So, some nerd passions for the moment.
There's a technique out there that's gaining ground in cognitive research. It's called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or TDCS for short.
What does it mean? Well, it involves generating a very weak electrical current across the scalp via just two electrodes. The idea is that the electrical current changes the resting state of the neurons in the brain depending on the type of stimulation. Anodal stimulation is excitatory, and cathodal stimulation is inhibitory.
More and more research has been coming out that implies that this technique can be used as a secondary treatment for certain cognitive or mood disorders, or even could be used to improve learning.
That should sound familiar if you've read Alpha. ;)
Of course, this is real life, not science fiction, and any gains are transient and quite small. But for helping clinical populations, I think this technique holds a lot of promise.