[Neuro] possible target brain structures for tdcs induced wakefulness

Sarah Tappon sarah.tappon at gmail.com
Fri Dec 14 20:30:41 UTC 2012


FWIW, that paper sets off my sketch alarms because:
a) it is published in a journal that isn't even a brain imaging or
neuroscience journal, much less a reputable one
b) the article name-drops the authors' commercial product spin-off
c) the article and abstract are written as though nothing is known
about the neurobiology of sleep deprivation and it's breaking new
ground, and the study seems exploratory and doesn't mention any
hypotheses, which is weird since people have been doing fMRI studies
of sleep dep for like a decade now
d) they don't relate the brain changes to either self-reported
sleepiness or performance on their task (or if they did, they must not
have found much, since it isn't in the abstract and it's the obvious
thing you'd want to look at).

Of course it's hard to say for sure without reading the full study,
but given the high proportion of mediocre-to-terrible fMRI work that
exists in the world, I recommend always erring on the side of
skepticism in these matters.

That being said, I think we should try targeting parietal cortex for
sure, as it is heavily involved in visual working memory and
attention, which interrelate with abstract reasoning and fluid
intelligence in all sorts of interesting ways.

We can't target thalamus or anterior cingulate because they aren't on
the surface of the brain.

Tangentially: anterior cingulate is active in basically every fMRI
study of every cognitive process ever, so if you ever read any fMRI
paper talking about how "ACC activity is associated with blah blah
blah!" be aware that that is not telling you much. (See:
http://www.sacklerinstitute.org/cornell/summer_institute/ARCHIVE/2006/papers/Poldrack/Poldrack.inpress.trends.pdf
which is great and everyone should read!)

Sarah

On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 3:37 AM, LinkReincarnate
<linkreincarnate at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/253842.php
>
> If we stimulate those sections of the brain would we have a more noticeable
> affect on thought processes?  Is it possible to mitigate the downsides of a
> lack of sleep?
>
>
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