What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Will Electric Brain Stimulation Become the New Coffee?

June 4, 2014, 8:30 AM

What's the Latest?

The Air Force is testing a futuristic way to help its soldiers learn faster and stay concentrated longer. The method involves delivering a mild electric current to the brain, specifically the motor cortex, while a specific task is being performed, e.g. identifying friendly aircraft from foes in a flight simulator. By stimulating the brain mid-task and then reversing the current to inhibit the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in conscious thinking, soldiers scored 250 percent better on their tests than a control group that received no brain stimulation.

What's the Big Idea?

Called trans-craniel direct current stimulation, or tDCS, the process of stimulating the brain has been known to positively affect people with depression since the 1980s. Today, scientists believe the stimulation can narrow the gap between when someone is introduced to a skill and when they master the motor skills it requires. Like learning to ride a bike, for example, we begin wobbly and are unsure how to balance ourselves, but the task eventually becomes second nature. Scientists and the military want to shorten this learning curve so that complex tasks, such as working in an air traffic control booth, can be done more effectively.

Read more at BBC Future


Will Electric Brain Stimula...

Newsletter: Share: