Art Blanc
Personal website of Art Blanc


This is where I write for the web.

Brain Boosting

The idea of a simple, cheap and widely available device that could boost brain function sounds too good to be true.

Recent research in Oxford and elsewhere has shown that one type of brain stimulation in particular, called transcranial direct current stimulation or TDCS, can be used to improve language and maths abilities, memory, problem solving, attention, even movement.

The method they offered seems promising. Especially for those with an impaired abilities.

On a more tongue-in-cheek manner, I have one sentence that I personally found very discouraging:

The currents of 1–2 mA make it easier for neurons in these brain regions to fire.

Don’t ever mention fire alongside brain, neurons, and for that matter currents, in a single sentence. Ever.

Okay, one more:

The researchers’ concern is more that the technology is such that people could assemble all the components needed at home reasonably simply. Roi clearly says that this is not warranted yet with our limited current knowledge about the technique’s use: ‘The message should very much be “Don’t try this at home”.’

Fascinating experience to read a science journal and find some joke material. Just sayin’.