"Perturbing the Brain to Enhance Cognition and Learning: Science or Fiction?"
The understanding of learning and cognition has been based mainly on behavioural studies, with increased use of neuroimaging to provide a neural correlate of behaviour. One of the methods to provide a causal relationship between brain and behaviour is brain stimulation. A relatively recent method is the application of mild direct or alternated electrical current to the human scalp to affect the brain and influence behaviour. Such studies led to excitement by scientists and public due to its potential to improve the life of patients, as well as enhancing cognition in those with average level or above. However, others have argued that the usage of electrical stimulation is ineffective. I will show a series of experiments in adults and children that will discuss the potential of electrical stimulation to affect learning and its long-term effect, impact on transfer effect, and real significance on human performance. I will end by presenting results that provide an explanation for the source of inconsistent findings in the field.