How far would you go to improve your focus, memory, or even learning ability? Would you be willing to strap on headgear that delivers electrical shocks to targeted areas of your brain? You may soon have that option. It’s called transcranial direct current stimulation, and it’s currently being tested on soldiers and used by gamers, students, and others looking for a cognitive edge. But questions linger: does it work? What are potential long-term effects? And how should it be regulated?
This program opens with an excerpt from the hit show “Robot,” from choreographer/filmmaker Blanca Li.
The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.
Our media partner for this program is The Week.
Lightbulb Photograph: Jon Smith