Joel and John Thread July 17, 2012

Joel Portzer on July 17, 2012 at 10:20 am said:

Hi John,
This maybe isnt the normal theoretical question that you usually get, but you seem to know a LOT about this so i am hoping you can help and i dont know where else to turn.

I have a tDCS device and am not completely sure what montage to use for my purposes. I am learning to trade and specifically need tDCS to boost my pattern recognition skills. It seems this would be the primary, secondary, and associative visual cortex. So, these areas on the 10/20 are O1, OZ and O2 [given pages 26-30 here and ] …. So should i place one electrode right above these areas and then one on my shoulder so that i know it covers these areas (i think i read that on fisher wallace website maybe?)

I really appreciate ANY help you can give. finding info for my purposes has been difficult and even if you can point me in the right direction it would be a great help.


John on July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm said:

Hi Joel,
Fact is I don’t know that much about tDCS yet. I don’t own a device and I’m not a scientist, just very curious and in the information gathering stage. Probably the closest thing to an active tDCS board is this SubReddit I’ll follow-up when I’ve read the manuals you linked to. Off hand though, I wonder how you’d know if tDCS was helping with your pattern recognition. Is there something you already have a lot of experience with that, were tDCS working for you, you’d be able to recognize the difference? I’m going to forward you comment to Petr at brmlab as well. He has more hands on experience.

Joel Portzer on July 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm said:

Great! Thanks for forwarding my question on and the forum idea. Thats a very good question about knowing if its working- especially because i dont think there is a study that dealt with pattern recognition. Aside from paying upwards of 50 grand to fund a study i dont know what else to do to be absolutely sure, although i am fairly confident given all the other studies positive results. I will be doing the studying anyway, so i figure its a minor cost in time and money and a “probable?” huge benefit.

Thanks again!

John on July 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm said:

Hey Joel,
The top spot on the tDCS SubReddit right now is a guy who is doing self-experiments with the Cambridge Brain Science Challenge. They have tests that seem about perfect for our experiments in that many of them are generated by an algorithm, so they’re always different. I’m going to get a blog post up later this evening.

Joel Portzer on July 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm said:

Yeah i saw that- thanks! Im sure you saw i made my own post. Hopefully someone has some more knowedge on this than i do. Did you get a hold of the guy, Petr, you were talking about? He has some experience with this stuff?

John on July 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm said:

I sent him your comment so he may reply to you directly. Or you could email him directly. His is the first comment on this page with the address at
I may fold our conversation into a single comment. Good luck with your experiments and keep us posted.

Thanks John,

BTW, are you interested in getting a tDCS device?

I could get in touch with a guy who will make you one (thats safe) and inexpensive but I will have to introduce you (he’s touchy about who he sells to due to regulations etc.).

I think i got mine for $70 without the pads.

John on July 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm said:

I am definitely interested in a device. Right now I’m holding out for a GoFlow, or something like it. The reason being, I think it will be easier to build a solid body of data if most of us are using the same device. I’ll give GoFlow another month or so and if nothing emerges it’s good to know about your friend. Thanks

Joel Portzer on July 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm said:

yeah i was thinking the same thing but i finally gave in a month ago when they were denied by kickstarter. I dont think go flow is going to do it for legal reasons- they are in over their heads.

Do you think the results will be different though? The only variables i see 1) current flow – my ammeter shows the current flow on my device and its pretty steady 2) the type of electrodes people use which can vary greatly because goflow showed sticky TENS pads which dont work on a hairy scalp, and then if people buy sponge electrode pads there the big variable of 3) How wet they keep them with a saline solution and what type of saline solution they use.

Im kinda thinking out loud but in my mind it seems go flow is not going to provide a consistent tDCS experience.

Id like to hear your thoughts.

John on July 25, 2012 at 12:53 am said: Edit

We’re thinking along the same lines. And I agree, as I’m learning more about it, the electrodes are turning out to be more complicated than I thought at first. If not GoFlow, maybe a kit of some kind, or even a list of specific Radio Shack parts. I don’t think the results will be that different, but it would be great if we were all on the same page, exactly. Same device, same electrodes, same montage (I guess that’s what it’s called – where the electrodes are placed), and same tests. It would be amazing if we could get some oversight from a lab that wanted the data. Hey you’re welcome to contribute to this blog if you feel like sharing some of your experiences some time.
Best, JH

7 thoughts on “Joel and John Thread July 17, 2012

  1. JohnH How do I sign up to become a member?

    I would like to find out more about Flanagan’s Neurophone with your members. How does it compare to other devices? What is so unique about it that I haven’t seen any replicas of the technology elsewhere? The $800 price makes it prohibitively expensive for me at this time. Perhaps there are cheaper units that you know of creating the same effects?

  2. I very interested in this subject and would like to be part of your study group if there still will be one. I would like to make one of my own but haven’t found any well defined instructions yet (maybe I need to look harder). Joel If you still know the man that may have a kit I would appreciate the help, I am interested in getting a tDCS device. I for one am looking forward to and GoFlow if they can get it done.

    • I would recommend you do a thorough look through on the tDCS SubReddit. Lots of links to kits and DIY. As yet there is no DIY study group that I’m aware of. There may be a clinical trial going on in your area. Check here.

  3. One of the things I have noticed (may not be relevant to this thread so please delete it if you wish) is that the basic TDCS devices don’t have any frequency modulation controls. I am not an engineer/electrician so I am not sure what it would take to add a frequency control to it, but wouldn’t it theoretically be better to match the voltage to brain frequencies. I.E. the alpha brain waves are between 8-10 hz, what if you could adjust your tdcs to have pulse modulations of the same frequency, would it help?

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