Update 2/2/17. Focus just announced functional Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy (fNIRS) capabilities for their EEG Dev kit!
This was announced a few days ago and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of it… a battery-looking EEG thing. Certainly I’m not a ‘Dev’ and so I left it to those who are to parse the details, still… Ah, yes, further details arrived today via email I’m happy to share with you (below). I do get the feeling this will make EEG devs excited.
Update 1/19/17 The focus site now has a photo of their new dry EEG electrode.
Thanks for all your feedback and questions about the focus EEG. A common question has been what exactly is included (see below) and is it everything required (yes).
Included in EEG Dev Kit
- foc.us EEG 24-bit 8-channel EEG with tES & Wi-Fi
- 8 active dry electrodes for EEG, plus bias & reference electrodes
- 2 active bio-potential electrodes for ECG, EOG, EMG or EKG
- 2 wet tES electrodes for tDCS, tACS, tPCS or tRNS
- 10-20 placement cap
- Mains power adapter for recharging
- Raw data access
Next week we will provide more details on the software and SDK for EEG processing.
P.S. The first 100 66 are available at only $999 $499 – half price!
What I’m excited about is the Focus EEG headset, but a recent tweet exchange indicates we’re a good year away from release.
Excellent article on the state of prescribed tDCS for depression.
Full article: Treating Depression With tDCS: Startup Ybrain Aims for the Mainstream
In South Korea, Ybrain is betting that these benefits and its slick consumer-friendly design will speed adoption of its device. “It’s designed for home use,” says Ybrain CEO Lee, “so physician can electronically prescribe the device and patients can bring it to their homes.”
Do not use the “Oreo Cookie” approach where you soak your sponge in your saline solution and squeeze it to remove the extra. Because it over saturates, it’s dripping, it’s very “subjective” and hard to reproduce. Get a syringe and put 8mL of saline solution on your sponge and make sure to also get the corners. Do that prior to insert the electrode in between the 2 layers. If it’s dripping wet, that’s bad (you’re doing it wrong!). You should not have to use a tower on the patient’s neck.
Excellent article traces the rise in tDCS interest. Includes many of the key players and links to important research papers. Do DIY Brain-Booster Devices Work?
— Esther Wei-Yun Landhuis (@elandhuis) January 10, 2017
That’s next weekend! Should be an exciting event. Check out the Abstracts submitted by presenters! Things like…
E-meditation: A novel paradigm using tDCS to enhance mindfulness meditation
tDCS metaplasticity and astrocytic calcium in mice
Individual Differences in tDCS Augmented Working Memory Training
Distracted driving and high-definition tDCS
Emotion perception improvement following high frequency transcranial random noise of the inferior frontal cortex
Adaptive tDCS controller for increasing dose to 4 mA
Dry electrodes for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Seeking a Superman’s brain: HD-tDCS of brain networks in exercise performance
Investigating Possible Mechanisms of Action of Transcranial Electric Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease
Analysing these high-standard studies revealed that tDCS seems to reliably improve the symptoms of depression, addiction and craving, and fibromyalgia. It also uncovered that the technique does not work for tinnitus, and that the evidence for using tDCS for stroke rehabilitation was not as strong as many had thought.
Full article: Zapping the brain really does seem to improve depression
Hi John, our research centre (CIBF via The Brain Dialogue) is doing a project involving home users of brain stimulation, the details of which can be found here http://www.cibf.edu.au/unintended-consequences-research-project … We’re currently conducting a survey on how these home users find and use scientific literature. If it’s appropriate for your website, we would love if you could post about the survey as we want a broad range of home users to participate and DIYtDCS keeps cropping up in the conversations we have about home use. The survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unintendedconsequences Please let me know if you have any questions or want more info about the project; you can also reach me via Twitter @
A little more about The Brain Dialogue.
Update 2/17/17 BBC The strange Victorian fashion of self-electrification
If you’ve been following along very closely you may recall that podcast episode #6 guest Anna Wexler mentioned in passing that she had been researching Ye Olde practice of therapeutically applying current to various parts of the body. Well, an early version of a new paper of hers landed the other day: Recurrent themes in the history of the home use of electrical stimulation: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and the medical battery (1870–1920). It’s behind a paywall but here are some highlights.
- Although the home use of tDCS is often referred to as a novel phenomenon, in reality the late nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a proliferation of electrical stimulation devices for home use.
- In particular, the use of a portable electrotherapy device known as the “medical battery” bears a number of striking similarities to the modern-day use of tDCS.
