[Neuro] possible target brain structures for tdcs induced wakefulness

Jonathan Toomim jtoomim at jtoomim.org
Sun Dec 16 01:07:44 UTC 2012


Note: I didn't read the article.

The areas of the brain that are most strongly causally related to 
wakefulness (e.g. reticular formation, locus ceruleus; suprachiasmatic 
nucleus of the hypothalamus) are all brainstem or midbrain nuclei. As 
such, they're far from the scalp and not readily targeted with tDCS.


On 12/14/2012 12:30 PM, Sarah Tappon wrote:
> 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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