Brain-Zapping Gadgets Need Regulation, Say Scientists and (Some) Manufacturers (IEEE Spectrum):
“Just a few years ago, the idea of electrically stimulating your brain in the comfort of your own home would have sounded pretty weird, and probably like a bad idea.
But the practice of brain-zapping—in particular, an easy-to-pull-off technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)—has quickly advanced from labs to living rooms. DIYers are building their own devices and trading tips online, while startups are bringing out consumer products.
With that as the backdrop, a group of neuroscientists and manufacturers met in New York City on Sunday 28 August to discuss potential regulations for brain stimulation devices sold directly to consumers…The group’s guidelines will also recommend that people with neural or psychiatric conditions consult their physicians before using any brain stimulating gadget. That category includes people with conditions like depression, anxiety, and addiction, who are already turning to DIY treatments using homemade or commercially available tDCS rigs…Some companies claim not only that their devices treat disorders like depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain, they also boast of improving cognition, memory, and social skills. Many DIYers seem most interested in these enhancement possibilities of tDCS. ”
To learn more:
- Too early? Brain stimulation device Thync fails to get traction in the minds of consumers
- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as depression treatment: much promise, some DIY risks
- 10 Neurotechnologies About to Transform Brain Enhancement and Brain Health