Study finds electrical stimulation of the brain aids in solving novel tasks

The Huffington Post reports on new research by Richard Chi and Allan Snyder of the University of Sidney. According to Chi:

We took a standard problem of insight, a match stick arithmetic visual problem, and we trained people into solving the problem with one kind of strategy. Subsequently, we asked people to solve a much harder problem that required a novel twist, a completely different strategy for solving the problem. Most people had great difficulties in thinking outside the box! Only 20% of people without stimulation can solved this new problem, whereas 60% can with brain stimulation.

Dr. Chi describes the apparatus that provided the brain stimulation:

It is a simple device called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which consists of two sponge electrodes and can be powered by a 9 volt battery. In layman’s terms, the technique can excite or inhibit certain part of the brain depending on current polarity. The effects of stimulation last about an hour…

Read more about this research on The Huffington Post.


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