An Electrifying Way to Charge Up Your Brain

Massaging the human brain with a very low power alternating (AC) electric current can enhance learning, including math skills, according to a recently published study in Current Biology.

The research study used a transcranial random noise stimulation (TRNS) device to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a key brain area for arithmetic skills, while subjects underwent five days of cognitive training with math calculation exercises.

The results showed that the group receiving TRNS performed significantly better on both math calculations and recall of arithmetic principles, compared to the control group. In addition, the TRNS group still showed the positive training effects six months later.

This long term training effect has some good implications for how “active” neuro devices can be combined with education principles and cognitive training to produce better classroom outcomes, along with work performance.

The Current Biology study adds to a growing list of innovative use of personal neuro devices for a variety of (future) school, work, and healthcare applications. The technology is moving at such a rapid pace that regulatory bodies are still grappling with how (or if) to apply traditional medical device guidelines to these new tools.

In the meantime, we expect active personal neuro devices to find their way into the hands of adventurous consumers who want to give them a spin. It will be interesting to see how this new market develops.

Read also: A New World of Personal Neuro Devices