A “dead salmon moment” for tDCS?

23 May

Another account of  György Buzsáki’s tDCS experiment:

“Buzsáki set up the system on a cadaver and measured how much of the current penetrated the skull and made it into the brain. Not much, so it would seem. He is still writing up his results for peer review, but presented an outline at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in New York early last month. In his talk, he explained that so little electrical charge gets through the skull and into the brain that stimulating neurons to fire would require applying roughly twice the current that most commercial devices supply.”

Here are the counterarguments:

“Buzsáki’s critics have two responses. First, they suggest that living tissue has fundamentally different electrical characteristics, and so experiments on dead tissue tell us nothing. Buzsáki disagrees: if anything, more current will make it into the inactive tissue of a cadaver’s brain than into the brain of a live person, he says.

Second, critics argue that there need not be enough current to make neurons fire, just enough to bring them closer to the threshold for firing.”

You can read about dead salmons here.

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