The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'transcranial magnetic stimulation'
A New York Times journalist tries on a magnetic helmet that gives savant-like skills. The transcranial magnetic stimulator, at the University of Sydney, works by shutting down some parts of the brain, causing other parts to operate similarly to the way they do in autistic savants; i.e., giving awareness of details which are often edited out when a normal brain forms the "big picture" from them. The journalist in question was asked to draw pictures of cats and dogs and perform various mental tests at different stages of the process. Some speculate that such helmets may eventually find their way onto the market, with students using them before taking examinations (which wouldn't surprise me at all). The implications may be even more far-reaching; for example, perhaps we'll eventually see the International Olympic Committee start testing chess players for the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation? (via MeFi)
Scientists in Sydney have developed a device which increases creativity through magnetic stimulation of the brain. My reactions: (a) I want one, then (b) if it ever makes it to market, it'll probably be banned worldwide; the effects of millions of people becoming unpredictable creatives could be too economically destabilising to allow.