Can Electricity Overclock Your Brain?


[clicks]>>Oh my god.
>>Okay let’s take care of that.>>What?
>>I flipped this switch and I saw a flash in my eyes and then I turned it off and I saw a flash at the exact moment. I think this is positioned
right over the optic nerve. That was [buzzes] up.>>That didn’t happen. Is it still all the way? Yeah it’s still all the way up too.>>That was too creepy.
>>That’s alarming. Let’s get this off you.>>Yeah, we’re sometimes tongue
in cheek about don’t try this but don’t try this. That was wild. [smooth music]>>ROBOTIC VOICE:
Transcranial direct-current stimulation.>>Transcranial
direct-current stimulation. I assume you’re stimulating, wait it doesn’t even say
what you’re stimulating.>>It doesn’t, it doesn’t.>>[laughs] There’s all
kinds of applications but this a brain thing though, right?>>Yeah, you’re going to want to take your pants off.
>>Nope, nope, nope, nope.>>I know these aren’t
quite sanitary but [laughs].>>Nope.>>[laughs] No you hook
these up to your brain. This is a device that
was originally created to help with depression.>>Yeah this is like a mild form of actual electroshock therapy. So back in the days, you
would go to an insane asylum, they would just hook you up and zap you, you know thinking one flew
over the cuckoo’s nest. But then there was a resurgence of people with clinical depression
and I believe epilepsy, that what they would do is they were like, “Okay, we’re now civilized,
we’re going to put you to sleep “and then we’re going to
zap your brain a few times” and it seemed like there was
promising stuff in there. I don’t know much about the
direct-current stimulation but I loved reading up all
about the magnetic stimulation, where they have those incredibly
powerful electromagnets and basically it’s a hat,
that they press a button and then you see the face of god or you get unbearably sad for some reason.>>Right, now this has all
of the hallmarks of that, it’s very similar. But this is only like nine milliamps. We’ve got two nine volt batteries in here and so it’s really, really mild. This only goes up so far.>>See this is the part
that makes me nervous. First of all, this does look
like it was put together with a project box from Fry’s. This looks like something I
would make to make it look–>>It’s got the hallmarks
of pseudoscience, right?>>I know [laughs], it’s
got dials and switches. I don’t like it!>>JASON: Well there’s a red and a black. [laughter] So look at the little needle. Why are you questioning it?>>If I’m guessing correctly, as I understand it, we know that different regions of the brains do different things, we know that the neurons
fire because of electricity and so on and theoretically, if you have a current running
through a certain section, it would have, presumably
some impact on your cognitive, your speech, your perception
or whatever, right? And so I guess right now, a bunch of enthusiasts
are just hooking stuff up?>>Not just enthusiasts. Now I think the jury is still out on this. There’s still a lot of disagreement over how effective this is. There seem to be maybe
just correlative evidence that it helps with
depression or chronic pain. All of this is fringe, it’s very new. We’re kind of on the frontier
of this new technology. I have seen neurologists
really espousing the benefits of this, but I don’t think there’s been a really widespread acceptance of it.>>So we’re in a case where,
there seems to be something here but we don’t know for sure exactly what?>>Exactly.
>>That sounds perfect.>>DARPA has been using this for decades to cut the training time
of fighter pilots in half.>>I read a book, the whole book was about enhanced training techniques and they mentioned that in there. If only I had this hooked up,
I could remember the book.>>Yeah exactly. I know everything!
[laughter]>>You become Jack Black.>>That’s right [laughs]. Talking motorcycle, oh my god am I going to get
