Getting those creative ideas flowing may soon be as simple as pressing refresh on your wearable brain stimulator. The Plato headset and app currently in development as part of the Plato project at the Copenhagen Institute of Neurocreativity is one such wearable. The project, led by medical equipment designer Balder Onarheim and neurobiologist Morten Friis-Olivarius, explores the potential of neurostimulation technology in problem-solving situations.
Creativity in any context requires generating ideas in the hopes of arriving at a solution to a problem. Plato addresses the case of the mind drawing a blank in these brainstorming situations and looks at a way of “rebooting” the brain. It does this through the Plato headset, which influences brain activity by transmitting small micro currents through electrodes mounted inside the helmet. The microcurrents target specific areas of the brain and enhance natural mental activity.
With the app, a wearer is given the option of selecting two modes of brain stimulation. The Open mode prompts “out the box” thinking and the Closed mode assists the brain with analytical thinking that involves assessment, reduction and selection. Each mode can be used for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Currently, Plato is running a scientific testing programme, concentrating on professionals involved in creative problem solving. The technology used in Plato is a non-evasive and the scientific brain stimulation method has already proved effective in therapy for sleep problems, depression and cognitive training, to name a few. During stimulation, subjects will be able to recognise a change in the way the brain is reacting to tasks, and they will feel a slight tingling on the skin beneath the helmet.