The NeuroCircuit lab at Stanford is using non-invasive brain stimulation towards understanding mental health issues.
A major hurdle that has prevented our understanding of cause and effect in the brain is the inability to directly manipulate brain activity and connections in a precise and flexible manner throughout the brain. We thus propose a series of radical innovations in the theoretical and practical basis for non- invasive neurostimulation. Using brain stimulation tools with unprecedented power and precision, we will achieve a mechanistic understanding of how human brain circuits generate behavior. This will enable us to design and test a broad range of new treatments for psychiatric disorders, matching our ability to observe circuitry with brain imaging.
via NeuroCircuit | Neurosciences Institute.
Thync recently announced $13 million in venture capital from investors such as Khosla Ventures to bring the first products to market.
Marom Bikson, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York, recently used a prototype of Thync’s device in a 100-person study funded by the company that focused on its calming effects. Bikson says the study showed “with a high degree of confidence” that the device has an effect, although the results varied. “For some people—not everyone—the effect is really profound,” he says. “Within minutes, they’re feeling significantly different in a way that is as powerful as anything else I could imagine short of a narcotic.”
The device uses a form of transcranial direct current stimulation TDCS, something that’s been tested in various forms for years but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a specific disease.
In Thync’s device, a barely perceptible electrical current is applied to the skin just behind the ear for the Red Bull effect, and on the temple and back of the neck for the relaxing effect.
via Tap Your Smartphone, Zap Your Head, and Relax | MIT Technology Review.