Note: If you are new to tDCS and/or the foc.us headset, may I suggest that you read parts one through three before reading this post. You’ll better understand what I present here if you have a little context. Also, you might want to know that the default “built-on” electrode configuration for the foc.us headset addresses one depression and learning/memory montage “right out of the box”.
The more I have used this headset, the more I have come to believe that it is an almost ideal tDCS device. It’s features and versatility make it a breeze to setup and a pleasure to use. I have become a real fan of not being tethered to a traditional tDCS device – wires, box, electrodes, head-band(s), etc. My guess is that foc.us will be VERY successful – ultimately selling these headsets to end-users, medical practitioners, and the research community.
I’ve had repeated requests to show electrode placements for various scenarios using the foc.us headset. As you look at these, remember, they are just examples. There are alternative placements and new tDCS montage information being published almost every day! What I hope to convey is the versatility the foc.us headset provides through various electrode placements. So here we go…
The most common depression treatment using tDCS places the anode at F3 (high on the left forehead) and the cathode at FP2 (just above the right eye on the forehead). See below…
(Typical electrode placement for depression treatment.)
(The unusual foc.us “built-on” electrode placement puts the anode at FP1 and F3 and the cathode at FP2 and F4. So yes, it supplies current in the general area suggested for depression treatment. Has this unusual arrangement been scientifically studied? Not to my knowledge. There is anecdotal evidence that indicates that it works. BTW Notice the air-gap between the sponge and the “head” in the upper right of the photo. Be careful when you put the headset on your “real” head that there are no air-gaps.)
This montage is been in the press of late and is easy to do with the foc.us headset with the accessory kit. Normally, the anode is placed at about T4 (the right temple) and the cathode at about T3 (the left temple.)
(Electrodes are placed on the temples)
(The accessory kit includes wire electrodes that connect to the back of the headset. You can then attach the electrodes wherever your montage requires.)
(If you use the wire electrodes, remember that the “built-on” electrodes remain active. You can use them if appropriate or remove the sponges to not use them. In this case, the built-on electrodes are not used at all – in fact you can take the headset off and set if on your desk – or do what I do, just let it rest on your neck.)
(If using the wire electrodes, the headset does not need to be on your head!)
MEMORIZATION and LEARNING
An interesting memorization and learning montage involves placing the anode at FP1 (above the left eye on the forehead) and the cathode at FP2 (above the right eye on the forehead).
(There are other variations of “learning” electrode placements on the web.)
(As with the depression montage shown earlier, the unusual placement of the built-on electrodes is “more” than required for this montage. Possibly the upper sponges could be left out to more precisely match the montage requirements. However, current density could be too high or irritation might result as the sponges are small. Research is needed! An alternative is to use the wire electrodes and not put the headset on the head at all.)
Chronic pain is addressed in at least a couple of different montages. One example is to place the anode at C4 (above the right ear, halfway to the center of the head) and the cathode at FP1 (above the left eye on the forehead). There are other montages for chronic pain – so look those up on the web if the one I show is not what you are looking for.) Another montage places the anode at either C3 or C4 and the corresponding cathode at FP1 or FP2 on the same side of the head (left or right) to treat chronic pain on the opposite side of the body (left or right).
(One of the reported chronic pain montages.)
(This is another example of how versatile the foc,us headset can be. Use the wire electrodes for this chronic pain montage and set the headset on your desk or leave it resting on your neck – with no sponges.)
So there you are – four examples of tDCS montages using the foc.us headset. What a great and versatile product. It’s unfortunate that the default treatment in time in the headset is 10 minutes. The norm in tDCS treatment is 20 minutes (sometimes 30 minutes.) Once the iOS and Bluetooth issues are resolved, changing treatment time will be the first thing I do! In the interim, once one session is complete, you can simply touch the button on the back of the headset one time to repeat a 10 minute treatment.
How else can I help you with this headset or tDCS in general? Please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org