Well done! Anita Jwa’s study of the DIY tDCS community is published. I would think this very useful to policy makers. I was only surprised by a few of her findings. Links below to full paper.
This study is the first empirical attempt to investigate the DIY tDCS user community. A questionnaire survey of DIY users, interviews with some active power users, and a content analysis of web postings on tDCS showed distinctive demographic characteristics of the DIY users, ambiguities and mistaken assumptions around the current state and future prospects of the DIY use of tDCS, mixed use of tDCS for both treatment and cognitive enhancement, the existence of an active self-regulating system in the community, and users’ demands for official guidelines and their concerns about government regulations on tDCS.
Source: Early adopters of the magical thinking cap: a study on do-it-yourself (DIY) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) user community
Depending on where he puts the electrodes, Whitmore says, he has expanded his memory, improved his math skills and solved previously intractable problems. The 22-year-old, a researcher in a National Institute on Aging neuroscience lab in Baltimore, writes computer programs in his spare time. When he attaches an electrode to a spot on his forehead, his brain goes into a “flow state,” he says, where tricky coding solutions appear effortlessly. “It’s like the computer is programming itself.”
Whitmore no longer asks a friend to keep him company while he plugs in, but he is far from alone. The movement to use electricity to change the brain, while still relatively fringe, appears to be growing, as evidenced by a steady increase in active participants in an online brain-hacking message board that Whitmore moderates. This do-it-yourself community, some of whom make their own devices, includes people who want to get better test scores or crush the competition in video games as well as people struggling with depression and chronic pain, Whitmore says.
via At-home brain stimulation gaining followers | Science News.