turned into a motorcycle?>>Oh that would be so rad.>>That’d be pretty cool. The idea is that you take these two pads and you place them based
on what you’re trying to accomplish, somewhere on your dome. So it’s like if you want
to minimize your depression or anxiety, you’re going
to put them like here. And if you want to minimize chronic pain, you’ll place them somewhere else. We’re going to try to
improve your reaction time.>>Good.>>Really not a lot of power. You are going to feel something physically when we hook it up.
>>Like a tickle? Tickle a little bit?
>>Like a little burning, tingling tickling. First time I tried it, I
just [buzzes] my pants. [laughter] and it’s only happened like three times since I took them off. But it’s fine, there’s
no long term things.>>Oh we’re dumb people, Jason. What are we doing?
[laughter] What are we doing?>>So you’ve got your
anode, which is the red. You’ve got your cathode,
which is the black. And then we’re going to
fasten them to your head, with these headbands.>>Yes and then when you ask me anything, I say “Steve!” No?
>>What is that from?>>”Cloudy With A Chance
Of Meatballs” they got it. They thought it was hilarious.>>We’re going to hook you up to it and then we’re going to
run some tests on you and it’s going to be awesome. Cause I’m going to feel like a scientist.>>[laughing] Cause we all know, this is what makes us scientists.>>I mean we’re scientists!>>Okay saltwater.>>First you need to drink this.>>Really?
>>Yeah.>>Wait for reals?
>>Yes.>>I have to drink saltwater?>>You don’t have to
drink the whole thing, but just drink like, how
much is in there left? Okay drink like half.>>How is this? This is just seawater.>>Don’t drink it, I’m just kidding. [laughter]>>Oh [buzzes]. You’re a real piece of work, Murphy. [laughter] Cause I’m sitting here thinking, oh maybe your body absorbs the salinity and it improves your electricity. You’re such an ass.>>Oh I wish I could’ve stuck with it. But I was like, oh what if
he gets sick or something? [laughter] So this is the ApeX Type A and there are lots of
different types of these, you can also build them yourself.>>Do they sell these telling
you with the intention of hooking up your brain? What is the stated purpose of this, that this is the off-label application?>>They’re real cagey about it. They’re like, “We’re not doctors, “but…”>>”But here’s some pads.”
>>”If you want to do this…” I would like to emphasize that we are not doctors. We are science enthusiasts. Agree to disagree? [laughter] Okay, that’s fine.>>In my heart, you know.>>JASON: All right we’re
going to take these pads, and we’re going to soak them
real good in this saltwater. The company that makes this,
recommended distilled water.>>What are these grids
here, these things?>>That’s the conductivity, you’re
going to plug that in there.>>All right, yep, yep, yep, yep.>>Okay and you want to
get them as wet as you can, but without the water
dripping down your forehead.>>To have enough saltwater on there that the current flows through effectively over a large chunk of your skin, I guess?>>Exactly.
>>I don’t like none of this.>>Man all of our episodes of electricity just go really well.>>[laughs] We’re kind
of electrical geniuses.>>Electrical enthusiasts, Brian. Do you want to sit down
and I’ll help you apply it? Or do you want to do it right here?>>The mere fact that you’re telling me to sit down makes me nervous. Why would I need to sit down?>>Do you need to call your family first?>>I need to apparently prepare
a last will and testament.>>I just thought it might be easier. All right do you want it
left side or right side?>>I’m right-handed so left brain.>>Sure, I’ll hook it up right about here.>>Okay good, so I feel the
water squishing through. Oh wait [laughs].>>Yeah.>>I look like I just had wisdom
teeth removed or something.>>It’s good, it’s good. It’s your new profile pic. [laughter] If you start to hallucinate, tell me.>>Is that a real thing?>>Probably not. I mean–>>Certainly if I start
