Posts Tagged ‘tDCS’

Low Dose Electrical Current Boosts Creativity

Our thinking and decision-making is strongly shaped by what has worked in the past. Success is compiled into rules and mental sets that make us more efficient but also blind us to innovative alternatives.  If we could safely disrupt the applications of mental sets at the right time we might enhance our creativity. That idea was recently tested using  transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) by researchers at the Center for the Mind.

The experiment involved 60 subjects that were given a creative problem to solve.  Some received a small electrical current applied to their brain in a region thought to hold mental sets that guide our problem solving.  The results were dramatic:

“Only 20% of participants solved an insight problem with sham stimulation (control), whereas 3 times as many participants did so…”

A strong effect but one that needs to be repeated and further explained using brain scanning studies.

Only a tiny amount of electrical current is being used in tDCS.  It has been the focus of other studies designed to enhance cognitive performance. We covered one from Oxford University in an earlier post on the Next Brain Blog.

I am interested to hear from readers about how low-level direct current is being used to stimulate cognitive performance.

8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - February 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Categories: Other, Problem Solving   Tags: , ,