Although deep brain stimulation has been proven effective in treating medical conditions, the technique is invasive, meaning that the body has to be penetrated to deliver the stimulus.
New research takes a different approach and discovers mild electrical stimulation to the skull can help an individual control impulsive behavior.
Researchers from the University of Taiwan performed the study, which is published in the journal Neuroimage.
The scientists discovered that when a weak electrical current was applied over the front of participants’ scalps for 10 minutes, it greatly improved their ability to process responses — effectively jump-starting the brain’s ability to control impulsivity.
The intervention holds promise as a non-invasive treatment for individuals with conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s syndrome, drug addictions or violent impulsivity.
Neuroscientist Chi-Hung Juan, Ph.D., who led the research team noted, “The findings that electrical stimulation to the brain can improve control of their behavioral urges not only provide further understanding of the neural basis of inhibitory control but also suggest a possible therapeutic intervention method for clinical populations, such as those with drug addictions or ADHD, in the future.”