brain hackingJoe Segen2016-12-11T20:09:50+00:00
Definition A term attributed to (video) gamers for DIY–do-it-yourself—stimulation of the brain with low-level electricity delivered by modified electrodes.
The hope is that zapping the head with small jolts of electricity would improve memory, cognition, and so on. It kinda makes sense, given that electrical jolts have been used with some success for epilepsy and Parkinson disease.
This phenomenon has been studied off and on for decades, formally in the context of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, in which electrical current is passed through electrodes placed on the outside of the head. Thus far, the data is weak and the positive results largely anecdotal. That hasn’t stopped the hype from purveyors of (largely quack) devices used for brain hacking.