Brain Zapping, for Fun and Profit.

TMSOver at Wired, Melinda Wenner writes about transcranial magnetic stimulation where with a few Transcranial Zaps they can possibly treat migraines, depression, help you sleep better and even make you smarter.

Inducing brain activity may be a good idea in some cases such as brain disorders as exemplified by the coma patient that recently responded to a Brain Pacemaker. At the same time I think we have to be wary of the fact that the brain is trainable.

I worry the each time you use this device that you are inadvertently re-enforcing some random or not so random set of pathways with unknown consequences. Beyond this, TMS is considered safe ( relative to electroconvulsive therapy ! ) and there is a slight risk of siezures.

I think for now I will wait for a few others to become guinea pigs before I exchange it for counting sheep.

2 thoughts on “Brain Zapping, for Fun and Profit.

  1. There’s a mediocre Michael Chrichton novel in which the protagonist is outfitted with a simillar device (excepting the electrodes are implanted directly into his brain, and a few other minor details and trivia thrown in) If you’re familliar with the author you can guess what happens, but I thought it might help you think up some consequences for your scenario.

  2. Hi Watt,

    This type of thing is fertile ground for fun fiction. Honestly I don’t know that magnetic stimulation is that damaging.. the problem is that I doubt anyone else (including researchers) really know or will for years.


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