tDCS Improves Shooting Skills

In 2003 Mary Choiis, editor-at-large for MTV Style and contributes to Wired, tried if tDCS can help her shoot better. Though she wants a Soterix tDCS device “the Louis Vuitton of tDCS machine manufacturers”, Mary ends up getting an ActivaDose II Iontophoresis delivery unit (the company that makes this has since released a difference device made just for wellness tDCS called the ActivaDose-tDCS) and used a Hello Kitty head band. Mary reports it worked:

Credit Jon Snyder

I shoot 25 bullets, conduct TDCS for 10 minutes, and then shoot 25 more. The first time, I hit the bull’s eye 24 times. With TDCS, I hit 25. The grouping suggests that my gun’s sight picture is slightly off. I feel like I may have sensed it, but I kept going anyway, blasting and reloading the Ruger, shells pinging off the white plywood partitions. I wonder why I didn’t stop to make the correction. Maybe I dropped into flow state — I can’t be sure.

At the time Mary Choiss was motivated by the use of tDCS by the Department of Defense (the military) to accelerate training of soldiers, and by claims that tDCS can enhance focus and even produce a flow state.

Now a group has published a new paper Unskilled shooters improve both accuracy and grouping shot having as reference skilled shooters cortical area: An EEG and tDCS study which builds on the idea that tDCS can enhance shooting skill. They conclude that tDCS to the right DLPFC affects performance on a target shooting task.  DLPFC is a little brain region that relates to improving the performance of unskilled snipers in a target shooting task. The DLPFC show up in a lot of tDCS trials (see our Montage guide) and products like the LIFTiD, which is designed to maximize attention, focus and alertness.

Can tDCS make you more skilled at shooting? And if it can, what are the ethical implications? This is certainly a “watch this space” for  Sign up for our mailing list to never miss a new item.


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