At this point it is painfully clear that the replication crisis has also hit the field of non-invasive brain stimulation, including the tDCS/tACS world. One way forward is to insist on high-quality study designs, with the "double-blind" being the perhaps most important feature. What we at Pulvinar Neuro do not understand is why this has to be so hard. Here are some questions for you to consider when you compare tDCS/tACS devices before making a purchase decision:
(1) Can I do double-blind stimulation or do I need to spend extra money (per study?) to get this device feature?
(2) Can I include any number of different stimulation paradigms in a study or am I limited to a single active and a single "placebo"/"sham" condition?
(3) Can I use "active placebo", where brief stimulation is applied at the beginning of the sham stimulation to enhance the chance of successfully blinding the research participant?
(4) Can I use the same device for multiple studies or are the devices only programmable for a single study at the time?
(5) Are there any other "features" that increase the risk of breaking the blind? Our favorite example is displaying the battery charge level, which is still close to 100% after a placebo but not a verum session...
(6) Can I freely assign my own study codes or does the device always use the same codes that any smart study coordinator will have memorized over time and likely associated with corresponding stimulation condition?
Our XCSITE 100 devices was designed to address the above concerns (and some more). Our goal is to offer a cost-effective tDCS/tACS solution that advances the field since it let's you perform high-quality stimulation trials. Compare before you buy!