Alex Dimitriu, MD

Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine

Trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) - the future of cognitive enhancement?

  Nigel Parry for The New York Times

Nigel Parry for The New York Times

tDCS - Transcranial direct current stimulation; involves the application of a very mild current for 20 minutes to the frontal lobes of the brain, through electrodes placed on the skin. Much to my surprise, this extremely simple and non-invasive technique is proving to have lasting effects on learning and cognition - in some instances, lasting as long as 5 hours after the treatment. The results are quite impressive and the data thus far seems consistent. The author of a recent study at Vanderbilt University states, "...when we up-regulate that process, we can make you more cautious, less error-prone, more adaptable to new or changing situations -- which is pretty extraordinary."

See the study here:

R. M. G. Reinhart, G. F. Woodman. Causal Control of Medial-Frontal Cortex Governs Electrophysiological and Behavioral Indices of Performance Monitoring and Learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (12): 4214 DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5421-13.2014

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CONDITIONS TREATED: anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and treatment resistant depression.

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