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Bionetwork
post Feb 11, 2012, 02:26 PM
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Article on the so-called "brain boosting"
I am interested in reading the comments to this from people on this forum. Do you think that passing currents across various regions of the brain could really substantially improve mental capacities?



-----------------------

Oxford neuroscientists to team up with leading ethicists at the University to consider the issues the new technology could raise. They spoke to Radio 4's Today program this morning.
Recent research in Oxford and elsewhere has shown that one type of brain stimulation in particular, called transcranial direct current stimulation or TDCS, can be used to improve language and maths abilities, memory, problem solving, attention, even movement.
Critically, this is not just helping to restore function in those with impaired abilities. TDCS can be used to enhance healthy people’s mental capacities. Indeed, most of the research so far has been carried out in healthy adults.
TDCS uses electrodes placed on the outside of the head to pass tiny currents across regions of the brain for 20 minutes or so. The currents of 1–2 mA make it easier for neurons in these brain regions to fire. It is thought that this enhances the making and strengthening of connections involved in learning and memory.
The technique is painless, all indications at the moment are that it is safe, and the effects can last over the long term.
Dr. Roi Cohen Kadosh, who has carried out brain stimulation studies at the Department of Experimental Psychology, very definitely has a vision for how TDCS could be used in the future: "I can see a time when people plug a simple device into an iPad so that their brain is stimulated when they are doing their homework, learning French or taking up the piano," he says.
The growing number of positive results in early-stage studies, led the neuroscientists Dr. Cohen Kadosh and Dr. Jacinta O’Shea to talk to Professor Neil Levy, Dr. Nick Shea and Professor Julian Savulescu in the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics about what ethical issues there may be in future widespread use of TDCS to boost abilities in healthy people.
The researchers outline the issues in a short paper in the journal Current Biology (pdf), and indicate the research that is now necessary to address some of the potential concerns.

"We ask: should we use brain stimulation to enhance cognition, and what are the risks?" explains Roi. "Our aim was to look at whether it gives rise to new ethical issues, issues that will increasingly need to be thought about in our field but also by policymakers and the public."
"This research cuts to core of humanity: the capacity to learn," says Professor Julian Savulescu. "The capacity to learn varies across people, across ages and with illness. This kind of technology enables people to get more out of the work they put into learning something."

He adds: "This is a first step down the path of maximizing human potential. It is a very exciting development but we need to control the release of the genie. Although this looks like a simple external device, it acts by affecting the brain. That could have very good effects, but unpredictable side effects."
One of the most obvious uses of brain stimulation techniques is in children as an educational or learning aid. The researchers believe that their use in children would be warranted, and that we should begin research to understand how TDCS might be used in children.
Roi notes that: "Parents will often send their child to piano lessons or to football lessons, wanting them to do well." He considers that providing people with ways of fulfilling their potential is not a bad thing.
The researchers consider whether brain stimulation could be thought of as cheating, with the idea that we can get extra cognitive abilities for no effort. Here they offer a resounding ‘No’.
The technique seems to boost the learning process in conjunction with standard education or training. There is no free ride here – people still need to work at learning a new skill or language themselves. "It won’t be possible to go to sleep at night with the electrodes on, wake up the next day and pass all your exams," says Roi.
They also look at access to this technology, and will it further benefit the well off. But they suggest the TDCS kit is simple and cheap enough to be available to all in schools.
"This technology overcomes some standard objections to enhancement: It is not a set of cheat notes," says Julian. "You require effort and hard work to learn. It is just that you get more out of your effort. And because it is cheap, low tech, easily affordable, it could be widely available. This addresses the objection that it will introduce inequality and unfairness. It could be available and should be available to all, if it is safe and effective."

