At the Air Force research lab in Ohio Dr. Andy McKinley explores the use of tDCS to enhance vigilance and reduce learning time.
Every military application of tDCS I’ve seen so far specifically mentions drones and drone pilot training. This logo has a drone in it! For the record, I think the use of drones is illegal and immoral, and that the deaths of innocents is un-American and unacceptable. That said, the tDCS research coming out of this sector is fascinating and will no doubt have an impact beyond military training.
[Update 7/30/14 I’ve replaced the old (broken) link with an active one that comes via Ryan (see comment below)] http://colonyofcommodus.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/2012-afosr-review-mckinley.pdf it was a public document. It appears to be a set of slides used in a presentation. It documents the most aggressive use of tDCS for the purpose of learning and cognitive enhancement I’ve seen. You will conclude, after reading this, that the Air Force is not fooling around.
Here is one of the more shocking aspects of the research: The notion that cathodal stimulation can have a positive effect by depressing ‘competing memory’. What? The plot thickens.
There is weeks of research ahead for anyone diving deeply into this paper. A lot of new questions to answer.