International Journal of Exercise Science 14(3): 962-970, 2021. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) uses a weak electrical current that is sent through the cerebral cortex. The Halo Sport headphones are a user-friendly form of tDCS that is implemented by many athletes purportedly to improve performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of tDCS, using the Halo Sport, on performance variables associated with a high-intensity three-minute cycling test. Eighteen healthy, active individuals (ten men, eight women) volunteered for this study. The Halo Sport headphones were worn during a 20-minute warmup before completing a high-intensity three-minute cycling test. A sham treatment was used in addition to the experimental condition. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed every 30 seconds and electromyography (EMG) of the quadriceps muscle group was measured throughout testing. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to determine the effect of condition and time on mean RPE, heart rate (HR) and power; paired samples t-tests were also used to compare conditions. Mean HR was higher in the experimental condition (p = 0.038). Otherwise, there were no differences between conditions on any of the variables (mean RPE, cadence and speed, mean and peak HR, power, root mean square EMG). Despite the popularity of this new device, our findings do not support an ergogenic effect. However, further research is warranted.
Garner, Collin; Dykstra, Rachel; Hanson, Nicholas J.; and Miller, Michael G.
"Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation with the Halo Sport Does Not Improve Performance on a Three-Minute High Intensity Cycling Test,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 14
3, Pages 962 - 970.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol14/iss3/15