Description Of A Research On An Electric Field

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To the average person, a description of tDCS research may seem homicidal: electrodes get placed on the skull of a subject for the purpose of running a current through his brain. That, however, is exactly what is happening in research labs across the globe. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, involves some fairly unassuming technology: the stimulation method can be achieved with nothing more than a battery and two wet sponge electrodes. While it may seem that such a crude circuit has no place in the world of brain research, this simple device has actually shown astounding promise as a means of making our brains work and learn more quickly. The latest theory goes something like this: when the electrodes and battery mentioned above are connected together, and the anode and cathode are attached to the skull somewhere, a current forms. This current is believed to actually travel through the brain’s tissue, meaning that an electric field is created which travels from the anode to the cathode. What makes all of this interesting is the result: the electrodes have a strong effect on what is known as the resting membrane potential of the neurons they sit nearby. This causes the neurons near the anode to sit in a constant state of being very close to firing, so that it barely takes any impulse to actually make the neuron fire. Similarly, the neurons at the cathode experience a lowering of their readiness to fire. In theory, this means that researchers can use tDCS to speed up one region of the brain, while slowing down another, simply by choosing good locations for electrodes. The question, of course, is whether this method actually works. It’s certainly not a clear cut answer yet. In fact, tDCS has been the subject of study... ... middle of paper ... ...lthy participants being given tDCS stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for thirty minutes either directly before or during a dual-n-back CT session. The researchers then examined the effects of both tDCS administration types on CT scores. The results of the experiment found that, after analyzing the changes of CT scores, the administration of tDCS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the CT task resulted in a significantly higher set of scores than did tDCS stimulation directly before training. These effects persisted into scores the following day when CT was tested again. These results suggest that tDCS may have a place in future protocols for CT or other forms of rehabilitation to facilitate the process. In relation to the other studies, they continue to suggest that tDCS is an effective means of augmenting learning or training of the brain.

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