Open BCI Stretch Goal to Add tDCS!

Update 3/1/17 Not sure when it happened, but a reader alerted me to the fact the tDCS Shield addon was abandoned.

After many conversations with experts in the field of neuroscience and brain-computer interfacing, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue development of the tDCS Shield.

Very interesting! A successful ‘maker’ lab with previous EEG device success (32 channel, research-level EEG device) embarks on a lower cost, 4 channel EEG-device-for-the-masses Kickstarter campaign. It’s hugely successful, and fully funded ($80k) with 30 days left to go. So they launch a ‘stretch goal’ for an additional $80k of funding to add the option to pre-order (for $50) a tDCS module.

What does this mean for you and I? Well, it at least certainly points to the possibility that within the next few years we could be sitting in front of a computer screen, monitoring our EEG output (brainwaves, more or less) while we try out a tDCS (tACS, tRNS, tPCS etc.) montage. As in, “Oh Interesting! 1.5 mA stimulation to DLPFC (your forehead) tunes my Theta into that zone that makes me feel like writing a song!” (Kidding but you get the idea).

This gets me really excited when I think about the possibility of thousands of us doing it and contributing the collective data in a useful way to scientific research.

This is what first caught my eye! 3d printed HD-tDCS electrodes?

And here’s the Kickstarter Campaign. Check out the video. Fascinating!

OpenBCI: Biosensing for Everybody

Announcing tDCS Shield Stretch Goal

At OpenBCI, we are cautiously optimistic about the beneficial potential of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS). As always, safety is our number one priority. We hope to educate the public about proper tDCS techniques, and to offer a new, open-source platform for studying the effects of tDCS on electrical brain activity. If we hit the $160,000 stretch goal, we will provide the option to pre-order a tDCS Shield that is compatible with both the Ganglion and our 32bit board. In addition, we will design custom Ultracortex node mounts for tDCS-specific electrodes. Anybody with the complete Ganglion+Ultracortex+tDCS system will be able to perform simultaneous neurostimulation and neurorecording, trying out different electrode configurations and creating custom “closed-loop” brain-computer interface systems.

tDCS is a type of neurostimulation in which a low-amperage direct current is passed through the scalp from a positively charged electrode (anode) to a negatively charged electrode (cathode). Some research has claimed that tDCS can increase cognitive performance and assist in the treatment of cognitive disorders such as depression and ADHD. Other studies have reported that there is no statistically conclusive evidence that tDCS has any net cognitive effect. Despite the effects of tDCS being critically debated, it is widely accepted that tDCS—when adhering to safety protocols and done in a controlled manner—is a safe method of brain stimulation.

Spread the word, and help us double our goal!

Joel testing a breadboarded prototype of the tDCS Shield: “Ooooo! It’s tingly…”
Joel testing a breadboarded prototype of the tDCS Shield: “Ooooo! It’s tingly…”

GoFlow Kickstarter Campaign DENIED!

I’m on the GoFlow mailing list and received this update this morning.

Hello all you beautiful peoples, 

We’ve been silent for a few weeks now, and it’s time to bring you all up to speed on the GoFlow project again. (The diy tDCS kit if you’ve forgotten) We have officially been rejected from Kickstarter, and are delaying the production of our devices for a short while.

However we do have some progress to share with you all, and enough info to get anyone who is interested a decent way along in building your own. See below.

While it’s too bad that we are not able to rock a Kickstarter campaign, we move forward. During the process of getting the project ready for crowd funding we ran into a few legality concerns that probably would have stopped us from launching as quickly as we had planned, even if we were approved for Kickstarter.

We are taking the time to investigate these concerns now before we do something to prematurely sink our metaphorical ship. If any of you have any experience or thoughts that you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you.

Out main obstacles right now are:

  • FDA classification concerns
  • and subsequently approval

We’d love to hear from any of you that have experience with working with, and or around, the FDA. We’re talking to a few specialists and mentors now, but we are interested in leveraging the collective knowledge of you all as well.

We will keep you all updated to our progress as we move forward.

 

The prototype

This is what we have built so far. Full details available at www.flowstateengeged.com

Current circuit diagram

Our current circuit design. Feel free to download it!

Foc.us! And Update

Petr dropped me a line with an update on what brmlab has been up to lately. Wow! Check out the photo album. Very interesting collection of crew and gadgets. Here he is with an early version of his tDCS device.

He also pointed me to the focus. I don’t know how I’d missed it. Unfortunately (for me)…

Due to F.D.A. requirements the focus v1 is not currently available for sale in the United States. If you live in the U.S. and would like to buy a focus device, please pre-register. If there is sufficient demand from U.S. customers we will seek the necessary certification.

I think we can expect a lot of that. But how cool! You can sign up for ‘priority access’ on their site.

One of the things Petr and I discussed is objective testing for use in determining whether or not a tDCS device is actually doing anything. Petr came up with some great links. Both PEBL Psychological Test Battery and Brain Workshop – a Dual N-Back game, seem to be tests you download to your own computer. But I’ve just spent the last 20 minutes doing tests on a site called Quantified Mind. Except for the  Google (only) login, it’s about perfect. A nice collection of tests and the results are collected very nicely into a statistics page that associates with your account. Cool! [Update 5/25/12] Another interesting candidate for measuring effectiveness. Lumosity research partners include Stanford and Harvard. A very basic reaction time test, HumanBenchMark.com.

Petr also mentioned that he corresponded with the GoFlow people and they are going to set up a wiki. In their recent email they announced they were a little bit behind and were waiting to hear back from Kickstarter. But that whether or not they get Kickstarter approval they’ll be moving forward soon.

All for now.
JH