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.
This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
Photograph: Jon Smith
Our media partner for this program is The Week.