A cutting-edge consumer neurostimulation device can now help individuals improve their focus and improve mental performance in the comfort of their own homes. LIFTiD is an affordable transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) device that targets the areas of the brain responsible for alertness, concentration, and sustained attention.
tDCS works like other types of neurostimulation — such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) –, in that it uses electricity transmitted through the skull to affect brain structures. TMS, typically performed in a clinical setting, uses strong electromagnetic pulses, directly causing neurons to fire. tDCS uses a very low-current electrical charge that affects the cell membranes surrounding neurons, making it easier for them to fire. tDCS also increases blood flow and releases neurotransmitters, enhancing neuronal responsiveness.
tDCS is gentler and has fewer side effects than TMS; it also uses more compact and lightweight hardware. The designers of LIFTiD have further streamlined tDCS technology into a comfortable headband that is worn above the eyebrows. The headband contains two electrodes that rest directly above each eye. This position is ideal for stimulating the neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area associated with memory, decision-making, and attention.
LIFTiD delivers a 20-minute cycle of mild stimulation to the DLPFC. The user performs an activity requiring moderate focus during this cycle. Following the session, the user should experience reduced brain fog, increased energy, and sharper processing when performing tasks that require intense concentration.
A growing number of small, high-quality clinical studies suggest that tDCS to the DLPFC has a measurable effect on performance. For example, in 2016, researchers found that participants who received tDCS showed a significant improvement in multitasking capability. Another study conducted in 2018 determined that tDCS was more effective than caffeine for fatigue mitigation.
Currently, LIFTiD gives healthy adults a stimulant-free option for mental performance enhancement. But some studies suggest tDCS might offer a safe, non-pharmacological at-home treatment for depression, and it could prove useful for anxiety and other mood disorders. Having succeeded at bringing their device to market, LIFTiD stands ready to provide clinical applications of the technology for consumers when the moment arrives.