Thursday 11 September 2014
10.30 – 12.00
Lecture Theatre S02, Poynting Physics Building, University of Birmingham
Join us for a cutting edge view of research into brain stimulation and cognitive enhancement. This event will highlight the possibilities and pitfalls in this newly emerging field: Can brain stimulation change our mind? ? Are there physical and psychological risks? Come and find out!
Join us for a cutting-edge view of research into brain stimulation and cognitive enhancement. Discover the possibilities and pitfalls in this newly emerging field: Can it change our mind? How does stimulation interact with behaviour? Can we improve the damaged brain? Are there physical and psychological risks? Join Roi Cohen Kadosh, Gregor Thut, Jacinta O’Shea and Gemma Learmonth to find out.
And the link to the full paper. The Mental Cost of Cognitive Enhancement (HatTip ComradeSergey)
Those who had the parietal area involved in numerical cognition stimulated learned the new number system more quickly than those who got sham stimulation, the researchers report today in the Journal of Neuroscience. But at the end of the weeklong study their reaction times were slower when they had to put their newfound knowledge to use to solve a new task that they hadn’t seen during the training sessions. ”They had trouble accessing what they’d learned,” Cohen Kadosh said.
The volunteers who had the prefrontal area involved in learning and memory stimulated showed the opposite pattern. They were slower than the control group to learn the new numerical system, but they performed faster on the new test at the end of the experiment. The bottom line, says Cohen Kadosh, is that stimulating either brain region had both benefits and drawbacks. ”Just like with drugs, there seem to be side effects,” he said.
This comes to us via the Neuroelectrics.com blog. I’m very excited to see Neuroelectrics on the scene. I first noticed their device Starstim (pictured), popping up in news around Roi Cohen Kadish’s ongoing tDCS trials at his Oxford lab (see). I believe Neuroelectrics is a Spanish company. What’s especially exciting to me is that they also make an EEG device called Enobio and are working on the ability to map brain activity with EEG while undergoing tDCS. Think about that! Live, in-the-moment feedback on exactly what effect your tDCS is having.
More than 100 studies have been performed using tDCS in healthy controls and in patient populations, and no serious side effects have occurred for a review, see Nitsche and others 2008. Slight itching under the electrode, headache, fatigue, and nausea have been described in a minority of cases in a series of more than 550 subjects Poreisz and others 2007. Detailed studies have been performed to assess the safety of tDCS. These have shown that there was no evidence of neuronal damage as assessed by serum neuron-specific enolase after application of a 1 mA anodal current for 13 minutes Nitsche and Paulus 2001; Nitsche, Nitsche, and others 2003 or MRI measures of edema using contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted MRI measures after application of a 1 mA current for 13 minutes anodal or 9 minutes cathodal; Nitsche, Niehaus, and others 2004 […] In addition, a recent study was performed in rats using an epicranial electrode montage designed to be similar to that used in tDCS Liebetanz and others 2009. This demonstrated that brain lesions occurred only at current densities greater than 1429 mA/cm2 applied for durations longer than 10 minutes. In standard tDCS protocols in humans, a current density of approximately 0.05 mA/cm2 is produced.
More about the Neuroelectrics Enobio EEG device.
via Is tDCS Safe?.