The Science of Cognitive Performance

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body containing one hundred billion nerve cells called neurons. Neurons communicate with one another using electricity. When millions of neurons communicate at once, they produce synchronized electrical patterns called brainwaves that form the root of all human thoughts and behavior.

Humm primarily focuses on the prefrontal cortex - a key area of the brain located directly behind the eyes and forehead. Different brainwave patterns in the prefrontal cortex have been linked to essential cognitive functions such as learning, memory, decision making, and problem solving.

 
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Background

What is working memory?

Working memory has often been described as the sketch pad of the mind - where your brain temporarily holds numbers, names, and other facts. It is what allows you to perform mental tasks such as problem solving, mathematical calculations, remembering phone numbers, and decision making throughout the day.

Various real world activities involving recognizing human faces and navigating the physical environment critically rely on our memories but our memory is incredibly fragile. Working memory begins to naturally decline in our 20’s and continues declining as we age. Humm addresses this issue by restoring the flow of information within the brain, using tACS (transcranial alternating current stimulation) applied to the pre-frontal cortex to re-establish the mental pathways that tend to disconnect as we get older.

 

 

Our Product

How does humm work?

Working memory calls on a specific type of brainwave - slow-frequency, thrumming rhythms called theta waves. As we age, the strength of our theta waves naturally decreases and the brain’s overall rhythms become out of sync, resulting in a decline in working memory. Humm utilizes a proven method called tACS to resynchronize these rhythms and strengthen memory by gently stimulating the brain at a theta wave frequency of 6hz.  tACS acts like the conductor of an orchestra that guides populations of neurons to fire simultaneously, allowing separate areas of the brain to communicate better.

Battleday RM, Kadosh R, et al. Mapping the mechanisms of transcranial alternating current stimulation: a pathway from network effects to cognition. Front Psychiatry, 2014;5:162.

Battleday RM, Kadosh R, et al. Mapping the mechanisms of transcranial alternating current stimulation: a pathway from network effects to cognition. Front Psychiatry, 2014;5:162.

 

 
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Considerations

Is tACS safe?

Yes! Humm is based on more than 30 years of scientific research using non-invasive trans-cranial stimulation across many of the world’s top universities involving more than 30,000 participants, and its use with healthy people has been cleared by the FDA.

Humm uses an exceptionally small electric current (less than both 2 milliamps and 20 volts) to gently stimulate the brain. To give you a sense of scale, the current that Humm applies is about 1/100th of the electricity already flowing through the brain, and about 1/20th of the energy absorbed by the brain during a 15 minute phone call.

Humm is NOT intended for use by persons who are under the age of 18, have an implanted metal or electronic medical device in the head or neck, have a pacemaker, have a history of seizures, are pregnant, or have undergone any brain surgery. Please consult your physician if you believe any of these apply to you or if you have any concerns.

 

 

Guidance

Humm is not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle that supports brain health. To get the best out of your brain you should also be actively pursuing:

 
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A good night’s sleep.

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Frequent exercise.

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A healthy diet.

Expertise

Humm’s Research and Scientific Advisors

Humm has demonstrated a significant enhancement of working memory performance with our earliest prototype. Forty subjects were recruited for participation in a double-blind, randomized controlled trial to measure the effects of the prototype on working memory in comparison to placebo. A mean increase in maximum working memory capacity of 19.82% was observed during stimulation, an improvement 120 times greater than the natural learning effect observed in the control group. These differences became even more pronounced after stimulation. The results were of very high statistical significance and no relationship between expectation and performance was observed among participants.

 
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Dr. Tim Fiori MBBS
CTO
Medical Doctor


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Dr. Ted Zanto PhD
Director of Neuroscience Program, Neuroscape
Assistant Professor Neurology, UCSF

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Dr. Vivienne Ming PhD
Founder & Chief Scientist, Socos Labs

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Related Scientific Papers

tACS Research

Enhancement of multitasking performance and neural oscillations by tACS. | Hsu, Zanto, Schouwenburg, Gazzaley 2017 PloS One

Enhancement of multitasking performance and neural oscillations by tACS. | Hsu, Zanto, Schouwenburg, Gazzaley 2017 PloS One

Increase in short-term memory capacity induced by down-regulating individual theta frequency via tACS. | Vasskuhl et. all. 2015 Front Hum Neurosci

Increase in short-term memory capacity induced by down-regulating individual theta frequency via tACS. | Vasskuhl et. all. 2015 Front Hum Neurosci

tACS Mechanisms and Protocols. | Tavakoli et al. 2017 Front Cell Neurosci

tACS Mechanisms and Protocols. | Tavakoli et al. 2017 Front Cell Neurosci

 
Increasing working memory capacity with theta tACS. | Jaušovec et al. 2014 Biol Pschol

Increasing working memory capacity with theta tACS. | Jaušovec et al. 2014 Biol Pschol

Humm White Paper | Humm 2018

Humm White Paper | Humm 2018

Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits. | Reinhart et. al. 2019 Nature Neuroscience

Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits. | Reinhart et. al. 2019 Nature Neuroscience

 

Revitalize your mind.
Discover more with humm.

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