Electronic Brain Stimulation Devices Catching On — But How Safe are They?


ScienceNews looks at the growing use of at-home, do-it-yourself electric brain stimulation devices to improve math or problem-solving skills or help lift depression.

ScienceNews describes the devices and their effects in comparison to those of antidepressants, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation and electro-convulsive therapy.

“In a 2013 paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, Cohen Kadosh and a colleague reported that the math gains people experienced from experimental stimulation weakened a different math skill,” reports ScienceNews, while quoting Kadosh saying, “We can improve one function but it comes at the cost of another function.”

At-home brain stimulation gaining followers (ScienceNews, October 31, 2014)


  1. That is an extremely dangerous thing. Nobody knows how these devices really work (if they do) and how they excert their effects and on which functions. It’s a huge unknown and not much better than getting high on amphetamine to get through an exam session. It may help you in a short while (maybe) but you have no idea what you’re potentially putting yourself into.

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    • True enough, but as I commented on the article, I wish they’d be as concerned about the drugs they use but don’t know how they work, either. It’s interesting that this is approached with such caution when experimenting with legalized psychotropic drugs is considered so casually.

      —- Steve

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