The researchers’ concern is more that the technology is such that people could assemble all the components needed at home reasonably simply. Roi clearly says that this is not warranted yet with our limited current knowledge about the technique’s use: "The message should very much be 'Don’t try this at home'."
While there have been some ethical discussions in the past of using some drugs to boost concentration or attention, the researchers explain that TDCS is different and needs to be considered separately.
For example, drugs in general are prescribed for use by one person, ingested and taken internally, and with limits on dose. There are no such in-built limits with brain stimulation, and it may not feel as serious as taking a drug because it is an externally applied treatment – though its effects may be as strong.
"Once you have a brain stimulation device, you can use it as often as you want and there are no limits on who uses it," Roi points out.
But at the current time, most of the TDCS work that has been done is preliminary, small-scale and in the lab. There are no clear guidelines for its use as yet, as research is still establishing the optimal ways of using TDCS for different areas of cognition.
The researchers are concerned that in this gap, some people could step in to offer TDCS to vulnerable patients or parents desperate to advance their children before the technique is fully understood.
The researchers also identify a number of outstanding questions:
• Are there downsides to boosting capacity in one area of cognitive ability? Do other mental abilities lose out?
• The developing brain in children is different to adults. With most research having been in adults, the use of TDCS in children becomes a pressing question.
• And are the benefits seen in the lab clinically relevant: can TDCS lead to improvements that matter in normal daily life?
Julian says: "At this stage, we need more research to understand better the risks and benefits, in specific populations, in real life. Any regulation should prevent misuse and abuse, but facilitate good research. This kind of technology could be as important as the internet and computing. Those are external cognitive enhancements. This is basic fundamental cognitive enhancement."

The researchers conclude the exciting potential of TDCS requires that this research be done and all these ethical questions considered.
"Enhancing cognitive abilities, or our ability to learn, is not a bad thing to do. There is no problem with that, as far as we see, as long as there are no side effects," says Roi.
"What is the ethical way forward? More research before deployment," says Julian. "It is promising but not proven at this stage."

Source: Medical Press
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Tone
post Feb 11, 2012, 11:43 PM
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Be perceptive. Notice that roughly in the neighborhood of 100% of all neural tech literature of any kind makes no mention of enhancing well-being. Exclude any David Pearce Website and the number averages quite close to 100%

Has a certain fake feel to it doesnt it, that no one would have the motive to discuss overall subjective state of wellbeing; the general euphoria/dysphoria status.

Even the creator of this forum believes all neural tech is interesting except for in regards to Euphoria/Dysphoria .. Wellbeing/Malaise .. Pleasure/Pain status. But any normal person with common sense and a sentient consciousness / soul / whatever makes a person a conscious individual would think of that first, along with the other topics. Beyond Bizarre. By all means carry on though with the other topics which i also like.
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Bionetwork
post Feb 12, 2012, 07:10 PM
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I am quite sure that enhancing mental capacity would lead to a better well-being. As to the soul and consciousness, I don't believe that they exist. There are specific functions of the nervous system which some may or make not want to subscribe to being properties of consciousness, but this term is so broad and vague, that it loses any meaning.
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some kid
post Feb 13, 2012, 04:20 PM
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There has been recent research done on stimulating the entorhinal cortex to improve memory. A team in UCLA has undergone the experimentation process. (Very respected school for Neuroscience) The results seem to indicate that memory can be improved by such stimulation, however, as Neuroscientist Itzhak Fried says: "…we studied a small sample of patients, so our results should be interpreted with caution."

I would post the link but it doesn't let me.

Go to Science Daily and search:

'Memory Strengthened by Stimulating Key Site in Brain'


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Bionetwork
post Feb 16, 2012, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE(some kid @ Feb 13, 2012, 07:20 PM) *

There has been recent research done on stimulating the entorhinal cortex to improve memory. A team in UCLA has undergone the experimentation process. (Very respected school for Neuroscience) The results seem to indicate that memory can be improved by such stimulation, however, as Neuroscientist Itzhak Fried says: "…we studied a small sample of patients, so our results should be interpreted with caution."

I would post the link but it doesn't let me.

