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Science Technology

Mood-Altering Wearable Thync Releases First Brain Test Data 69

blottsie writes Thync, the world's first wearable that alters a user's mood has released the first set of data that shows its device reduces stress without chemicals. The study found that "the levels of salivary -amylase, an enzyme that increases with stress, as well as noradrenergic and sympathetic activity, significantly dropped for the subjects that received electrical neurosignaling compared to the subjects that received the sham."
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Mood-Altering Wearable Thync Releases First Brain Test Data

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  • We will not be your slaves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by tmosley ( 996283 )
      Get to work then. Capitalism has been dead since the Federal Reserve decapitated it in 1913. Whats left is starting to stink pretty badly.
      • In your view, is extreme interest rate volatility good for capitalism?
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by rubycodez ( 864176 )

        So let me get this straight, there was less capitalism since 1913 to now than say in the wildcat banking era in the 19th century?

        Do you know what capitalism is?

        • A system in which new means of production are created by the private interest reinvesting gains from business activity (aka "free capital")?
        • If he were speaking correctly he'd say "There was less of a free market since 1913" which would be correct, while "There was less capitalism since 1913" would not be.
      • Replacing our Welfare system with a Citizen's Dividend will revitalize capitalism. The profits of the entire economy, from the lowest wage worker to the strongest business, will be taxed to provide a base payment to every natural-born American citizen above age 18; this provides just enough to make a profit by renting them housing and selling them food, clothing, soap, and the like. While the divide between rich and poor may grow and shrink, the dividend will always be of the total, and so unaffected by

    • umm.. so freedom is slavery? I guess it goes hand in hand with war is peace [].
    • by halivar ( 535827 )

      Check your shirt tag and your jeans. Where were they made? Vietnam? Thailand? How about the device you used to type this empty platitude? What was the wage of the person that built it? Stop bitching about capitalists; you are one.

      • Check your shirt tag and your jeans. Where were they made? Vietnam? Thailand? How about the device you used to type this empty platitude? What was the wage of the person that built it? Stop bitching about capitalists; you are one.

        Actually to use the correct terminology that would just be a matter of domestic labor benefiting from the exploitation of foreign labor. In order to be a capitalist you would need to own shares in the clothing manufacturer, of course many people do that sort of thing through their 401k but that's not what you were talking about.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Fortunately, I'm 40, so am in the latter half of my life, so the pressures that may make this an interesting option isn't as important for me personally.

    However, my big concern with a lot of the bio-hacking is that we don't know what the long term effect of zapping your brain, taking this supplement or that supplement-du-jour is. If you are pro-actively modifying your body chemistry, there are limits that the body can take... Even "safe" analgesics have long term consequences (Acetaminophen -> liver

  • I have no doubt this thing works as advertised.

    There are a lot of odd things that sort of impinge upon moods and thinking. I've used binaurals to relax and to keep myself from going goofy during mind numbing tasks for years. I've also used them as masking noise for tinnitus.

    So I suspect this device probably does destress people. Might be an actual useable task for wearables.

    No doubt the slasdot paranoidies will claim it's mind control, and add another layer of foil to their hats.

  • Sample size (Score:3, Interesting)

    by willworkforbeer ( 924558 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:45PM (#49044075)
    Reading the Fine Article shows the sample sizes were statistically above zero, by a little. Several pairs of subjects reported positive-ish results.
    • I didn't see anything about the control group that thought they were given shocks but were not. Did I miss that? If not the study is seriously flawed and nearly worthless.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... and, more importantly, above zero for what?

      This is really weak as far as this sort of thing goes. I know Slashdot can be a little prejudiced against (i.e., ignorant of) behavioral science, but the more convincing, straightforward thing would have been to randomly assign participants to treatment and placebo conditions, or randomly alternate between conditions within-subjects, and to simply measure participants' mood using mood scales, interviews, informant measures, etc. Who cares about the psychophysio

      • by skids ( 119237 )

        mood scales, interviews, informant measures, etc. Who cares about the psychophysiology measurements they took

        Umm... me? Every time I see a "mood scale" or questionairre used in a study I cringe. These are horribly subjective measures. Stress is a bonafide biological condition and I'm much more convinced by studies that use a biological proxy marker. Not too convinced, given the sample size, but...

