Researchers are using transcranial direct current stimulation to stimulate insight:
Remember Michael Persinger and his “God helmet”? A professor at the University of Sydney and his grad student are working on something similar — and while they claim that it can boost certain kinds of creativity, parapsychologists might find it interesting too.
Until the 1990s, the American-born Allan Snyder was an optical physicist, responsible for some of the key insights that led to the modern telecom network. He was awarded the Marconi Prize in 2001 (the year before Tim Berners-Lee won it) and is a fellow of the Royal Society. But for the past fifteen years or so, most of them at the University of Sydney, he’s been studying the process of insight itself. He seems to have had little funding; most of his publications have been in lower-impact journals; he has compensated by being very media-friendly; and he’s had a fascination with the use of magnetic and electrical currents to alter brain activity — all of which make me think of him as a sort of Michael Persinger 2.0.
Heretical Notions: Persinger 2.0
Interesting stuff. The research paper can be found here.
It’s probably worth mentioning that Persinger’s results have never been replicated.
More on transcranial direct current stimulation.
See also: thalamic stimulation.