Just as a processor can be overclocked by running an increased amount of electrical current through it, the human brain can also be made to process data faster using electrical charges. According to Benjamin Syzek, a Ph.D neuroscience student at Michigan State University, transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) is a safe and effective means of increasing cognitive performance. While the safety of TDCS is widely debated — it involves sending low levels of electrical current into the brain — Syzek’s startup GoFlow claims the technology is harmless and the company is preparing to offer a do-it-yourself kit for $99 that will allow anyone to build their own TDCS machine at home. Read on for more.
“tDCS is one of the coolest pieces of health/ self improvement technology available today,” GoFlow says on its website. “The US Army and DARPA both currently use tDCS devices to train snipers and drone pilots, and have recorded 2.5x increases in learning rates. This incredible phenomenon is achieved through a very simple device called a tDCS machine.”
While TDCS machines are typically very expensive according to GoFlow, the company’s $99 DIY kit will include all of the parts and instructions needed to build a TDCS machine. The kit requires no soldering, and it includes labeled parts along with detailed schematics and usage guidelines.
Syzek claims that GoFlow’s kit is “a safe method to enhance learning,” however the device has not been tested or approved by any regulatory bodies. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Tecnology Review blog notes that similar methods are being used by licensed physicians to treat chronic pain, and it has been shown by the U.S. Air Force to help speed up learning. As the site also points out, however, GoFlow’s goofy promotional video does little to instill confidence in the company’s product. GoFlow’s video follows below.