Can electrical brain stimulation boost athletic performance?

When Kieren Duncan showed up at EXOS’s high performance training center in Phoenix in early January, he was looking to tune up his body, not re-wire his brain. Then, three weeks before the NFL’s Arizona Regional Combine, trainers handed the Colorado State University-Pueblo wide receiver a headset. On the outside, the headset looks like a regular pair of noise-cancelling headphones, but this particular one isn’t manufactured by Bose, Sony or another common brand—it’s made by Halo Neuroscience. On the inside of the wide headband, above each ear pad, are rows of soft plastic teeth. Infused with a conductive saline solution, the teeth can transmit electrical pulses through the skull to the motor cortex, the region of the brain that controls movement. The electrical stimulation increases the ability of neurons in…


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