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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study: Few wearable neurotechnologies have been directly tested by high-quality, peer-reviewed research

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Wear­able brain devices sold with ques­tion­able claims (Com­put­er World):

Wear­able ‘neu­rotech­nol­o­gy’ devices have in recent years hit the main­stream mar­ket; pitched to con­sumers as a way to improve mem­o­ry and atten­tion, boost brain fit­ness and con­trol games and objects with the pow­er of the mind.

An analy­sis of com­mer­cial­ly avail­able wear­able ‘neu­rode­vices’ pub­lished this week in jour­nal Neu­ron has cast doubt on whether their mak­ers can back up such claims. Read the rest of this entry »

Bioethicists call for stronger oversight of direct-to-consumer neurotechnologies

Bioethi­cists call for over­sight of poor­ly reg­u­lat­ed, con­sumer-grade neu­rotech­nol­o­gy prod­ucts (Med­ical News):

The mar­ket­ing of direct-to-con­sumer “neu­rotech­nolo­gies” can be entic­ing: apps that diag­nose a men­tal state, and brain devices that improve cog­ni­tion or “read” one’s emo­tion­al state. How­ev­er, many of these increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar prod­ucts aren’t ful­ly sup­port­ed by sci­ence and have lit­tle to no reg­u­la­to­ry over­sight, which pos­es Read the rest of this entry »

Anticipating ethical implications of DARPA’s neurotechnology push

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The Pentagon’s Push to Pro­gram Sol­diers’ Brains (The Atlantic):

…darpa offi­cials refer to the poten­tial con­se­quences of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy by invok­ing the acronym elsi, a term of art devised for the Human Genome Project. It stands for “eth­i­cal, legal, social impli­ca­tions.” The man who led the dis­cus­sion on ethics among the research teams Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers stress need for neurotechnologies to protect the mental dimension of individuals and groups, especially mental privacy and integrity

Image: Ars Elec­tron­i­ca | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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From Health­care to War­fare: How to Reg­u­late Brain Tech­nol­o­gy (Uni­ver­si­ty of Basel press release):

The term “dual-use” refers to tech­nol­o­gy that can be used for both ben­e­fi­cial (i.e., med­ical) and harm­ful (i.e., mil­i­tary of ter­ror­is­tic) aims. Until recent­ly, most dual-use tech­nol­o­gy emerged espe­cial­ly in virol­o­gy and bac­te­ri­ol­o­gy. In the last years, how­ev­er, mil­i­tary-fund­ed research has entered the domain of neu­ro­science and neu­rotech­nol­o­gy.

This has result­ed in a rapid growth in brain tech­nol­o­gy pro­to­types aimed at Read the rest of this entry »

Important insights on the growing home use of tDCS brain stimulation: older-than-expected users, positive self-reported results for treatment of depression but negative for self-enhancement, and a couple areas of concern (severe burns, frequency)

Dr. Brent Williams is wear­ing a home­made tDCS device while his wife Madge is sport­ing a com­mer­cial mod­el. Pho­to by Kevin Liles/kevindliles.com

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At the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit last month, researcher and sci­ence writer Dr. Anna Wexler dis­cussed some fas­ci­nat­ing insights from her sur­vey of 339 home (or “do-it-your­self”) users of tDCS (tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion) devices.

The sur­vey results have just been pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Cog­ni­tive Enhance­ment (details below), and pro­vide a use­ful win­dow into who pur­chas­es tDCS devices and why, how they use them and what results they see. Read the rest of this entry »

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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