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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Help me shock my brain by building a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator or TDCs
    #7353331 - 08/31/07 04:10 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Ok, let's try this again. I made a post about this some time ago but no one knew what it was or at least no one helped answer it. Understandable, I hadn't done much of the leg work. Now I've done as much research on it as I can figure out how to do but I still don't know exactly what I'll need, though I think I have enough that someone here can help me now.

I'll divide the post into 2 parts. The first with a quick synopsis of TDCs, what I have been able to figure out and what I need help with for those who aren't interested in learning about it indepth. The second with links to all the different things I've found and some commentary. I'm fairly certain that there are serveral people here that can answer my electronics question about building the device (at least as I understand it). However from my research I believe that detailed plans for constructing the device is available in multiple papers published in medical journals, though unfortuantely I don't have accesss to those. If anyone does it would be much appreciated if you can help.


Here is the Wikipedia entry, but basically TDCs is applying a weak electrical current to the outside of a persons head through a wet sponge electrode. Multiple studies have shown it to improve concentration, memory, learning and host of other benefits. It works by exciting the neurons in the brain. While not directly causing the neurons to fire, after a short session with the device the pathways becomed excited or primed and that is what is believed to cause the documented benefits. It's achieving results similar to the currently more popular Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, but for far less money. However, anyone who is interested in doing this and experimenting on themselves, I caution you to read up as much as you can. While it is considered extremely safe for the most part, if the current is too high, the session too long, the polarity mismatched or if you are prone to seizures, this device could could trigger them.

From what I've been able to ascertain, the current is supposed to be between 1-2 mA. Most of the literature and the scientist who is responsible for the device's recent surge in popularity seem to say it's nothing more than a 9 volt battery, a meter, and a variable resistor all in line.

1. Would I simply be able to take my 9V battery, run one lead through the resistor and then to an electrode, the other lead through a digital multimeter and the other electrode?

2. What size/type of resistor would I need? Assuming consideration for the inherent resistance of the human head.

3. Is the digital multimeter a good idea for the measurement or would a standalone (Digital or Analog?) Amp meter be better? Am I also going to need to calculate the resistance of the meter?


It's been a long time since I've done any of this, but according to my measurements (using wet cottons balls as the electrodes) my head has a resistance of around 300k Ohms. Though if that's true, I should never be able get to 2 mA of current. 9/.002 = 4500 ohms. What am I doing wrong?

I wanted to post this ASAP, but I'm working on the 2nd part right now and will have it posted later tonight. Hopefully sooner rather than later.


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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OfflineRuNE
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Re: Help me shock my brain by building a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator or TDCs [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #7354567 - 08/31/07 10:09 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Although it seems beneficial in the short run, do you not fear your body/brain developing dependencies? The human body adapts suprisingly quick. I would fear these charges 'stretching' the tolarance of my neurons after some uses.
What if eventualy you start to say "Yeah i felt slow today, I bet it was because I didn't TDC today".

Even if only psychological, dependencies suck.


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~Happy sailing~


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: Help me shock my brain by building a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator or TDCs [Re: RuNE]
    #7354635 - 08/31/07 10:54 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

All of the evidence so far doesn't support anything like that, but yes I'm aware and somewhat concerned about about that and more. I actually just emailed one of the researchers to find out what articles he's published on the subject and I'm going to go ahead and order them (though I don't know if they'll be any held in building the device.)

Like I said though, so far it doesn't seem like it produces any permanent results. Remember, electroshock therapies have been around for a very long time and this by far the least powerful of them.


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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OfflineLCNS
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Re: Help me shock my brain by building a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator or TDCs [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #16239010 - 05/16/12 05:29 PM (10 years, 6 months ago)

Hi,

You are being invited to participate in a research study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. Your participation is voluntary which means you can choose whether or not you want to participate.

The Laboratory of Cognition and Neural Stimulation at the University of Pennsylvania is involved in research using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In recent years this technology has increased in popularity, and evidence suggests that some individuals may be constructing their own stimulators for personal use. We are interested in examining the reasons behind this. Please answer the questions below, and email them to braintdcs@gmail.com to give us insight into why people make their own tDCS machines.

Questions

1. Where did you first learn about tDCS?
2. Have you built your own tDCS machine?
3. Where did you get the information to build the machine?
4. Why did you want to try brain stimulation?
5. How long have you been using tDCS?
6. What were your experiences with this technology?
7. Did you ever experience any side-effects?

The research team may use information about you collected from your responses. By completing the questionnaire, you are giving your consent to participate in this study. Once you email us, your responses are not considered confidential since emails do not protect confidentiality. 

Thanks,

Research Specialist
Laboratory of Cognition and Neural Stimulation
University of Pennsylvania


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