One report on Thync from CES in Las Vegas. Will update if I find more.
The device pairs via Bluetooth to a mobile app with the calming and energizing sessions, which can be anywhere from five to 20 minutes long. Once the device is in place, you select your session from the app and hang out until it’s over. Sitting still isn’t mandatory, and I was prompted to talk with other people in the room during my session. The mobile app shows a dial that indicates how far into the program you are and the intensity levels of the electrical pulses that are going to your brain. You can make them stronger or less intense as needed. I kept mine at about 65 percent. When my session ended, my ear immediately stopped tingling. I removed the sensors, and the small crowd of Thync staff and partners were eager to know, “How do you feel?”
“Pretty much the same,” I said. “I don’t know how I am supposed to feel, though.” One woman, based on her own experiences, suggested more clarity, like a fog lifting. Another person used the word “motivated.” I didn’t want to disappoint them, but I felt, well, totally normal.Perhaps, it was suggested, I might get a little kick a few minutes after leaving the room, but it didn’t seem to happen.Thync has tested the device on around 4,000 subjects so far. Tyler said they see about a 30 to 40 percent reduction in the physiological responses to stressful situations, meaning when people are being calmed by the Thync Calm Kit, their actual biosignals, like heart rate and galvanic skin response, are lower or fewer than that of a control group that’s also being artificially stressed and treated with a placebo device.
via Thync Calm Kit Zaps Your Brain Into Feeling Calm or Energetic | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.
Another research and product development group to keep an eye on. Dr. Adam Gazzaley director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF has pioneered the development of software video games designed to improve aging brain health. In presentations he’s introduced tDCS as a possible neuromodulator for cognitive enhancement. From the story quoted below I would conclude that he has partnered with Akili for the purpose of creating a product which may (or may not) include tDCS.
The next version of the game, which Gazzaley is developing with Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs, where he is chief science adviser, will feature closed loops that adapt during every second of play. Gazzaley’s lab is also working on new games that employ transcranial electrical stimulation, a very mild shock targeted to particular parts of the brain to enhance learning. When playing one of these new games, the player receives low-frequency bursts of energy in certain parts of the frontal lobe. “We are studying if you learn faster if you play a game while we stimulate you at the right frequency,” Gazzaley explains.
via Blood Work: Scientists Uncover Surprising New Tools to Rejuvenate the Brain | ucsf.edu.
See also: tDCS discussed at 13:56
From a list of abstracts posted by the NYC Neuromodulation Conference. As I understand it, researchers were encouraged to submit abstracts which would then be considered for ‘fast-track oral presentation’ I quote an excerpt from a paper by Anna Wexler () entitled: Understanding the Practices of the Do-it-Yourself Brain Stimulation Community: Implications for Regulatory Proposals and Ethical Discussions. Check out the link below to read the entire list.
I argue that to better contend with the growing ethical and safety concerns surrounding DIY tDCS, we need to understand the practices of the community. This study presents the results of a preliminary inquiry into the DIY tDCS community, with a focus on when and how DIYers draw upon scientific literature and established scientific standards. Analyses are based on open-ended, in-depth interviews with DIYers (as some members call themselves), extensive observations of the main online forum where members communicate, and analyses of videos, websites, and blogs related to DIY tDCS. I show that when making or acquiring a device, DIYers produce, document, and share their own body of knowledge. In contrast, when applying tDCS, DIYers draw heavily on scientific knowledge; where scientific literature is lacking, DIYers experiment and extrapolate. When testing the efficacy of tDCS, DIYers using tDCS for therapy largely rely on subjective feelings, whereas those interested in cognitive enhancement often attempt to mimic the quantification used in scientific studies. I conclude by discussing why it is crucial for neuroscientists to understand how their unintended “second audience” utilizes their research.
via Neuromodulation Conference 2015 Abstracts.