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可穿戴技术控制人类大脑不是梦

2015年02月16日 English, 生活及医学 可穿戴技术控制人类大脑不是梦已关闭评论 阅读 117 次

Clay Dillow

长久以来,我们一直通过喝咖啡,饮酒,甚至吃药等方式来减少内心的焦虑感。现在,一家名叫Thync的初创公司为我们提供了另一种选择。据说,给头部戴上该公司开发的可穿戴设备,可以减轻紧张感,让人身心放松,需要时还可以激发人体的能量和专注度。如果有机会,你愿意试一下吗?

    我正坐在萨门•帕尔位于波士顿后湾区的办公室里,他一边用轻型粘合剂在我的头上安装小型电极——一个粘在太阳穴上,另外一个在脖子后面,一边解释接下来16分钟的感受。他表示,大多数使用者会感觉身体里的紧张感减轻。他们的思维跳跃频率降低,呼吸明显放缓,与工作、人际关系或家庭有关的那些通常引发焦虑感的想法,也随之减少。

帕尔是加州洛斯盖多斯神经科学初创公司Thync的首席执行官,他设计出这种令人平静的“氛围”,并且通过一款由应用控制的可穿戴设备原型将这种氛围传递到我的大脑当中。该公司预计将在今年晚些时候发布这款设备。Thync的技术利用经颅直流电刺激(tDCS)来触发大脑的某些反应,产生平静的感觉,或根据需要激发出能量和专注。

公司联合创始人兼首席科学官贾米•泰勒表示,Thync的目的并非改变大脑的生物活动,而是让我们更好地控制我们生来便可以使用的能量、专注和平静。泰勒说道:“咖啡、酒精、药物,这些都属于神经增强剂。你已经在改变大脑的活动。”Thync希望更好地利用这种能力,这样或许就可以从价值数十亿美元的酒精、咖啡、药物和能量饮品市场中分得一杯羹。

泰勒坚持认为,设备产生的脉冲让人感觉温暖舒适,不会有疼痛感,其强度仅有危险脉冲的百分之一。正如帕尔所描述的那样,我肩部那种熟悉的紧张感消失了,呼吸放缓,大脑开始陷入平静。我的身体感觉到令人放松的温暖,我通常在吸一两口苏格兰鼻烟之后才会有这种感觉——这也是我常用的放松方式。

泰勒说道:“人类一直都在这么做,这没什么新鲜。我认为这是那种人们一直在期待的产品。”(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

审校:任文科

    I’m sitting in Sumon Pal’s office in Boston’s Back Bay, and while fixing two small electrodes to my head with a light adhesive—one to my temple, another to the back of my neck—he’s explaining what the next 16 minutes should feel like. Most users feel reduced tension in their bodies, he says. Their thoughts ping-pong less frequently, breathing slows noticeably, and thoughts that typically cue anxiety—of work, of relationships, of family—become less consequential.

Pal, executive director of Los Gatos, Calif., -based neuroscience startup Thync, designed the calming “vibe” that’s being imparted to my brain through a prototype of the app-controlled wearable device that the company will release later this year. Thync’s technology utilizes tDCS, or transcranial direct current stimulation, to trigger specific responses in the brain, dialing up feelings of calm and serenity or conjuring energy and focus on demand.

Thync isn’t out to alter the brain’s biology, but to allow better control of the energy, focus, and calm that are already naturally available to us, co-founder and chief science officer Jamie Tyler says. “Coffee, alcohol, drugs; these are all neuro-enhancers,” Tyler says. “You’re already modifying your brain activity.” Thync wants to better harness that command—and perhaps grab a piece of the alcohol, coffee, pharmaceutical, and energy drink markets collectively worth billions.

The pulses—each “100 times lower than what’s considered dangerous,” Tyler insists—feel comfortably warm but not painful. Just as Pal described, the familiar tension in my shoulders eases, my breathing slows, my mind noticeably stops racing. My body takes on the feeling of lax warmth usually associated with a finger or two of scotch—my usual means of unwinding.

“People have been doing this forever, this is nothing new,” Tyler says. “I think this is the kind of product people have been waiting for.”

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