Alex: Okay and then in evolution to overall mood and just general happiness I guess that kind of goes hand in hand together.
Dr Sherlin: Right. Absolutely.
Alex: Okay. So question 2, what is a good description of trans-cranial direct current stimulation? And I’ll pop an image of that up, it’s referenced in the articles, it’s something that I’m sure you’re aware of but if you want to kind of give the high level of what that technology is and how it correlates or relates is different to what you do in neural feedback.
Dr Sherlin: So it’s largely different. Similar because they’re both interacting in the electrical processes of the neuron where transcranial direct current stimulation is as the name applies and a current, a constant current that is applied to the scalp and you have a current flowing. So you’re applying this direct current and it would go through a nanode and then the current passes through the brain and through the skull and then comes to, to the cathode and so there is, as the neurons begin to fire, doing it’s natural firing so it’s not a stimulation technique when it causes the neuron to fire, when it does it’s because there’s a larger reaction or a larger response to its already firing process. So there’s some early research that – it’s been around for quite a long time, in fact – but more recently been applied in cognitive enhancement and those types of applications, you know executive function, the tension, mood regulation, these types of things. So it’s different in the way that it’s applying a current, where neural feedback is encouraging where it’s encouraging or feeding back, getting rewards when the brain creates a particular electrical signature. So one is based on alluring theory, when you do the right thing, I’m going to give you a reward and you’re going to learn what that’s like and you’re going to recreate it where the direct current stimulation there is not a learning process involved, the brain is being stimulated to produce and reinforce a particular current or a particular action from that neuron.
Dr Sherlin: So there are similar applications in performance and kind of enhancement in a general way. There’s certainly the idea as they both relate to neurogenesis and the application of neuroplasticity in growth and enhancing the faculties that we already have with quite different principles underneath.
Alex: Gotcha. I was just curious personally about that. So what’s this reference – we can – a situation where neurofeedback and brain stimulation brain training in general, can help regenerate the brain after a tragedy like a neurogenesis disease, trauma,car accident, brain hemorrhage, strobes something like that. Neurofeedback plays a big roll, I know and it’s possible and you do have some things that you’ve done in the past with neurofeedback to help bring stroke victims and alzheimer’s patients back to reality and re-train the brain. So, what techniques are necessary to re – regain, sorry the loss of our brain when it relates to neural feedback. Is there any specific technique that you use to bring back someone that’s suffered brain damage versus someone like an athlete.
Dr Sherlin: Yeah, in fact there’s quite a bit of difference in the application, the process but the underlying principles are the same, though it’s still about getting a particular set of neurons to fire synchronously and then when they do it you reward them for doing it with… And an athlete in a performance scenario it’s really about learning flexibility between different cognitive states and emotional states and how they can reproduce those at the right moment. I’m aware, in this kind of a scenario where there’s been an injury or there’s damage from whatever the cause, it’s a bit of a different strategy. So now you’re looking at areas that potentially have either died or are weakened to some degree now you’re really looking at enhancement from a rehabilitative type stamploid. So you’re talking about increasing the number of synapses that infuriate connections it really just enfasys ing and building stronger neurons and networks after some damage has occurred so it’s a different application because now we’re very focal in where the training occurs, though are more specific to that site, where they may have had the damage and we’re typically – we’re rewarding different attributes of that electrical signatures, though and performance models we’re training lot’s of different aspects and we’re asking them sometimes to be more engaged sometimes to be lesser engaged and somewhere in between that on other times where in the rehabilitation type of process we’re really trying to get these areas online. We’re potentially also doing a lot more and what we call generally connectivity training where we’re really trying to get those areas or those structures to be, to reach out from a figurative standpoint, to reach out – more ingrained with those areas, they’re having to support it. And also trying to minimize the impact of other structures taking over those functions, so the brain is always looking for the path of least resistance so is one area is damage and other surrounding areas can take over that role and function then they will and that becomes maybe less efficient, but it’s effective and so if it is effective it may – the brain – it may not produce the necessary effort on rehabilitation and may, damaged are because that subject is being used elsewhere. A little analogy that I like to use is a lot like a construction site, so it ‘s an efficient way for us to get across distances by taking your interstate system, where if there’s construction there might be more time consuming than usual but overall it’s a time than dealing with a construction in the street and so we have to go through stop signs and red lights and those kinds of things, if we do that for a period of time long enough, then that becomes ingrained to be out natural route that we’re going and we may not jump back onto that interstate section and so what we want to do is encourage the brain to continue to try that interstate system, you know, as provide the proper resources, you know, blood flow, oxygen, all those types of things so that we don’t give up on the area that has been damaged.