Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#170 session: tDCS works very well

It took at least a few sessions to get the electrode positions right.  I initially had the anodes too high up, relative to the inion--the part of the occipital lobe distinguished by a bone that sticks out a little.  But then I looked at the map again and realized that the o1 and o2 regions are on the same latitude lines.  It's just that one needs to be to the right and the other to the left.  I also kept with using the two anodes instead of one on the right side of the head (to integrate the left eye).  Further research indicates that each hemisphere processes each eye (probably for redundancy), so it makes sense to stimulate the visual system on both hemispheres.

Anyway--holy crap.  tDCS works.  It definitely works.  I'm pretty sure it's not just my imagination.  Objects appear bigger and clearer.  I thought, when looking at the text on my computer screen, that I had increased the size of the rendering on my browser, but then I realized that as I looked around the screen that even the task bar looked bigger.  And everything looks better, and I'm getting more 'pop' when playing games in stereo.

There's quite a bit more that I want to say about tDCS and its effects, but it's still early and I don't want to regret saying stuff.  But its effects seem to be wide-ranging.  And the reason I think for this is because brain tissue is very resource-hungry.  For example, it's often cited that the brain is three pounds, or two percent of the body's weight, but it uses around 25% of the body's metabolic energy.  If you can make the brain work more efficiently by powering it with a 9-volt battery, then those resources which would normally get broken down and eaten by the brain are free to be used by other body processes.  Anyway, that's just some interesting speculation on my part.

I'm pretty sure that tDCS is helping bring me closer to my goals at a much accelerated rate.  It's very exciting.  Of course, it's important that you know what you're doing, and that you don't apply more than two milliamperes of current to your noggin.  I recommend that you have at least have a working knowledge of Ohm's Law to be safe.  But as long as you apply current within the correct parameters, tDCS is safe, at least according to the research.  Before you begin applying current to your noggin, do your research.  But it is extremely exciting stuff.  Hah...


There's something I want to add.  Every time before you begin a tDCS session you should test the current with a digital multimeter--even if your tDCS device has a current indicator.  The reason for this?  The tDCS kit that I bought ($40) malfunctioned and I think that instead of putting out the normal 2 milliamperes, it started putting out 340 milliamperes.  When I plugged in the battery I got a jolt that was somewhat jarring.  It was like a static shock, but the area around the cathode was feeling the current in a strong way which was very uncomfortable.

The good thing about this experiment is that I learned that tDCS is not bullshit, but an incredibly useful tool.  Because it's extremely useful, I decided to invest in a real tDCS device.

It's expensive ($340), but I've already spent something like $7,500 on vision therapy, so whatever.  This, at least, is something I know which works.  I also bought this multimeter that I'm going to use to test the current before every session.


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