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Electrical impulses to alter mood via smartphone
Tuesday February 17, 2015 5:34 PM, IANS

Feeling low and lethargic? Worry not -- a new device can lift your mood at the touch of a button.

Scientists have developed a headset that uses electrical impulses to alter your mood by using a smartphone. The device consists of a set of electrodes connected to a phone and produces a short-lived energising effect that feels a little like drinking a can of Red Bull, MIT Review reported.

Called Thync, it is set to go on sale later this year, and is one of several products hoping to make home brain stimulation popular.

A study by Thync, conducted on 82 volunteers in the Boston area, revealed that a 14-minute session using Thync's electrical waveforms resulted in significant stress reduction with 97 percent of the subjects stating the effects induced greater relaxation than the sham treatment.

"Our results show that electrical neuro-signalling can significantly reduce sympathetic nervous system activity in the face of stressful conditions," said Jamie Tyler of Thync.

The device works by using a type of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) where a barely imperceptible electrical current is applied when a user presses a button on the smartphone.

The skin is mildly shocked behind the ear for an energising effect and on the temple and the back of the next for the relaxing effect.

"Acute effects last 30 minutes to one hour for most people. The secondary effects of stress relief and increased motivation can last for hours," Kim Tran of Thync was quoted as saying.

"Our goal is to have long-lasting positive effects such as better sleep, improved workouts and increased productivity, through daily use of the Vibes," Tran said.

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