Today’s New Scientist has two articles of interest to mind and brain enthusiasts: a critical analysis of mood stablising drugs, and an account of a new brain intervention that involves passing a small electrical current through the head.
The other feature article is on a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), something I’ve not heard of before but which seems to have some serious research supporting its use.
It sounds like quackery, but it’s not. A growing body of evidence suggests that passing a small electric current through your head can have a profound effect on the way your brain works. Called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the technique has already been shown to boost verbal and motor skills and to improve learning and memory in healthy people – making fully-functioning brains work even better. It is also showing promise as a therapy to cure migraine and speed recovery after a stroke, and may extract more from the withering brains of people with dementia. Some researchers think the technique will eventually yield a commercial device that healthy people could use to boost their brain function at the flick of a switch.
Unfortunately, the article isn’t available freely online, but you should be able to get the issue from your local newsagent or library.
Link to table of contents for this week’s issue.