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.
Dr. Giulio Ruffini, “Transcranial Current Stimulation: Going Multifocal”
“…I will describe a new class of devices using multi electrode montages and small, EEG-compatible electrodes, complemented by advanced biophysical models.”
Dr. Marom Bikson, “Targeting transcranial Electrical Stimulation using EEG: The scalp space approach”
“…Next, how to optimize tES based on either evoked or spontaneous EEG recording is discussed including a novel “scalp space” approach which requires no source localization and no computational modeling.”
I see also that the The Neuroelectrics Team will be demonstrating their “latest wireless EEG (Enobio) and tCS (StarStim) technology as well as our latest StarStim Research Home Kit.
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.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Procedures
TDCS was applied using an ActivaDose II Iontophoresis Delivery Unit, which provides for delivery of a constant low level of direct current. Square-shaped (11 cm2) saline-soaked (0.9% sodium saline solution) sponge electrodes were attached to the participant with self-adhesive bandage strips. The anode was placed near electrode site F10 in the 10-10 EEG system, over the right sphenoid bone. The cathode was placed on the contralateral (left) upper arm. The site of the anode was selected based on our previous fMRI results showing that this brain region was the primary locus of neural activity associated with performance this task .
Anodal 2 mA current was applied to the scalp electrode site F10 in the 10-10 EEG system. The resulting enhancement of performance in the threat detection task is consistent with our previous fMRI results  showing that the right inferior frontal cortex is a major locus of a distributed brain network that mediates performance on this task. The right parietal cortex is a part of this network and could also be a target for stimulation.
One possible explanation for the improvement in detection performance (hit rate) in the threat detection task is that tDCS increases general arousal, thereby leading to a change in response bias in the more liberal direction , which would increase the hit rate. However, computation of signal detection metrics showed that there were no significant effects of tDCS on the ß measure of response bias. Instead, the effect of brain stimulation was to enhance perceptual sensitivity, d′.
The improvement in perceptual sensitivity suggests that participants receiving tDCS were better able to encode stimulus features that distinguished targets and non-targets, which in turn led to accelerated learning and improved retention.