Zapping Brain With Low Currents of Electricity Increases Compliance With Social Norms

a-clockwork-orange-475864lI don’t know about you, but the threat alone of “transcranial direct current stimulation” is probably enough to make me “follow the fairness norm.”

Via EurekAlert:

By means of a technique called “transcranial direct current stimulation,” which sends weak and painless electric currents through the skull, the excitability of specific brain regions can be modulated. During this experiment, the scientists used this technique to increase or decrease neural activity at the front of the brain, in the right lateral prefrontal cortex. Christian Ruff, Professor of Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience at the University of Zurich, said: “We discovered that the decision to follow the fairness norm, whether voluntarily or under threat of sanctions, can be directly influenced by neural stimulation in the prefrontal cortex.”

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4 Comments on "Zapping Brain With Low Currents of Electricity Increases Compliance With Social Norms"

  1. InfvoCuernos | Oct 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm |

    LOL. That’s all we need. A little low volt compliance.

  2. alizardx | Oct 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

    transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) a growing DIY biohacker experimental area by people NOT looking for that result. (faster learning, etc claimed)

    While researching this area, found a university website describing some of their own research, discussing things like energy transfer mechanisms. Concluded that getting energy where intended into human brains to hopefully, get intended effects much more complex than commonly believed.

    Might be a good idea for anyone working/planning to work in this area to drill down and get a copy of the paper the article was based on.

  3. Dingbert | Oct 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

    Don’t know about the direct current version, but the magnetic type is pretty fascinating (although temporary):

  4. I can’t decide if widespread compliance with the fairness norm would be a good or bad thing for the current social order.

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