Prepare to Be Shocked
by Bill Hayes
In Prepare to Be Shocked for the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal looks at four predictions by neuroscientists on how humans can become smarter.
Several years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency got wind of a technique called transcranial direct-current stimulation, or tDCS, which promised something extraordinary: a way to increase people’s performance in various capacities, from motor skills (in the case of recovering stroke patients) to language learning, all by stimulating their brains with electrical current. The simplest tDCS rigs are little more than nine-volt batteries hooked up to sponges embedded with metal and taped to a person’s scalp.
It’s only a short logical jump from the preceding applications to other potential uses of tDCS. What if, say, soldiers could be trained faster by hooking their heads up to a battery? [more]