London, 15 June 2011 - Inhibitory control can be boosted with a mild form of brain stimulation, according to a study published in the June 2011 issue of Neuroimage, Elsevier's Journal of Brain Function. The study's findings indicate that non-invasive intervention can greatly improve patients' inhibitory control. Conducted by a research team led by Dr Chi-Hung Juan of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University in Taiwan, the research was sponsored by the National Science Council in Taiwan, the UK Medical Research Council, the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, and a Fulbright Award.
This is like some science fiction novel. Imagine a young Jack Nicholson rendered calm and passive by a cap he can't remove. Would he jump into a lake to short out the hat so he can go on a rampage?
Imagine a dangerous impulsive person let out of jail on parole on the condition that they'll have a device strapped to their head that delivers a mild electrical current to their scalp. Would you favor or oppose parole conditioned on electrical controls that restrain a felon's brain?
The study demonstrates that when a weak electrical current is applied over the front of participants' scalps for ten minutes, it greatly improved their ability to process responses – effectively jumpstarting the brain's ability to control impulsivity. The treatment has the potential to serve as a non invasive treatment for patients with conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette's syndrome, drug addictions, or violent impulsivity.
Professor Chi-Hung Juan who led the research team noted, "The findings that electrical stimulation to the brain can improve control of their behavioral urges not only provide further understanding of the neural basis of inhibitory control but also suggest a possible therapeutic intervention method for clinical populations, such as those with drug additions or ADHD, in the future".
Do you have attention deficit? Too hyperactive? Would you want to wear an electrical stimulator device that would calm you down?
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2011 June 15 08:02 PM Brain Free Will|