At first glance, the Halo Headphone may seem like a standard device for listening to music. And while it serves that function, it also has an innovative twist: brain stimulation for enhanced athletic performance.Read more: Halo Headphone: Boosting Performance Through Brain Stim
Born in the USA: The Concept
Created in the US by Halo Neuroscience, the Halo Headphone’s primary purpose is simple. You wear it during training sessions. Inside, tiny nodes release electric currents into your brain. Specifically, these currents target the motor cortex (responsible for directing movements). The theory? By stimulating this region, the brain can more rapidly integrate information about specific movements, making training sessions more productive.
The Science Behind It
This concept derives from a well-established technique in neurology, known as tDCS or TMS. TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, has been recognized for a while. The Halo Headphone, however, taps into tDCS – standing for transcranial direct current stimulation. Compared to TMS, tDCS is safer, simpler, and more affordable. It’s been used for treating brain disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.
For a better grasp, here’s a video detailing the Halo Headphone’s functionality.
As demonstrated, athletes engage in their routines wearing these headphones. It’s recommended to stimulate the brain for 20 minutes during warm-ups. Then, by the time the main training commences, the brain is primed for action. An accompanying app lets users adjust the current intensity.
But, there’s a debate in the neurology community regarding tDCS’s efficiency. Australian researchers, for instance, suggest that these electric jolts might have no real impact on brain functionality or learning capacity (Cooney, 2014). This might merely be a placebo effect. However, others, like the Brain Foundation, see genuine benefits – especially for specific disorders and when conducted by professionals.
The Halo headphone isn’t solely for athletes. The underlying philosophy is its potential in aiding any learning process. Consider piano playing, where finger movements are brain-directed. In theory, these currents can expedite such learning processes.
However, the critical question remains: Does Halo truly work? Some data on their website indicates CrossFit athletes lifting 5% more weight using it. Halo Neuroscience has even conducted its own study, reporting positive results. I remain skeptical. A more extensive study on Halo is in the pipeline, and its findings are eagerly awaited.
Stay tuned for more on brain stimulation in sports!