|No Forks in the Sockets|
No Beans in your Ear
No Pistachio Nuts in your Nose
But, don't we all remember our mothers telling us not to stick a fork in an electric socket?
If Ma were around today she'd be telling us not to stick electrodes into our brains. Ma's no longer here so Trouserville will pick up the megaphone: don't go sticking electrodes into your brains.
In other words: no self-administered transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
|AFTER DIY tDCS|
Yes, we are living in the future where scientific information (much of it half-baked or in this case, half-fried) is freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
There has been real research by real scientists in real universities to determine whether tDCS can help re-carve neural pathways for those with Parkinson's disease, for example. There are some indications that this may work, though some of the researchers have fessed up to forehead burns.
Enter the FDAWW (Future Darwin Award Winners of the World) who have taken this preliminary research and run straight to the hardware store with it. You can see them on You Tube hooking up 9-volt batteries to wires and sticking the wires into their brains. Not as a Mr. Wizard science project they hope will get them an A, or because they are dressing up like Frankenstein for Halloween. No, they are trying to enhance their video gaming ability. Duh! Double Duh! and a hearty WTF.
If you aren't the DIY type there's a company in the UK who will sell you a device with the classy moniker Foc.us, for about $250. I haven't checked it out, but it sounds like a gussied up version of the classic tin-foil head wrapper beloved of cranks everywhere. You might have to get on a waiting list, though, since the first production run of 3,000 sold out faster than you can say scalp burns.
I guess there are a lot of people out there who listen neither to their mothers, nor to the inner voice that is shrieking "Sucker!"
If you want to read more about it check out Jump-Starter Kits for the Mind which appeared in the New York Times Science Section on October 28, 2013. I know you have enough brain power to just click right through the advertisement that pops up first.