Go to Science Daily and search:

'Memory Strengthened by Stimulating Key Site in Brain'


Thank you, I have found the article. This is nothing short of remarkable, the potential extrapolations to all mental functions is unbelievable.
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some kid
post Feb 16, 2012, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE(some kid @ Feb 13, 2012, 04:20 PM) *

There has been recent research done on stimulating the entorhinal cortex to improve memory. A team in UCLA has undergone the experimentation process. (Very respected school for Neuroscience) The results seem to indicate that memory can be improved by such stimulation, however, as Neuroscientist Itzhak Fried says: "…we studied a small sample of patients, so our results should be interpreted with caution."

I would post the link but it doesn't let me.

Go to Science Daily and search:

'Memory Strengthened by Stimulating Key Site in Brain'


Ya it's quite amazing! I'm glad I could help.
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code buttons
post Feb 17, 2012, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE(some kid @ Feb 13, 2012, 04:20 PM) *

There has been recent research done on stimulating the entorhinal cortex to improve memory. A team in UCLA has undergone the experimentation process. (Very respected school for Neuroscience) The results seem to indicate that memory can be improved by such stimulation, however, as Neuroscientist Itzhak Fried says: "…we studied a small sample of patients, so our results should be interpreted with caution."

I would post the link but it doesn't let me.

Go to Science Daily and search:

'Memory Strengthened by Stimulating Key Site in Brain'

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/...20208180057.htm

While on the subject: The Man Who Remembers Everything
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transcranial
post Feb 20, 2012, 07:06 AM
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Tried tdcs first hand myself and found the results dramatic (in a good way). I'll be glad to answer any questions.

Steve
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Cassox
post Mar 01, 2012, 07:37 PM
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I wrote up a little blog on this if anyone has any interest.

My Webpage
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transcranial
post Mar 03, 2012, 01:16 AM
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Nice blog. I'm not sure that using a resistor to divide the voltage from a battery is the smartest way to do this. Skin resistance changes over time. I tried it myself in a similar way, to validate that it works. I used a lab power supply and a multimeter. Also one of those don't try this at home kind of situations...
Then finally I got mine, since I didn't wanted to end up frying my skin or my brain for that matter:). Very happy with it, but it did cost some money.
I cannot post any URL's yet (new member), but if anyone wants to know, just PM me.

Steve
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Flex
post Mar 03, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Cool stuff Cassox. You would probably have a lot of fun building different biofeedback controllers to use around the house i.e. galvanic skin resistance to control the lights.

On another note, your blog ultimately lead me to find this, which was bizarre to say the least smile.gif http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/05/02/we...tone-pregnancy/
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Fred Lovett
post Mar 03, 2012, 09:17 AM
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QUOTE(transcranial @ Feb 20, 2012, 06:06 PM) *

Tried tdcs first hand myself and found the results dramatic (in a good way). I'll be glad to answer any questions.

Steve


I want to build, or get someone to build for me (I am nearly 84) a tDCS unit to experiment on myself with. At my age many faculties are considerably reduced which affects my quality of life. The steroids which have been shown to reverse this are illegal in the EU, so maybe I can do something using Brain stimulation with tDCS. I don't think they will be able to make this illegal!

I have read masses of stuff on this both academic and otherwise and am convinced I can do things with it to negate weakness due to muscle loss, pain due to various things being removed etc.

Fred.
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Flex
post Mar 03, 2012, 11:06 AM
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You should be able to find some doctor willing to give it a try--if not, acupuncture may prove to be of equally if not use.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/electroco...hy%2Dits%2Ddone
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Cassox
post Mar 05, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Wow. A calcium baby. I have no idea the connection to tDCS or how you stumbled on this, but wow.
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Cassox
post Mar 05, 2012, 10:35 AM
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[/quote]

I want to build, or get someone to build for me (I am nearly 84) a tDCS unit to experiment on myself with. At my age many faculties are considerably reduced which affects my quality of life. The steroids which have been shown to reverse this are illegal in the EU, so maybe I can do something using Brain stimulation with tDCS. I don't think they will be able to make this illegal!

I have read masses of stuff on this both academic and otherwise and am convinced I can do things with it to negate weakness due to muscle loss, pain due to various things being removed etc.

Fred.
[/quote]

Fred. I'll build you one if you want. Maybe... 10 bucks plus shipping? I'm not trying to make a profit; just recomp parts and the five minutes of soldering. Perhaps you could write up a review on any benefits/detriments in return.


