Neuropriming technology

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A podcast I just listened to- that I consider credible- was talking about neuropriming, specifically with the halo headset, and how beneficial it is to learning new skills and increasing physical performance. That sounds like voodoo-magic to me. Can someone how this works? I get that it’s something something neuroplasticity, but that’s basically jargon to me.

In: Technology

“Neuropriming” is just transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS) rebranded to sound cool.

tDCS involves multiple electrodes being placed around the head, and a weak current flows through the brain as the circuit is completed.

Your neurons depend on voltage differences to work. tDCS is able to increase or reduce the voltage difference to make some parts of the brain more/less active. Note that active in this case doesn’t necessarily mean better. It depends on how you control the activity.

Studies have shown that tDCS is able to temporarily reduce aggression, improve facial responses and improve motor skills. Older patients seem to gain larger benefits, but tDCS is unable to restore age-related cognitive problems like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

So far, tDCS does not seem to have any serious side effects. Mild side effects include headache, swelling and nausea, and are temporary. The long-term benefits are in question, as there are studies that either show it works or it doesn’t. The short-term benefits are measurable and real.