London: Applying mild electrical currents to your head could take away pain, help memory and improve attention, it has been claimed.

The technique, called transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation (tDCS) has led to an explosion in hackers attempting to try the technique for themselves. It has proved so successful even the US military has funded work into it. The technique works by pumping a low-intensity electrical current is passed through electrodes placed on the outside of the head.

One study of Air Force pilots showed that those who received tDCS performed 25 per cent better on training tests than those who received no brain stimulation.

According to claims on the device’s website, the $350 headset can increase the plasticity of the brain and make the synapses fire faster, allowing gamers to focus better and score higher.

“Overclock your brain using transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation to increase the plasticity of your brain,” the firm boasts. “Make your synapses fire faster.”

But hackers have made their own versions using elastic headband and a couple of electrodes. They are often powered by a 9-volt battery and produce 1 to 2 milliamps of electricity: the amount it takes to light up a small LED bulb.