hallucinating you’d want to know. Oh my god.
>>Let’s take care of that. Okay put it right about there. Yeah, hold it. Okay. Now we’re–>>And this is going to
improve my reaction time?>>That’s what we’re shooting for. This particular configuration, based on the website of the
company that makes this, is supposed to improve your motor skills.>>Okay, flip the switch.>>I’ve got it turned all the way down. Do you want me to?>>It’s all the way, ouch! [laughter] You just collapse on the ground. [Brian yells gibberish] Okay.
>>Gets your attention right?>>Yeah little bit.>>It’s not bad, I
turned it all the way up. That’s as bad as it’s going to get. How many fingers am I holding up? [laughter]>>I know you’re still a [buzzes]. [laughter] Yeah all right, here let’s test. I guess I’ll get a baseline.>>All right let’s get the baseline.>>I have become more than human. Can I get this mounted? [buzzing and drilling]>>We probably had some
people watching this who were seriously interested
in learning about TDCS and then they saw us doing this and they were like, all right nevermind.>>Well I mean, good riddance. [laughter] If they can’t handle the science,
stay out of the lab, man. [dramatic music] All right so we’re getting
what, a baseline here?>>Yep, HumanBenchmark.com. We’re not turned on or anything like that. We’re just going to
test your reaction time.>>Okay we blocked out, cause I don’t even want to know how well I’m doing. You’ll science the numbers.>>Oh I’m going to science the numbers. It’s going to be red and
then when it goes green, that’s when you click it.>>And as fast as I do.>>Five times.>>Okay, five times, got it.>>Only click once, but
it’ll do it five times.>>Okay, here we go. [clicks]>>Now hit it again. [clicks]>>All right. [clicks] [smooth music] So save score?>>Save score.
>>Here, I’ll not look.>>All right, you want to do it again?>>Yep.
>>Okay.>>All right, because I
want to do two trials, cause it might be that I’m
just warming up or whatever. So this time, I’m truly going to do my very best performance
that I can on this. And I feel like I have
a sense of how it goes. [smooth music] [clicks] So I feel like it’s faster already cause I’m just sort of dialed in.>>I think you are doing better.>>But this is without
performing enhancing electricity. [clicks] Okay, great.
>>Okay.>>So save the score now.>>Yep, turn away.
>>Oh yep, yep okay. All right so that’s two baseline trials.>>Now we’re going to make it
a little more fun, all right? Basically, it’s just an excuse to play Overwatch at work [laughs].>>Okay, yes. This is going to be hugely unscientific, because every game, you have other players.
>>It’s going to be different. Yeah lots of variables there. [dramatic music] ♪ All I want is for the game to load ♪ ♪ Then we can play the game ♪ ♪ And we can get the numbers ♪ ♪ And then I can fry my brain ♪ [laughter] Our baseline will be, I’ll play as Tracer, that’s a super twitch one and we’ll look at basically, what, a kill to death ratio?>>Do the KD ratio.>>Try and stay alive and try to kill as many people as I can and that’ll be our number.>>Yeah, I think that’s good. Oh here we go.
>>Oh it found one. Okay, finally.>>JASON: All right,
King’s Row, deathmatch.>>Vaguely know this. It’s been a hot minute.>>JASON: Come on.>>BRIAN: I’m going to
get my butt handed to me and if you say something in the comments, you are not my friend
[laughter] unless it’s a lot of encouragement. Yeah there it is.>>Okay, you got this. I believe in you.
>>Sure, I clearly don’t. [laughter]>>You just run.>>Get back in there,
and was like, nope, nope.>>Yeah, all right.
>>Yeah! I killed one person, all
of the sudden I don’t care. I’m like, I killed someone
and it’s on the internet. [laughter]>>Yeah! [claps]>>All right I’m afraid
I’m going to do really good and then we’re going to fry my
brain and then it’ll be nothing. [laughter]>>Get out of there!>>Got you, got you.>>Yeah! You’re doing all right.>>Gotcha! Nope [laughs].>>Oh. Mm-mm.>>Oh this Noodle [buzzes],
