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  • The effects of Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) at Individual Alpha Peak Frequency (iAPF) on motor cortex excitability of young and elderly adults

    Interesting new paper about tACS and peak alpha :

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388245718304000

     

    Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) was shown to modulate brain oscillation, cortical excitability and behaviour. This technique allows for the direct perturbation of brain oscillation such as the EEG alpha wave (8–12 Hz). In aging, there is correlation between the decrease in alpha activity and the profound cognitive and motor impairments. Studies suggest a state-dependent effect of tACS on alpha activity: upregulation of alpha oscillations only occurs in conditions of low alpha power (e.g. in the elderly).

     

    Remember, the foc.us v3 is the only brain stimulator that has rippled current designed to increase your peak alpha.

  • V3 in stock & back-orders shipped

    foc.us are pleased to confirm that all V3 backorders were shipped on Monday and that the V3 is now in stock for delivery.

    There were about 10 suppliers involved with this project and a couple were new to us. New supplier relationships can take a little time on both sides to establish some trust and understanding. So whilst the delays are always regretted they can be propitious.

    Our attention now returns to finishing the fNIRS sensor. We have made a few unannounced tweaks to the specification have that we are excited to share with you soon.

  • ohsnapitsnathan biased mod?

    Following the focus meltdown tweetstorm the following was brought to our attention.

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  • ohsnapitsnathan vs focus reddit.com/r/tdcs

    Some people ask why focus never engage on reddit.

    Here is the answer:

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  • EEG Primer - Part 4

    EEG EQUIPMENT

    To fully understand what people think, you need to look inside their heads. EEG (electroencephalography) is the tool for doing that job; it gives immediate information into the role of the brain, by detecting the small amounts of electrical activity produced by the brain.

    EEG has been used by academics and neuro marketers along with other researchers for a very long time.

    The opportunities it provides are matchless – no other piece of hardware is able to track the function of the brain so quickly, and with such flexibility, as EEG

    EEG equipment has been used over 100 years of history. Today, there is high demand of superior high quality EEG devices. Many companies are trying to cater to this high demand and specific needs of each EEG user. There is a unique value proposition with every device including price! The advanced devices have a high pricing range. While on the low range are devices that take longer to analyze and examine the data. Below are a few EEG devices with specific qualities and price ranges along so that you can find one perfect to your needs.

    Low price range EEG equipment ($100- $1000)

    The lower the price the lower will be the amount of electrodes. The EEG devices of MUSE and NEUROSKY offer improved sleep and meditation. The device Emotiv, offers 5 and 15 electrodes and enhance understanding of the patients mental state. These devices are also wireless, and allow the respondent to move.

    Middle price range( $1000-$24000)

    As the price increases so does the number of electrodes. All of these devices are used for research purposes, the nature of your work will determine which is device is suitable for you. Many companies like ABM, Neuro, Wearable sensing etc offer wireless devices, which allows the recording to occur while the person moves, also increased mobility means increased comfort. These devices also allow the data to be collected at a lesser time span.

    There are a broad variety of choices at this price range, with up to 64 channels presented, fixed units, flexible systems, and head caps.

    The amount of information necessary, flexibility, and comfort of the patient are all elements that can be answered by these headsets, but your needs will determine which device to choose.

    HIGH PRICE RANGE ($25000 and above)

    A huge variety of devices can be found around this price range, with electrodes ranging from 32-256 channels. The more the electrodes the higher the quality of brain signals. These devices allow an extremely high resolution when detecting brain activity.

    ANT Neuro provides wireless devices with up to 64 channels, and can work without conductive gel up to 256 electrodes. At such a high density, the electrode number can be divided, which will allow up to four mobile systems with 256 channels.  The purpose of your research may or may not require such equipment.

    If you aren’t sure of which one to get, it is always advised to speak with colleagues in the field, or other experts, or the manufacturers themselves so that you get the full picture about what exactly their systems offer.

  • TFI tDCS Friday

    If you're wondering why we have crazy green fonts all over the place, you're in good company.

    Continue reading

  • EEG Primer - Part 3

    Risks

    The EEG test is completely safe and painless. The patient does not feel any sort of discomfort and there are no risks associated with an EEG.

    Some EEG’s do not have any stimuli which may be useful in detecting abnormalities. Stimuli like flashing light may be added so that abnormalities become apparent.

    If the patient is suffering from epilepsy or has some other sort of seizure disorder, the stimuli presented, such as a flashing light or some sort of sound, may result in a seizure. The technician must be trained to manage such situations before performing the EEG.

    Preparation

    Following steps must be taken to ensure that EEG gives accurate results

    1. Make sure that you hair is clean on the day the EEG is performed. There is no product in your hair like sprays or gels.
    2. In case your doctor has advised not to take any prescribed medicine before the test, make sure that you haven’t. Also, a list of medications that your take should be given to the technician as well that is performing the test.
    3. Do not eat and drink food that contains caffeine for a minimum of 8 hours prior to the test.
    4. As you might have to sleep and relax during the test, the doctor will advise you to sleep as little as possible before the night of the test. During the test you might also be given sedatives so that you relax.
    5. After the test is over, you can carry on with your regular routine. If a sedative was given to you in might take a while for it to get out of your system. So you will have to bring someone along who will take you home after the procedure. Make sure you rest till the effect of the medication wears off.

