[ExI] Fwd: Re: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Apr 3 22:09:19 UTC 2012


On 2012-04-02 20:12, Bryan Bishop wrote:
>  tDCS doesn't seem specific enough to me. Even the arrayed tDCS paper had
>  really horrible targetting capability.

To really work well one should use fMRI targeting, but it is a tad
tricky to do in a general setting. I suspect that even if you could get
ultrasound to stimulate with pinpoint precision you would still need
something like that because of the variability of brains. In fact, the
more precise the stimulation, the more likely it is that you miss the
proper target.

tDCS is interesting because it is so general, but it is also slightly
tricky because you need to figure out what areas to excite or inhibit.
Some memory studies have shown that the optimal effect is
stage-dependent, with inhibition of left DLPFC during encoding and
excitation during retrieval produces the best results. Inhibiting some
regions can enhance other tasks, and so on.

The ethics paper mentioned in the article is from down the hallway; "The
neuroethics of non-invasive brain stimulation. I couldn't find a free
copy online, but here are some interview:
Generally a sensible paper, mainly worried about the temptation to
prematurely apply it to young brains before we know enough about its

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford University

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