this Noodle mother [buzzes].>>Oh Doomfist again! Watch out Doomfist, Doomfist!>>No!
[laughter] Noodle! Oh [buzzes].>>Well at least it wasn’t Noodle.>>[laughs] Yeah that’s progress. Get my ass handed to me by somebody else.>>I was starting to take that personally. Get out of there [laughs].>>He missed you [laughs].>>Run, run, run!>>I only live to kill Noodle, now.>>You got to go get health, man. You got to go get health. Don’t walk into this fight.>>Yeah, okay all right. You remind me when I
need to heal [laughs].>>Okay.>>Get them, get them, get them!>>Looks like Pharah rained
down hell from above.>>Oh!
>>Oh and on you.>>Kills assists and deaths.
>>Two, 11, seven.>>Okay, two, 11, seven, all right. Yeah this’ll work.
>>Yeah it’s not bad.>>I don’t mind being just the assistant to the regional killer.>>[laughs] You’re the
Dwight Schrute of Overwatch.>>[laughs] Yeah I am the
Dwight Schrute of Overwatch. Oh no, go, go, go!>>Somebody’s about to take it. I wonder who. Oh that’s it! Who won? Oh it was Widowmaker, who was up there just rocking the house. Two, 12 and nine.
>>Two kills, 12 assists, nine deaths, all right.>>Yeah, all right, all right.>>Yeah, not great, but.>>Two, 12 and nine.
>>That’s fine, that’s fine.>>Two, 12 and nine.
>>Baseline, baseline. Two, 12 and nine. [dramatic music] Wait, yeah, that’s minimum right?>>JASON: Okay, turn it on. Now I’m going to slowly turn it up, you’re going to feel a burning, itching, tingling sensation in your colon [laughter]>>Keep going.>>Okay, I’m just going to crank
it all the way up, just slowly.>>BRIAN: Yeah nice and easy. Oh I feel a little there’s
a little bit of a tickling, but I felt this little wave of, yeah I don’t know how much
of this is the placebo effect because the mere expectation
that something’s happening now is going to have me in a weird headspace. It’s tickling, tickling.>>Okay it’s all the way up, right now.>>Oh that’s it?
>>That’s it.>>Ah, okay, yeah all right.>>They say that you should do it for about 20 minutes, no longer. So let’s check the time, 12:41, okay. Now ideally what we’re doing here, the neurons that fire
together, wire together. So this should start getting
you into a state of flow, okay?>>Okay, yep all right, I’m ready.>>Okay, go for it. [clicks] [clicks] Okay.
>>So do you want to do two tests like we did before? That way we have kind of an average. Here I’ll look away. Okay, one more time, one more time. I can do even faster this time.>>You got it.>>What’s funny is I’m in
W-A-S-D for this one button. [laughter] [clicks] Oh that was bad. [clicks] [clicks] [clicks] Okay
>>Okay.>>I’ll be really curious to, I
don’t want to know the results.>>Okay, let’s go over to Overwatch. [dramatic music] This isn’t the most scientific
because it’s going to be–>>Nope, super scientific. We got wires and everything.>>Different players,
different level, but hey.>>I’m sorry, I’m operating
on a different plane and I don’t have time for
your [buzzes], Murphy.>>You really sound like you’re
operating as a smarter being.>>I am fired up. I am wired up.>>You feeling it? Okay back to Tracer. Eichenwalde. A level that I love.>>BRIAN: I’m less familiar.>>Get out of there, you need health.>>Yep, yep, yep, yep. Damn, damn, damn, damn that was dumb. That was a bad way to start.>>That’s okay, that’s okay.
>>That was a tactical mistake. Man I’m out in the open, this sucks. No!
>>Oh!>>Same dude.>>Yep, yep, yep. Maybe this is your new Noodle.>>Are you sure that this
is as high as it goes? [laughs] because I’m not doing better.>>[laughs] It’s all the way up, dude. Get out of there.>>I’m trying, I’m trying! Damnit.>>You were in a corner.
>>I was stuck. I was backed up and I sort of–>>Do you feel any different?>>I feel [buzzes] angry is how I feel. I feel like I’m out of sorts and I feel like I’m not in a flow state that’s good for the game.>>I’ll check the manual, but I don’t think that’s
