Neurotechnologies for non-invasively interfacing with neural circuits have been evolving from those capable of sensing neural activity to those capable of restoring and enhancing human brain function. Generally referred to as non-invasive neural stimulation (NINS) methods, these neuromodulation approaches rely on electrical, magnetic, photonic, and acoustic or ultrasonic energy to influence nervous system activity, brain function, and behavior. Evidence that has been surmounting for decades shows that advanced neural engineering of NINS technologies will indeed transform the way humans treat diseases, interact with information, communicate, and learn. The physics underlying the ability of various NINS methods to modulate nervous system activity can be quite different from one another depending on the energy modality used as we briefly discuss. For members of commercial and defense industry sectors that have not traditionally engaged in neuroscience research and development, the science, engineering and technology required to advance NINS methods beyond the state-of-the-art presents tremendous opportunities. Within the past few years alone there have been large increases in global investments made by federal agencies, foundations, private investors and multinational corporations to develop advanced applications of NINS technologies. Driven by these efforts NINS methods and devices have recently been introduced to mass markets via the consumer electronics industry. Further, NINS continues to be explored in a growing number of defense applications focused on enhancing human dimensions. The present paper provides a brief introduction to the field of non-invasive neural stimulation by highlighting some of the more common methods in use or under current development today.
William J. Tyler, Joseph L. Sanguinetti, Maria Fini, and Nicholas Hool, "Non-invasive neural stimulation," Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101941L (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 18 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263175.
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