June 18, 2019 | The Scientist
Do Devices that Monitor or Zap the Brain Live Up to Their Claims?
Dozens of companies are selling wearable neurotechnologies—gadgets that typically work by either recording brainwaves using electroencephalography (EEG) or by stimulating the brain with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Despite wide-ranging claims about their benefits, many of these devices lack the evidence to back them up, according to a paper published last month (May 22) in Neuron by University of British Columbia neuroethicist Judy Illes and her colleagues.
They are not first to raise the issue. In the last few years, scientists and ethicists have voiced concerns about poor oversight of these products and the paucity of data on their efficacy. In fact, some researchers say that the jury’s still out on whether EEG- and tDCS-based techniques can actually provide the benefits the promise.