- Many features related to the home use tDCS—a do-it-yourself movement, anti-medical establishment themes, conflicts between lay and professional usage—are a repetition of themes that occurred a century ago with regard to the medical battery.
- A number of features seem to be unique to the present, such as the dominant discourse about risk and safety, the division between cranial and non-cranial stimulation, and utilization for cognitive enhancement purposes.
- Viewed in historical context, the contemporary use of electrical stimulation at home is not unusual, but rather the latest wave in a series of ongoing attempts by lay individuals to utilize electricity for therapeutic purposes.
Also: the full patent file for that image is here: https://t.co/vvqp8sQfuC … other interesting images there too
— Anna Wexler (@anna_wexler) December 3, 2016
I contacted a few people using tDCS to cure their depression via social media. Mario, 32 from Mexico, told me it was working for him.
“I think it is great. You can see a lot of improvements in your mood. The more you use it the better you feel.”
Another user, eagee, wrote, “I suffered from depression for almost 25 years, and after I started applying tDCS I’ve had two years so far without it.”
If tDCS really can be so life changing for depression patients, why isn’t it more widely available?
According to Dr. Williams, “the equipment is so simple that it cannot be patented in the US. And if no one can own the rights to tDCS, no one can make a profit on it.”
That’s why, according to its supporters, tCDS is being ignored by major drug companies.
An email from Michelle Pearson at the NIH (because I had signed up for the online version of the workshop) alerted me today to a trove of TES (Transcranial Electric Stimulation) info being made available to us. Presenter slides (in PDF form) from the workshop were available for download. Because the download process was pretty wonky, involving many clicks and declined logins to Dropbox I thought to make them available here as well.
1-lisanby-introductory-remarks Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, M.D., NIH
2-rumsey-introduction Judy Rumsey, Ph.D.
3-wassermann-historical-overview Eric Wassermann, M.D., NINDS
4-parra-tdcs-mechanisms Lucas Parra, co-founder of Soterix Medial Inc. @lcparra1
5-frohlich-tacs-mechanisms @FlavioFrohlich, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
6-clark-combining-imaging-and-stimulation Vincent P. Clark, PhD Mind Research Network
7-woods-tes-technical-aspects Adam J. Woods, PhD @adamjwoods
8-richardson-blinding Jessica D. Richardson, Ph.D.
9-kappenman-reproducibility Emily S. Kappenman
10-bikson-computational-modeling-design Marom Bikson, CCNY @MaromBikson
11-deng-anatomical-variability-efields Zhi-De Deng, Ph.D., NIH
12-dmochowski-targeted-stimulation-sources Jacek P. Dmochowski, CCNY
13-loo-depression-trials Colleen Loo, Black Dog Institute
14-brunoni-neuropsychiatry-large-trials André R. Brunoni, @abrunoni
15-cohen-motor-learning Leonardo G. Cohen, M.D. NINDS
16-edwards-augmentation-neurorehabilitation Dylan J. Edwards PhD
17-lim-ongoing-trials Kelvin O. Lim, M.D.
19-charvet_remote-tdcs Leigh Charvet PhD, NYU
Can a little electrical stimulation help people learn quicker? And how would technology that does this be used? And why would you want to use this over medicines?
Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh describes a phenomena that they’ve noticed where giving people a little electrical stimulation to the scalp appears to help people learn things quicker; and rather than using this to make super-geniuses, could this be used to help people with learning difficulties? Roi discusses how it might work, and discussed the moral and ethical implications of such a technology. From Oxford Sparks.
Update 7/25/16 Caputron just announced their Banana Adapter for Focus Devices which facilitates use of Focus with Amrex or Caputron electrodes.
Caputron will be handling all Customer Support on GoFlow devices purchased through their site. At this time they have over 100 units in stock. If you’re not familiar with Caputron please check out my interview with founder Robin Azzam. Caputron has extended their discount to DIYtDCS readers for all products on their site, including the GoFlow. Use voucher code ‘diytdcs’ (without the quotation marks) for a generous discount.
Stumbled upon this device today, the Omni Stimulator, which seems to be mostly sold in Australia. That lead to this video where Brendan Morgan makes the case for the use of tDCS in the treatment of his depression. Again, I am not advocating the use of tDCS for the self-treatment of your depression. I’m simply collecting evidence, clinical and anecdotal, and making it available. That said, I know that if I myself were experiencing depression, I would be experimenting with tDCS. Especially in light of the fact that the efficacy of treatment of depression with SRRIs remains controversial, tDCS would definitely seem to be worth a try. [Highly recommended, Science VS podcast episode #11 Antidepressants.]