Making people smarter through brain stimulation | UNM

Following up on Vincent Clark at UNM, working on the IARPA-funded SHARP project.

The current researchers use has a few effects including increasing chemicals in the brain that help humans encode memories. As those chemicals increase, people find it easier to learn new things. Another effect involves the applied current, which seems to alter attention so that people can attend to what they’re doing better; they can pay more attention to the task at hand.

When the researchers gave people tDCS, their score went up faster. An examination of the difference before and after shows a score that goes up about 14 percent without tDCS. With full tDCS, the score goes up about 27 percent. If they wait an hour and test again, and compare no tDCS with full tDCS, it goes up even more.

Source: Making people smarter through brain stimulation

Can current stimulate smarts? | news @ Northeastern

But that skep­ti­cism has only inspired Pavel and his col­leagues, including asso­ciate pro­fessor of 
elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering Deniz Erdogmus, to work even harder on a project aimed
 at exploring their inno­v­a­tive research. They recently received a con­tract to study the
 phe­nom­enon from the Strength­ening Human Adap­tive Rea­soning and Problem-​​solving Pro­gram, known as SHARP. The pro­gram is spon­sored by the Intel­li­gence Advanced Research Projects
 Activity, a gov­ern­ment agency that invests in high-​​risk, high-​​payoff research.

Researchers at Oxford Uni­ver­sity, who are part of the same SHARP team as Erdogmus and 
Pavel, pre­vi­ously demon­strated that applying tran­scra­nial cur­rent stim­u­la­tion helps chil­dren 
per­form better on math­e­matics prob­lems. “The ques­tion is how well does this method work for 
improving fluid intel­li­gence,” said Pavel, who holds joint appoint­ments in the Col­lege of 
Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence and the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ence.

via Can current stimulate smarts? | news @ Northeastern.