Researchers have warned that unlike the common belief that electrical brain stimulation can make you a genius, it actually leads to mental overload.
Researchers are working on a project to determine whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can increase the smartness of an individual. This is a form of treatment in which very weak electrical current is sent through the skull to the outer layers of the brain.
The participants undertook a task that was split into three sections – simple, medium and difficult.
When the simple and medium tasks were performed on them, there was no stimulation. Negative effects were recorded when the most difficult tasks were done.
“tDCS had a disruptive effect only on the most difficult tasks that demanded a lot of concentration,” said one of the lead researchers, James Roe from the University of Oslo in Norway.
Roe noted that severe problems were experienced by the participants in the most difficult task and the brain was being stimulated.
“It was as though tDCS had completely overloaded a brain region crucial to performing the task, as though it crashed it,” Roe explained in a paper published in the journal Neuropsychologia.
Neuroscientists have in recent times developed interest in tDCS. Most of them claim that the device has a number of importance; including boosting the memory, increase self-control and increasing the creativity of an individual.
As much as the researchers acknowledge that tDCS can have a positive impact, they said the study exposed the effects of tDCS when used to solve tasks that have varying difficulty.