Brain stimulation could enhance self-control
A person’s lack of self-control may be improved by being treated with electrical brain stimulation, according to new research.
In a double-blind study, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of California, San Diego analyzed the effects of electrical brain stimulation on four participants with epilepsy—a condition marked by seizures caused by erratic surges of electrical activity in the brain.
The findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, showed that electrical stimulation enhanced the participants’ slowing of behavioral activity, which led to improved self-control. Because the results only held true when electrical stimulation occurred in the prefrontal cortex, it is unknown whether the treatment could be successful in other brain regions.
This study alone does not provide sufficient evidence that electrical brain stimulation is an effective treatment for self-control. However, researchers said additional studies into electrical brain stimulation may one day be beneficial for people with self-control disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and borderline personality disorder.