Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Today you can buy a “thinking-cap” that enhances your cognitive capabilities. The device sends a low current through the scalp and into the brain. It basically shocks the neurons into a more excited state making them more receptive to input. It can enhance focus, decrease depression, increase learning speeds (the military has used it to train snipers and drone pilots), it can even aid in bulimia treatment. This is just another form of cognitive enhancement but instead of taking a pill (nootropics) you’re sending electricity through your brain. If this is proven to be safe long-term, then we may see them pop-up in schools and malls around the country. There are already companies selling tDCS devices, and there is ample data supporting their effectiveness.

This is an interesting alternative to taking pharmaceutical drugs. There are already a lot of DIY enthusiasts experimenting with these devices, psychologists have been using them for decades, and the military has been using tDCS for quite some time as well. I may make/buy one myself and then let someone I know try it on and post the results on here. He has taken cognitive enhancement pills before, so we will be able to do a side-by-side comparison. If this is eventually proven safe when used in a responsible manner, we may see people opting for their stimulation cap instead of a cup of coffee in the morning. We need to be careful with this technology even if it is proven safe because, like anything else, it can be addicting. This could be the first wave of digital drugs (Snowcrash anyone?) that people become dependent upon in order to gain an edge.

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