- •Although the home use of tDCS is often referred to as a novel phenomenon, in reality the late nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a proliferation of electrical stimulation devices for home use.
- •In particular, the use of a portable electrotherapy device known as the “medical battery” bears a number of striking similarities to the modern-day use of tDCS.
- •Many features related to the home use tDCS—a do-it-yourself movement, anti-medical establishment themes, conflicts between lay and professional usage—are a repetition of themes that occurred a century ago with regard to the medical battery.
- •A number of features seem to be unique to the present, such as the dominant discourse about risk and safety, the division between cranial and non-cranial stimulation, and utilization for cognitive enhancement purposes.
- •Viewed in historical context, the contemporary use of electrical stimulation at home is not unusual, but rather the latest wave in a series of ongoing attempts by lay individuals to utilize electricity for therapeutic purposes.