a known side effect.>>Man this sucks. Science is bull [buzzes]. [laughter]>>That’s just what I was thinking. Okay you got this.>>No more dying. That’s my new game.>>Yeah, don’t do it anymore.>>I’m going to play it like it’s–>>Get out of there! Oh ho ho ho ho!>>It is high noon, sucker!>>Yeah I think–>>Nope. [laughs] It was good while it lasted. Damnit! From up top.>>Oh Hanzo, had your number.>>Yeah and I was just running around, playing duck hunt with him.>>Meanwhile I’m the dog.>>Yeah [laughs].>>You’ve got Tachyon again, that’s good.>>Yeah, not enough.>>JASON: You got to
get out of there, dude. Oh nice.
>>That was sweet.>>JASON: Yeah, that was
good, that was a good dodge.>>I don’t want to be trapped. I don’t want to be trapped!>>Oh, FunkyChicken!>>We’re all aware of how it ends up. Yeah!
>>Yeah, all right, you got it. How you feeling, any flow? You feeling any flow?>>I’m feeling the rage, simmering.>>Run, don’t let him have it. Don’t let him have it. Oh that wasn’t Tachyon.>>Yeah whatever, he was another McCree.>>All right, who won? Tachyon360.
>>Tachyon.>>All right how did you do? Four, 10 and 10. That was an improvement.>>BRIAN: So I had twice
the number of kills and I only died one more time?>>I think that’s an improvement. I mean, not a dramatic one. But an improvement.>>The power, my god. I feel it feel it
coursing through my veins. That’s wild and I guess
that’s a more competitive map, because I was lower in
the overall rankings, but by the actual metrics–>>You did better. Do you want to check out
your human benchmark numbers?>>Yeah I guess that’s going
to be the real number as well.>>That’s going to be
much more scientific.>>Okay, so,
>>Quotey fingers.>>the human benchmark. These are all four trials.>>Yeah let’s go to the first one. First one you had 315 milliseconds.>>Okay so that was me becoming
familiar with this thing.>>Not with the device. The second one, 285 milliseconds.>>Oh that’s interesting, so
I did worse on the second one.>>No, no the second one you did better.>>Oh you want lower numbers?>>You were a lower number because that is a faster reaction time. We should probably reposition this to understand how numbers work.>>[laughs] yeah okay, but
it says on the first one that I’m the top 34 percentile, oh wait, then the higher
numbers are better. Nevermind.
>>Yep. [laughs]>>I don’t know math
anymore, what’s happened?>>That’s okay, you just
reallocated some processing power.>>BRIAN: Okay my scores
were, 315 was the slowest, then 285 and then we turned on the gizmo and then it went down to 282, slightly better, probably
within the margin of error and then 294 which is actually, oh that doesn’t look like
much of an improvement at all.>>Not really much, no. It’s hard to say.
>>It’s tough to say how much you can attribute to this. But I’ll tell you what,
that tickling on there, I stopped feeling it.>>You can probably turn it off now.>>No, okay.>>Also this, this probably
helped you a little bit.>>The decorations?
>>Yep. [laughs]>>I like this coil on there. All right so what do we say, real thing?>>We did see some improvements, but I don’t know that we can really chalk it up to causation, right? So I think, you know there’s
maybe a correlation there. The jury’s out.>>And our test is somewhat scientific.>>Science-ish. Science adjacent.>>Oh disclaimers! Nobody try this, don’t do any of this.>>Yeah, we’re not doctors.>>And neither are the people selling, oh man, it hurts, I got to turn this down.>>Yeah, just turn it off.>>Oh there’s a, oh. [laughter]>>And then suddenly
you just start speaking in incomplete sentences. [laughter]>>I’m like, I want game shooty. [laughter]>>Noodle! Noodle!>>I’m going to go get candy, cause this is the best Halloween
costume I’ve ever gotten. [laughter] [grinding]>>I am a freelance brain
scientist, unlicensed, but I’m pretty good, pretty good.>>I’m just waiting for the
pants to walk out on their own. [laughter]>>I’m going to get some of those, man.>>That’s a great, that’s a terrible–>>Terrible idea.>>Promise me next time
you punk me like that. [laughter]

