Electrical stimulation of your brain can enhance learning and performance and create a sense of flow.

Michael Weisend, of the Mind Research Network is working on a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program to accelerate learning using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to cut the time it takes to train snipers.

The mild electrical shock is meant to depolarise the neuronal membranes in the region, making the cells more excitable and responsive to inputs and accelerates formation of new neural pathways during the time that someone practises a skill.

A side effect is that the subject experiences a sense of flow similar to that felt by competitors at the peak of their performance characterized by an intense and focused absorption that makes you lose all sense of time, the sense that the activity you are engaged in is rewarding for its own sake and the feeling that you have found the sweet spot where your skills are perfectly matched to the task at hand.

Now an online community of enthusiasts is beginning to experiment with tDCS using home made equipment with varying degrees of success despite the dangers involved in amateur cosmetic neuroscience.

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