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Zapping Your Brain: Can It Really Make You Smarter?

Advertising hype tells us that a person can enjoy astounding neural and psychological benefits in the comfort of his own home through the use of a simple electrical device which offers transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. For example, there are three tDCS devices that can be bought online which claim that it can “improve mood, increase creativity, enhance memory, accelerate learning, and combat pain and depression.” That’s a lot of claims for just one simple product!

For the low, low price of between $99 and $189.95, you get a compact handheld device with easy-to-use controls and two electrical leads that end in small sponges. These sponges are dipped into saline solution to make them current-carrying electrodes, then placed against your head. The websites typically show the sponges located on either side of the forehead, but point out that they need to be placed elsewhere on the skull to activate different parts of the brain, depending on the desired outcome.

The question is, does it really work?

Find out more about this story over at JSTOR Daily.

(Image Credit: TheDigitalArtist/ Pixabay)


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