MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A handful of consumer tech companies are selling neural stimulation devices that they say can improve cognition and sharpen focus, but the tech may pose unexamined risks to users.
Brain stim maker Foc.us markets its headsets primarily to video gamers, saying that their device can help "overclock" the brain and make synapses fire faster, but the technology is based on medical devices that come with downsides, especially for some users who are making their own devices at home, NPR reported.
The devices build on technology used medically for everything from epilepsy to depression. Medical and military researchers have experimented with the technology in non-medical purposes, and many have found significant improvements in learning retention associated with transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS.
Even proponents of the technology, however, warned that the devices need FDA oversight and proper controls to ensure people aren’t getting hurt, NPR reported.
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