100 thoughts on “Can Electricity Overclock Your Brain?

  1. I bet you could think of a good subreddit for this video. Help spread the word, it means the world to us!
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  2. "The only difference between science and messing around is writing it down." Adam Savage. The coolest scientist on the planet.

  3. The first time in history someone unironically referenced Jack Black

    It's also the first time someone referenced the Heat Vision short ever

  4. I think reaction time and decision making are two different things and this test doesn't assist you at decision making in a video game. Helping your reaction be quicker doesn't help if you make better decisions; you would just make the bad decisions quicker. Also, The test didn't improve concentration, so it probably didn't help that he was distracted by the conversation the entire time. Lastly, what did this episode have to do with being a rogue? It seems more like a basic attempt at a science experiment.

  5. One time I hooked a 9V onto my braces. And when I touched it with my tongue I saw a bright flash. Everytime after that first time though, it was like my whole vision would just jiggle.

  6. That's kind of how neuro scientists test certain theories about what brain region works on certain problems.
    I saw a documentation, where they had this test, the tested person sat in front of a pc answering questions and solving problems. Then the researchers used a magnetic pulse on specific regions of the head emp-ing letting the tested persons doing the types of tasks again, certain things they could do better others were really hard. They suspected that this is how the brain of savants and other people with special conditions work, savants are really good at certain things, other tasks are quite the challenge, as certain regions of the brain seem to run in overdrive, sometimes due to other regions being damaged or developped differently.

  7. As a mental health student learning about TMS for depression, it's the most effective because in depression some of the electrical components of the brain aren't as active as they should be. So the electromagnetic stimulation basically works by telling those parts to wake up. Kind of like a system reboot on a computer

  8. Basically what you're doing is over-stimulating in a random order, it could be associated with getting "a" high except the effect in the brain is external not chemical.

    Using a a reference real computers you have to find the human version of The Clock Crystal, in the earliest consumer computers you could overclock by removing the crystal that oscillates at a certain frequency and put in one that all sleights at a higher frequency.

    But I'm afraid that probably doesn't exist for a human, the closest thing as an adrenaline boost, and you would need to interface with the brain directly with wires or lasers who is genetically modified cell to react to lasers.

    The easiest is wires, wires smaller than the connections between your brain cells, then your brain cells will actually connect to them overtime and interface with a computer.

    This is how we got hearing aids that go directly from microphone to brain in the 50's

  9. The baseline overwatch trial was like watching a dad trying to awkwardly bond with his son that he hasn't seen in years because Every night he goes on drinking binges and one night he goes gambling, loses his money, and on the drive home totals his car and was too embarrassed to come back home

  10. I am an overwatch conesieur and based off of your tracer gameplay (widow would’ve been a better option for reaction speed), I conclude that your stats could’ve been buffed by a good amount and you exited a couple fights you should’ve won and missed opportunities. Also my base reaction speed is approximately 60-140 ms faster so I am therefor by default smarter

  11. a better game test would have been something like Gunblood, something that's based on speed and accuracy, even if the accuracy is only in two dimensions.

  12. ok technically speaking, he got 14 kills in both the baseline and test, the difference is that 12 of those were assists the first time around, and 10 were assists the second time around. on top of that he died another time. so in all it's not necessarily a numerical improvement at all, and it can only really be judged off the footage weather he did better or not in terms of reflexes. personally i think there was some affect, considering the plays he made second time around, but he is generally skilled at the game so it is barely noteworthy

  13. You should do this again but do counterstrike aim training maps instead. There are too many variables in an actual match to show drastic improvement

  14. I would imagine rather than increasing your brains clock speed, you overloaded receptors momentarily… Like a flash bang beamed directly into your skull… Interesting and wildly unhealthy if EMR hippies are actually on to something.

  15. He said he was right handed so plug it to the left brain. But doesnt the left brain controle the right side of the body and vise versa?

  16. Brian: "we're now civilized, we're gonna put you to sleep before ECT."

    Me, a "conversion therapy" survivor: uhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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