Stimulating The Brain Using Non-Invasive Technologies
We are constantly working towards having a greater understanding of how the brain functions. There are many technologies that can be used to stimulate the brain, such as; light, magnets, electromagnetic signals, etc.. And many studies have been performed within these technologies on such things as: accelerated learning, improving ones health, affecting emotions and cognitive capabilities, affecting morality, and etc..
Many different technologies can be used to generate stimulus on the body – I list some below:
- direct current stimulation (applying electrical signals to the body), or
- magnets (using a magnet to induce a current in the body), or
- applying RF signals (broadcasting a shaped RF signal on the body), or
- by using photons (read and write brain activity using light).
I’m not going to discuss how these technologies work – that’s what Wikipedia is for! However, I would like to point out some of the more interesting successes that I have found below, broken out by technology base:
Light / Lasers:
- Reseachers read and write brain activity with light.
- Lost memories can be reactivated using optogenetic neuron stimulation. Another article here.
- Cognitive brain functions can be augmented using transcranial lasers. Functions such as; sustained attention, working memory, and affective state. Another article connecting this with aerobics.
- Bright light transmits through the brain. When light external to the body is transmitted through the brain, it can be measured externally and affects functional connectivity.
- Using pulsed laser pulses to change rats ‘wake state’.
- Using pulsed light to improve your mood.
- The application of RF signals to the brain using shaped antenna could be used as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment.
- EMF signals generated by cell phones can change your brainwaves and behavior.
- Lucid dreaming can be induced using an electrical current. Another article here. Lucid dreaming using modified MindWave. Modifying a headset for lucid dreaming.
- Creativity can be enhanced through the application of a 10Hz current to scalp.
- Phosphene, the ability to create a light visulatization in a person with their eyes closed by applying an electrical current to their scalp, can be easily generated.
- Doctors can electrically stimulate deep inside the brain using Temporal Interference, where electrodes are placed on the scalp and two electrical fields are generated that induce a current where they overlap in the brain.
- Doctors can wake a person after having lapsed into a coma.
- Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation is used to treat epilepsy, or in the treatment of abnormal joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Trans-cutaneous nerve stimulation device makes you feel ‘good’.
- The nervous system can be stimulated by means external to the body, as in Transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation
- You can also induce sounds / voices in the brain – completely bypassing the ears.
- Individuals can be made to essentially ‘shut down’ through the application of electrical impulses to a region called the ‘claustrum’.
- Cognitive functions such as memory storage/retrieval, learning, attention, and memory are connected to the phase-amplitude coupling between neuronal oscillations. These cognitive functions can be affected through the application of ultrasound stimulation.
- Speech and sounds induced by pulsed/modulated microwave frequencies.
- US DARPA’s Sonic Projector – capable of projecting sound over 1 km that only the ‘receiver’ can hear.
- A long range acoustic device that is used as a pirate deterrent on naval vessels.
- Telepathic chat using a neckband that taps into your nerves.
- US Government investigates using ‘Brain Music’ to boost emergency worker performance.
- Google “Glass Hack” allows you to control unit using your brainwaves.
- People are electrifying their brains to help accelerate work-outs! Another article here.
- Using a new technique called “Sonogenetics”, researchers can trigger a neuron by grafting a protein onto it that can be triggered by ultra-sound.
- Subjects having memory networks stimulated with TMS for 20 minutes for five consecutive days performed 33 percent better.
- Moral judgments can be altered by magnets (TMS).
- Pain can be reduced using low-frequency magnetic fields.
- Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in humans – here is an article describing how a researcher controlled another colleagues motions.
- Brain to Brain Communications in humans – an article describing how information can be communicated using only the brain.
- Magnetic fields have been shown to affect pain sensitivity in snails, rodents, and humans.
- Scientists develop Matrix-style technique of ‘feeding’ information directly into your brain.
- French neurotech start-up Rythm raises $11m to help improve sleep quality.
- Scientists can use modified headphones to read EEG signals (used for Bio-metrics).
- A new discreet EEG sticker is being used to monitor brain activity. It is an unobtrusive, miniaturized electrode system that bonds to the ear’s auricle and the adjacent mastoid that sticks to the skin up to two weeks and can withstand normal activities such as vigorous exercise, showering, and swimming.
- Thync’s mood-altering headset.