Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Direct Electrical Brain Stimulation to Enhance Creativity #Science

And you thought Adderall (i.e. two kinds of amphetamine) was quasi-legal fun but what could be more of a thrill than personal electrocution.  The new rage for dimwitted children will be to take Adderall and then juice up with some electricity as well for ... wait for it ... super creativity.  It will be like being a super model without the heroin.

Researchers passed a weak constant electrical current through saline-soaked electrodes positioned over target regions in the scalp.

Credit: Image courtesy of Queen Mary University of London

Scientists have found a way to improve creativity through brain stimulation, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Goldsmiths University of London.

They achieved this by temporarily suppressing a key part of the frontal brain called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is involved in most of our thinking and reasoning.

The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, show that participants who received the intervention showed an enhanced ability to 'think outside the box'.

Science Daily:  Scientists improve people's creativity through electrical brain stimulation

Apparently whomever wrote the article was not one of the subjects when 'thinking outside the box' has become tedious cliche.

Sixty participants were tested on their creative problem solving ability before and after receiving one of the following interventions: DLPFC being suppressed, DLPFC being activated, and DLPFC being unstimulated. The participants solved "matchstick problems," some of which are hard, because to solve these problems, participants need to relax the learnt rules of arithmetic and algebra.

The participants whose DLPFC was temporarily suppressed by the electrical stimulation were more likely to solve hard problems than other participants whose DLPFC was activated or not stimulated. This demonstrates that suppressing DLPFC briefly can help breaking mental assumptions learned from experience and thinking outside the box.

- SD

How well that demonstrates cause and effect is for the interested student to ascertain but the real beauty part follows.

Some geniuses are already trying to sell it without even being sure how it works.

"However, our results also suggest that potential applications of this technique will have to consider the target cognitive effects in more detail rather than just assuming tDCS can improve cognition as claimed by some companies which are starting to sell tDCS machines for home users," she added.

"I would say that we are not yet in a position to wear an electrical hat and start stimulating our brain hoping for a blanket cognitive gain."

- SD

Can you buy that for a quarter?

It appears the day is already here when we will soon see people wearing dime-store aluminum hats with electrodes, most likely the crew of Denialists who deny just about everything else, and they will be dancing about swearing it helps them to see Jesus.  Start the countdown.

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