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Attaching 9-Volt battery to head can boost gaming performance

Posted by on 15/04/2011

Scientists at the University of New Mexico have discovered that delivering 2 milliamps of electricity (from a 9 volt battery) to a person’s scalp can actually boost gaming performance by about twice that of those receiving about one-twentieth of the power.

In an experiment conducted last year at a research center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, volunteers strapped on battery connected wet sponge pads to the temples on their head and played a military training combat game called DARWARS Ambush! Users had to navigate their way through a war-torn city and look out for snipers, land mines or any other threats that could prove potentially dangerous to their game characters. Results showed that users with the electric source attached to their head showed a higher ability to learn and remember than those without it, after a short period of training.

Surprisingly enough, the users were unable to figure out why they had  been so much better at playing the game with the electricity voltage running through their head, then when they played in a control state.

The experiment uses a technique called ‘transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS)‘ and its research actually is based on theories existent many centuries ago.

“This approach uses constant, low current delivered directly to the area of interest via small electrodes. While originally developed in the early 19th century, the advantages of tDCS are only now being discovered. Transcranial direct current stimulation has been determined safe for human use due to the low current used and can result in cortical modulations that last longer than the time of stimulation.” – Wikipedia

It seems that stimulating different parts of the brain with low levels of electricity has the potential to help develop increased functionality in those areas targeted, which can help training in various situations much easier. Even though the research in this new area of learning is still in a developmental state, there are some questions such as whether it is ethical to use this as a method of learning, and if the use of tDCS will be necessary to continue learning patterns of such nature.

  • Zac

    All across the world, millions of gamers give themselves brain damage by trying to recreate this experiment by soaking their heads and strapping as many batteries as they can to themselves.

  • Bradley Wint

    Lol! I believe only one battery is necessary.

  • Benny the Icepick

    Hey, the research just said that 9V is better than lower voltage. That means higher voltage must be even better!

    Hang on, lemme go climb in the bathtub with my XBox.

  • Bradley Wint

    *fineprint* BlogTechnical takes no responsibility for those who attempt to shock themselves to better play Call of Duty. LOL

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