[Update 3/18/19] Exciting news in the fight against Alzheimer’s! Dr. Tsai has a new lab. Tsai Laboratory
In the new study, researchers added acoustic stimulation that pulsed at the same frequency as the visual stimulation. And when mice — which were bred to develop Alzheimer’s-like symptoms — were exposed to both, researchers saw that the neurons in several of their brains’ key memory circuits chimed in and began humming along at exactly the same frequency. What came next was remarkable and unexpected, even to the authors of the study. In the wake of the sound and light sessions, an army of newly energized immune cells descended on several areas of the treated brains, including those most affected by dementia. Then they set to work with a vengeance on some neglected housecleaning.
LA Times https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-alzheimers-brain-waves-20190315-story.html
The paper, Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid load and modifies microglia makes clear that the light-flickering affected the visual cortex, which makes sense, as the light reaches the brain through the eyes. But wait, thinks I, what about tACS (transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation)… haven’t I seen numerous papers implying the ability to ‘entrain’ brain waves with tACS? What if you could increase 40hz Gamma in other parts of the brain? (Google Scholar Search: transcranial alternating, entrain, gamma) But then I discovered that Radiolab just covered this exact story and it’s totally amazing! Really a must listen. So fun to hear the researcher’s amazement at this accidental (sort of) discovery! So what’s with the photo of the Foc.us v2 device set up for a 40hz tACS session? Just that…
After six month of tDCS focused on my optic nerve and visual cortex combined with visual training, I have had marked improvements to my visual perception, especially in contrast perception and perceiving objects from afar. For example, if I am walking on the sidewalk, and another person is walking in the opposite direction towards me, I would not have been able to notice the other person until they were about 1 meter away. Now, I will notice people from 3 meters away. I can’t see them clearly enough to identify them, but at least I can move out of their way, if they’re in a hurry. Likewise, I can see oncoming traffic from 2–3 times farther away than before, which is very helpful when crossing busy streets. Another example is when I use my computer. I use a large Apple 30” display, and before starting tDCS, I would sit with the monitor about 3 inches from my eyes. As you can imagine, this was not at all comfortable, but I had to do this in order to see the screen clearly. After the first few days of using tDCS, I was able to push my monitor back and sit 6 inches away from it. Within two weeks, I was sitting about 12 inches away. Now, I sit 18 inches away. This is the first time in my life I’ve used a computer at this distance. Similarly, I’m able to use my iPhone at much greater distances than before 6 inches now, compared to 2 inches previously.
The Mental Cost of Cognitive Enhancement (pdf) Stimulation to the the posterior parietal cortex facilitated numerical learning, whereas automaticity for the learned material was impaired. In contrast, stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex impaired the learning process, whereas automaticity for the learned material was enhanced. Wired Version New Scientist Version Tags: Roi Cohen Kadosh,