Changing the world is a real brain workout.
So what if you could “improve everything from working memory to long-term memory, math calculations, reading ability, solving difficult problems, piano playing, complex verbal thought, planning, visual memory, the ability to categorize, the capacity for insight, post-stroke paralysis and aphasia, chronic pain and even depression” at the touch of a button?
Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) may offer just that opportunity.
The experimental technique—which works by delivering extremely low dose electrical stimulation to the brain via electrodes—has been in development since 1981. It still can’t be found outside a lab, but research has lately made some big strides. Read this recent New York Times Magazine article about the past and future of tDCS.
“tDCS will not make you superhuman, but it may allow you to work at your maximum capacity,” says one doctor at Harvard’s Laboratory of Neuromodulation at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where tests are currently being performed.
“It helps you achieve your personal best level of functioning. Let’s say you didn’t sleep well the night before. Or perhaps you’re depressed, or you suffered a stroke. It helps your brain reach its peak performance.”
What would you do if your brain was running at peak performance?