    Procedure

    The test only takes about 30-60 minutes. The procedure starts with you lying on the table or the bed, the technician will mark the places where the electrodes will be placed, the area will be scrubbed with a special liquid so that high quality recording is done. 20 small sensors are attached to your scalp by the technician. Brain activity is picked up by these sensors also known as electrodes, and is then sent to the machine by the neurons. They are either displayed on the monitor screen of the computer or are recorded as patterns of lines on moving paper. The electrical activity passing between your skin and the electrodes is very low, so your skin will not feel any sort of discomfort.

    The technician will ask you to relax with your eyes open at first, and closed after. You will have to breathe deeply and might have to react to a stimulus, for example a flashing light; this will result in a different brain pattern. He might ask you to close or open your eyes or look at specific thing, like an object or a picture. All of this will produce different patterns, It is rare to have a seizure during the test but people suffering from epilepsy might have one when reacting to the stimulus, but the chances of this happening are low.

    A test called polysomnography will be done if you are sleeping during the test; this is done to check bodily functions like the pulse or your breathing.

    For capturing seizure activity of patient suffering from epilepsy, the patient might undergo a test of 24 hours. The EEG uses video for recording seizure activity. Any abnormalities that didn’t occur during the test become apparent during the EEG. These abnormalities are limited to seizure-related.

    After

    After the test is performed, the electrodes will be removed by the technician. Any residue left from the glue that was holding the electrodes in place can be removed by a nail polish remover at home. It is advised to have someone along when going for an EEG test as you might be given sedatives or if a patient is actively suffering from seizures, so that they can accompany you home. The prescribed medications which were stopped by the doctor before the test can be started to be taken again. The doctor, neurologist will look at the recordings of the brain activity. He will inform if there is any unusual activity that might suggest a problem with your brain. He may schedule an appointment to go over the results. If the brain activity is normal then it means you have no brain disorder.

    It is advised to discuss the results of the test with your neurologist. You should also write down any questions that you have in mind prior to the reviewing of the test. Make sure that you speak up and get the doctor to ask any queries regarding your results that you might be having difficulty understanding. Don’t leave any doubt.

  • EEG Primer - Part 2

    How is the EEG data interpreted?

    As the electrical activity produced by the brain is examined by the EEG equipment, we can interpret which areas of the brain are processing which information at a specific time.

    • Occipital lobe

    The occipital lobe makes sense of the visual information in order for us to understand it. It is responsible for processing visual information. If this part of the brain is damaged we would not be able to process the visual signals correctly.

    • Parietal cortex

    It is responsible for the processing of sensory information within seconds. If this part of the brain would be damaged, humans wouldn’t be able to feel sensations of touch.

    • Temporal cortex

    Just like the occipital lobe is responsible for processing visual information, the temporal lobe is responsible for processing auditory information. It revolves around hearing and listening and understanding and interpreting the information.

    • Frontal cortex

    This is where we form our personalities and become who we are. It is responsible for making decisions like what to wear or when to sleep and is also in charge for thinking and understanding something. It is essential for being able to speak fluently and meaningfully.

    Apart from where the electric movement generates from we can also analyze the frequencies which make the ongoing activity. At different states, the brain generates different frequency patterns.

    • Delta(1-4 Hz)

    This is primarily for examining how deep the sleep is. The stronger the delta rhythm, deeper the sleep will be.

    • Theta(4-7 Hz)

    This is related with cognitive tasks like recalling memory and difficult tasks, for example what you ate 3 days back or reading the alphabet backwards.

    • Alpha (7-12 Hz)

    It is associated with the state when we are relaxed but drowsy. It coordinates multi sensory processing, attention and concentration.

    • Beta (12-30 Hz)

    It is related with body movements, when we anticipate or even notice body movements. These become stronger as we plan to execute any movement.

    • Gamma (30-50 Hz)

    Gamma frequency is associated with attentive focusing and serves as carrier frequency to facilitate the exchange of data between different brain regions.

    Analyzing the EEG (Electroencephalogram) data, can be quite challenging. Examining the data, in order to extract and indentify information requires expertise and experience.

    USES OF EEG (Electroencephalogram)

    Why is it performed?

    An EEG is performed to check if there are any problems in the electrical activity of the brain which may be related to specific brain disorders. The values and measurements used by an EEG are used to either confirm or to take out the following conditions:

    • Dementia: it is related to symptoms like loss of memory and reduced thinking skills resulting difficulty in performing daily activities.
    • Stroke: stroke is a condition where the brain stops functioning properly due to the lack of blood flow or due to bleeding.
    • Head injury: any type of injury to the brain, skull or scalp. It could either be a mild bump of a traumatic brain injury which results to some sort of damage.
    • Seizure disorders (epilepsy): seizure refers to a sudden rush of electrical brain activity. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder with unprovoked seizures.
    • Brain tumors: tumors can either be malignant or benign. A tumor is a mass of tissue formed by the collection of abnormal cells.
    • Sleep disorders: this includes sleep apnea, narcolepsy, cataplexy and sleeping sickness.
    • Memory problems: this is related to Alzheimer in which memory is affected. The thinking, reasoning and memory skills are reduced.
    • Encephalopathy: it is a brain disease, damage or malfunction

    EEG can also be performed on people that are in coma. Their brain activity can be tested in order to see if there is any progress or improvement in the individual. The test can also be done during brain surgery so that brain activity is monitored.

  • Focus Safety Video

    Please watch the following video to review tDCS contraindications.

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