Put your thinking cap on, no we mean literally put it on. How can you literally put your thinking cap on? This is where you thank psychology professor Geoff Woodman and Ph.D. student Robert Reinhart of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. The duo has come up with an actual thinking cap which is capable of helping people to learn and take decisions quicker and with less error.
The cap works by transmitting minute electrical shocks to the brain when being worn by the user. The creators have claimed that by activating particular parts of brain, the user could pick up new skills and be able to take better decisions. According to studies that have been carried out on human brain; milliseconds before humans make a mistake, negative voltage spikes occur in the medial-frontal cortex of the brain. Reinhart and Woodman found out that a certain part of brain is capable of influencing decision making and learning, thus helping users to stay away from making the same mistakes later.
The duo decided to check out if it is possible to be able to control the electrophysiological response of brain to mistakes. The part of these tests was to check out if these responses can be decreased or improved with the help of directional current application. The end result was a cap that consists an elastic headband along with a bunch of electrodes to get connected with the cheek and head’s crown.
A transcranial direct current stimulation is provided via these electrodes for 20 minutes. Afterwards, an EEG cap is worn around the head to record readings from brain while the user performs activities. According to the initial trials, 75% of the test subjects exhibited quite an amazing improvement in learning and decision making while wearing this amazing thinking cap.
According to Woodman, “We did find that the effects lasted about five hours.” The creators believe this cap would find its use with surgeons and commercial pilots while also helping those with psychiatric disorders.
The team is busy on working out the long-term effects of using this cap and there is still some time before this invention finds its way into the market. Fingers crossed for when we will be able to use the thinking cap before our tests!