Steve - I was thinking of using a power supply too, except the one I have goes pretty high. I figured just using a 9v provides a level of safety in a low upper limit, albeit not a great one. Do you have any suggestions regarding changes in skin resistance? I mean, my multimeter reads consistently with the salt sponges, but I haven't considered a means of detecting how much resistance is occuring across the skin and trying to change votlage/amp to make up for it.
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Flex
post Mar 05, 2012, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE(Cassox @ Mar 05, 2012, 10:29 AM) *

Wow. A calcium baby. I have no idea the connection to tDCS or how you stumbled on this, but wow.


I ended up finding it from poking around more about one of your other entries *here*

Cool blog. There are definitely some interesting concepts you have touched on...
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Cassox
post Mar 06, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Thank you. I see the connection now. lol. Yeah, I want to start working on nootropics also. A lot of blogs have done them to death, but I'm really looking to write them up with a serious emphasis on cited sources etc. rather than subjective experience. Also without an overly golden viewpoint. I mean I like piracetam fine. It's good stuff. It's not what some describe though. If you read some of these blogs, something like ani comes across as brain-god juice.
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Flex
post Mar 06, 2012, 08:42 AM
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My sentiments exactly. Check your PM--if you don't mind, I'd like to have a quick chat.
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Fred Lovett
post Apr 05, 2012, 07:22 AM
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[quote name='Cassox' date='Mar 05, 2012, 09:35 PM' post='118739']
[/quote]

I want to build, or get someone to build for me (I am nearly 84) a tDCS unit to experiment on myself with. At my age many faculties are considerably reduced which affects my quality of life. The steroids which have been shown to reverse this are illegal in the EU, so maybe I can do something using Brain stimulation with tDCS. I don't think they will be able to make this illegal!

I have read masses of stuff on this both academic and otherwise and am convinced I can do things with it to negate weakness due to muscle loss, pain due to various things being removed etc.

Fred.
[/quote]

Fred. I'll build you one if you want. Maybe... 10 bucks plus shipping? I'm not trying to make a profit; just recomp parts and the five minutes of soldering. Perhaps you could write up a review on any benefits/detriments in return.


/quote]

I wrote a long reply saying that "Yes, I would llike to do that" and still would like to get on to the hobbyist suppoly sites to get a kit of parts. Let me know what you can do and how I can pay you. maybe the system won't eat this one. I think it was the email address that it didn't like. I hav
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Fred Lovett
post May 11, 2012, 06:47 AM
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[quote name='Cassox' date='Mar 05, 2012, 08:35 PM' post='118739']
[/quote]

I want to build, or get someone to build for me (I am nearly 84) a tDCS unit to experiment on myself with. At my age many faculties are considerably reduced which affects my quality of life. The steroids which have been shown to reverse this are illegal in the EU, so maybe I can do something using Brain stimulation with tDCS. I don't think they will be able to make this illegal!

I have read masses of stuff on this both academic and otherwise and am convinced I can do things with it to negate weakness due to muscle loss, pain due to various things being removed etc.

Fred.
[/quote]

Fred. I'll build you one if you want. Maybe... 10 bucks plus shipping? I'm not trying to make a profit; just recomp parts and the five minutes of soldering. Perhaps you could write up a review on any benefits/detriments in return.


Steve - I was thinking of using a power supply too, except the one I have goes pretty high. I figured just using a 9v provides a level of safety in a low upper limit, albeit not a great one. Do you have any suggestions regarding changes in skin resistance? I mean, my multimeter reads consistently with the salt sponges, but I haven't considered a means of detecting how much resistance is occuring across the skin and trying to change votlage/amp to make up for it.
[/quote]

2012-05-11

I am actively building a unit incorporating various controls: over current fuse, LED alarm if unit ceases to operate (fuse blows), and ammeter. I will let you know when I have tried it out. In the meantime I have staqrted a blog under my old webpage. I don't think it shows up on Google yet, give it time.

Fred.
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