Beckman Institute Initiates Study Using Soterix Medical HD-tDCS for Fluid Intelligence: $12.7 Million in Funding Through IARPA

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Soterix Medical Inc. announces a multidisciplinary study based at the University of Illinois Beckman Institute to determine if High-Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) in conjunction with other interventions improves adaptive reasoning and fluid intelligence. High-Definition tDCS is a proprietary technology that allows non-invasive neuromodulation of targeted brain structures to modulate brain excitability and plasticity.

Soterix Medical Inc. announced today a multidisciplinary study to determine if High-Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) in conjunction with other interventions could improve adaptive reasoning and fluid intelligence.

The Beckman Institute project, named INSIGHT (“An integrative system for enhancing fluid intelligence (Gf) through human cognitive activity, fitness, high-definition transcranial direct-current brain stimulation, and nutritional intervention”) received $12.7 million in funding over 42 months from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The INSIGHT project directly supports IARPA’s SHARP (Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-solving) program, whose goal is to develop evidence-based tools and methods that can improve the quality of human judgment and reasoning in complex, real world environments.

Headed by Aron K. Barbey, in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Beckman Institute and in the College of Applied Health Sciences, the INSIGHT clinical trial is designed to establish a comprehensive and rigorous brain training protocol that incorporates the best available cognitive, physical fitness, neuromodulation, and nutritional interventions for the enhancement of fluid intelligence. The INSIGHT trial will be one of the largest scientific studies investigating fluid intelligence conducted to date: nearly 2,000 individuals organized into four cohorts over a three-and-a-half year period, for more than 100,000 hours of planned data collection. INSIGHT program participants will engage in the training activities over 18 weeks in an effort to improve reasoning and problem solving skills. In one study arm, High-Definition tDCS will be integrated with cognitive training to investigate increased learning and performance during targeted neuromodulation.

Dr. Abhishek Datta, CTO of Soterix Medical Inc. summarizes, “The deployment of our HD-tDCS into potentially the largest international trial on fluid intelligence is a historical milestone in the investigation of neuromodulation to enhance human brain performance. The use of Soterix Medical HD-tDCS technology is critical to allow targeting of specific brain structures implicated in fluid intelligence with a non-invasive and well-tolerated intervention. Soterix Medical engineers and scientists continue to work closely with the Beckman Institute to facilitate safe and reliable high-throughput testing in this large clinical trial. The results of this trial may profoundly influence the development of device-based neuro-enhacement relevant to both medical and non-medical applications.”

Along with Barbey, other Beckman researchers are Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute and professor in the Department of Psychology; Neal Cohen, director of the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory and professor in the Department of Psychology; Charles Hillman, professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health; Wai-Tat Fu, associate professor in computer science; and John Erdman, professor emeritus in food science and human nutrition. Academic partners include the Georgia Institute of Technology, the City College of New York, and the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.

CAUTION: tDCS and HD-tDCS are limited by Federal (or United States) law to investigational use only.

Soterix Medical,Inc: is a Biomedical Engineering company based in New York City committed to developing innovative medical therapies. Soterix Medical is the leader in non-invasive electrical Neuromodulation including the exclusive High-Definition tDCS. Soterix Medical Inc. supports clinical trials aimed at treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Soterix Medical’s patented Limited Total Energy (LTE) tDCS (LTE-tDCS) is the only Neuromodulation technology optimized for susceptible populations. The Soterix Medical Clinical Trials (CT-tDCS) is being used in multi-center clinical trials internationally.

Beckman Institute: The Institute's primary mission is to foster interdisciplinary work of the highest quality, transcending many of the limitations inherent in traditional university organizations and structures. The Institute was founded on the premise that reducing the barriers between traditional scientific and technological disciplines can yield research advances that more conventional approaches cannot.

IARPA: IARPA’s mission is to invest in high-risk, high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over our future adversaries. Additional information on IARPA, the SHARP program, and their other research may be found on their web site.

Media Contact
Robin Azzam
Tel: +1-888-990-8327
Email: contact(at)soterixmedical(dot)com

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