatory stimulation of the prefrontal cortex, however the effects of a combined stimulation paradigm remain unknown. We hypothesize that a cumulative effect will be observed following repeated sessions of tDCS by modulating both the excitability of the auditory cortex and prefrontal cortex.
via Tinnitus Clinical Trial: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation tDCS for the Treatment of Tinnitus [Conditions: Tinnitus; Interventions: BrainSTIM Transcranial Stimulator, BrainSTIM Transcranial Stimulator].
Full text pdf available at the PNAS.org site (link below).
Transcranial direct-current stimulation tDCS is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that has been successfully applied for modulation of cortical excitability. tDCS is capable of inducing changes in neuronal membrane potentials in a polarity-dependent manner. When tDCS is of sufficient length, synaptically driven after-effects are induced. The mechanisms underlying these after-effects are largely unknown, and there is a compelling need for animal models to test the immediate effects and after-effects induced by tDCS in different cortical areas and evaluate the implications in complex cerebral processes. Here we show in behaving rabbits that tDCS applied over the somatosensory cortex modulates cortical processes consequent to localized stimulation of the whisker pad or of the corresponding area of the ventroposterior medial VPM thalamic nucleus. With longer stimulation periods, poststimulation effects were observed in the somatosensory cortex only after cathodal tDCS. Consistent with the polarity-specific effects, the acquisition of classical eyeblink conditioning was potentiated or depressed by the simultaneous application of anodal or cathodal tDCS, respectively, when stimulation of the whisker pad was used as conditioned stimulus, suggesting that tDCS modulates the sensory perception process necessary for associative learning.
Not from me, but yes you can add one to your cart!
tDCS Transcranial Stimulation Kit$380.00
The stimulator is specifically designed for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and ensures a safe and comfortable treatment.
-tDCS stimulator 0.5 – 2.0 mA
-1x 5x5cm sponge electrode with conductive rubber inset
-1x 5x7cm sponge electrode with conductive rubber inset
-1x 7x10cm sponge electrode with conductive rubber inset
-Fastening straps for easy electrode positioning
tDCS peer-reviewed publications index (MedLine)
Interesting, a press release via MarketWatch.
MRN researchers also developed novel electrode technology that increases the safety and comfort of subjects. They recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) during brain stimulation with TDCS to document the enhanced responses to stimuli. Brain response to activation of a sensory nerve in the arm was significantly larger with TDCS compared to a mock TDCS control condition. The sensory-evoked brain wave remained 2.5 times greater than normal 30 minutes after TDCS. Results suggest that TDCS increases cerebral cortex excitability, thereby increasing responses to sensory input and accelerating memory formation.
Article goes on to discuss two other studies and their findings.
Crinion’s current work focuses on understanding how tDCS affects the areas of the brain involved in speech production. She paired an fMRI picture-naming study with a 6-week-long tDCS and word-finding treatment study to see if brain stimulation could improve stroke patients’ speech both immediately after treatment and three months later. In the picture-naming task, people were presented with pictures of simple, everyday words such as car and asked to name them as quickly and accurately as possible.
The results support other studies that tDCS can speed up word finding in both healthy older people and stroke patients, and are helping to identify which parts of the brain should be stimulated. “My work supports the idea that excitatory tDCS could be applied to the stroke hemisphere to optimize recovery,” Crinion says. At the same time, she cautions, one type of treatment may not fit all patients, and further work will clarify whether some patients may also benefit from treatments targeted at the brain hemisphere not affected by stroke.