Bertelson award lecture at the 18th ESCOP conference, Budapest, Hungary: Modulating and enhancing cognition using brain stimulation: Science and fiction
© 2014 Taylor & Francis. A new line of research opens the possibility of modulating and enhancing human cognition using mild and painless transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), which includes transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS). Such initial findings trigger excitement as well as scepticism. The current review aims to provide a guideline for those who are interested in expanding their research into this field. I will therefore discuss: (1) the principles of tES and its putative mechanisms; (2) its potential to modulate and enhance cognitive abilities; (3) the misconceptions on which scepticism about this method is based; and (4) possible directions for the advancement of this field in which psychologists in general and cognitive psychologists in particular should in my view play a key role. I will conclude that this nascent field, which has been neglected by psychologists, requires their contribution in order to lead to basic and translational advancements on human behaviour.