Electrical brain stimulation: public perception
The Guardian carried a story on 17th May about use of electrical brain stimulation to improve maths ability. Unfortunately, the headline talked of 'electric shocks to the brain'. In fact, the method uses stimulation that is not at all unpleasant and is often undetectable.
- I suggested to the science editor @jamesranderson, that the word 'shock' was misleading and should be removed from the headline. He disagreed, but compromised by qualifying the phrase as 'mild electric shocks'. While I appreciate this gesture, I think this is is still misleading, and to demonstrate this, have collated here tweets about the story. These were selected because they show that people think this method uses punishment, and in some cases they seem to confuse it with ECT.
I appreciate that some of these comments are jokey, but I am concerned that serious research using brain stimulation could be damaged by this perception.
- — Jo O'Mara (@Jomara)Thu, May 16 2013 16:02:38too late for NAPLAN but...Electrocute students to improve math scores - just add Ritalin if they fidget too much... http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists”
- — Nigel J. Winnard (@KICSPrincipal)Thu, May 16 2013 20:48:40
- — Kat Grover (@kat_grover)Fri, May 17 2013 00:21:59@guardianscience: Ppl who struggle with maths may benefit from gentle electric shocks to the brain-as if maths wasnt torture enough for some
- — neil fisher (@mrneilfisher)Fri, May 17 2013 00:53:21"Electric shocks for those who fall behind in maths" #hardcore #education http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists
- — Lisa (@flowerbedgrl)Fri, May 17 2013 01:05:56"People who struggle with maths may benefit from electric shocks to the brain http://gu.com/p/3fqtk/tw tw" Torture to help me divide better? Yes!
- — Jared Berent (@MoreArmadillos)Fri, May 17 2013 01:08:33And a kick to the nuts RT @guardianscience People who struggle with maths may benefit from gentle electric shocks to the brain
- — Priska Ketelaars (@aksirPP)Fri, May 17 2013 01:34:29RT @bruces: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists *Hey math geeks: get your buzz on with the very definition of "abuse potential"
- — Anna Koska (@Gremkoska)Fri, May 17 2013 01:41:29
- — R Davies (@Quinnfeld)Fri, May 17 2013 01:44:18
- — Amy MacLaren (@maccalarena)Fri, May 17 2013 02:36:46Bad at maths? *zap* shock treatment a bit extreme! http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/sciguardianscience6/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists (via @guardianscience)
- — dani 123 (@Daninegz)Fri, May 17 2013 02:42:47
- — Trevor Drage (@trevordrage)Fri, May 17 2013 04:44:20
- — Robert Maitland (@RWM_LearningLab)Fri, May 17 2013 04:47:30Every chair in Learning Lab attached mains electricity ?????? http://m.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists …k/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists been advocating that for years
- — Rachel Joyce (@RJoyce09)Fri, May 17 2013 05:58:37
- — Kay McLellan (@kaymclellan)Fri, May 17 2013 06:03:17To paraphrase "Electric shocks make you good at maths" - sure it wasn't just fear of more shocks?! http://gu.com/p/3fqtk/tw tw
- — Ryan V (@CyberSymphonic)Fri, May 17 2013 06:20:51Via @bruces Shocks to the brain 'help students solve math problems''. Yeah, I bet they do. Uh huh. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists
- — keith kloor (@keithkloor)Fri, May 17 2013 06:30:50So little Johnny who is having trouble with his multiplication tables might be helped with a little shock therapy? http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists ….uk/science/2013/may/16/electric-shocks-brain-maths-scientists
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