  • by Chikungunya ( 2998457 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @10:00PM (#49044143)

    I find ear plugs an immediate mood improver in many stressful situations.

  • sums up one of the potential dangers of this technology.

    "Gerhard shows his findings to Ross, who realizes that the seizures are getting more frequent. She explains that Benson is learning to initiate seizures involuntarily because the result of these seizures is a shock of pleasure, which leads to him having more frequent seizures. Ross checks on Benson, and discovers that, due to the clerical error of the nurses not having been able to read McPherson's signature, Benson has not been receiving his Thorazine

  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @10:53PM (#49044397) Homepage

    that show its clients felt the improvement, news at 11!

  • snake oil? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@p o e t i c . com> on Friday February 13, 2015 @01:05AM (#49044961)

    from TFA: "Thync announced a study showing that its device reduces stress without chemicals."

      - guess who conducted the study--Thync, of course. Miraculously they found no problems with the product. Thynk 'scientists' (not sure how they define the term) assured the DailyDot reporter that the product works better than a 'sham'.

    A company spokesman said "we have been collecting data around how people use Thync in their everyday lives " -- which seems odd for a product that hasn't reached the market yet and few people have had extensive exposure to it.

    Again from TFA: "Thync offered an anecdote from a student" ... This seems mostly to be anecdotes and little science.

    That said, there is hope that this technology or the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) experiments will prove useful. []

    • That said, there is hope that this technology or the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) experiments will prove useful.

      The effects of TMS are generally considered to be very short term. The efficiacy in clinical domains appears weak to me.

  • by jgotts ( 2785 ) <> on Friday February 13, 2015 @02:33AM (#49045217)

    So the idea here is to take our most sensitive and least understood organ, a device with processing power greater than any hardware/software system we've been able to even conceive of, and do the equivalent of smashing it with a hammer?

    Would you go to a data center and start zapping random computers with electric pulses, hoping that your buffoon-like behavior would randomly flip the rights bits somewhere to make the machines to work better? No, you would work to understand the software being used and improve it. Or, you would replace the hardware with something that works better.

    Likewise, there are no shortcuts with the brain. Until we can program neurons and neural networks directly, anything we do to the brain expecting to make it work much better is bound to do more harm than good.

  • Sad. Just sad. (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by ITRambo ( 1467509 )
    I'm too old to believe in magic devices anymore. They just don't work. OTC nutritional supplements, vitamin infused water, and magic gadgets, are as useful as downloadable RAM or free range pasta. If you want to reduce stress, take a few deep breaths. It works better than voodoo science,and fake technology.
    • by raind ( 174356 )

      Every now and then some high grade cannabis works wonders, has little if any side effects and if you grow your own, it's free,

  • Perhaps we could develop this tool to the point that drug addicts and alcoholics could be helped to stay sober. Also mental illnesses might be eliminated by such a device. Even criminal behavior is related to depression. But I also wonder about a tool that can make a person feel better when they are screwing up big time. Used incorrectly such a device could be a social nightmare.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Great a faux study and an advertisement all in the same story

  • This looks like snake-oil all around to me.

    However, it has me wondering: What if there were BTL chips like in the Shadowrun RPG (Pen & Paper) or those simulations like in the novel "Altered Carbon" were real?

    In the Shadowrun RPG BTL ("Better than life" (sic!)) chips are *highly* adictive. Which raises the question: Would you give it a shot? ... I'd probably take a very close look at BTL junkies first. ... And then say no.

    As for those simulations in Altered Carbon - I wouldn't mind trying one of those. :

  • What the authors are doing is supress stress-related signals that propagate along peripheral nerves. So it's not "mood-altering" directly. It potentially alters things that can feed back to mood. It doesn't zap your brain to change your mood directly.
  • But is there any way that you could just sock me out so there's no way that I'll know I'm at work? Can I just come home and think I've been fishing all day or something?

Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries, knows nothing about grapes. -- Philippus Paracelsus