Olympic athletes are training with brain-altering headphones

The Halo Sport's brain stimulation reportedly makes training more effective.

Many of the athletes heading to the Rio Olympics are using some form of technology to help them out, but some of them are relying on particularly unusual gear. Halo Neuroscience has revealed that several athletes are using its Halo Sport headphones to (hopefully) improve the effectiveness of their training. The wearable is meant to stimulate your brain's motor cortex into a momentary "hyperplasticity" mode, where it can more effectively build neural connections -- if you're in the thick of resistance training, you may move on to heavier weights that much sooner.

These are competitors you may recognize, too. On top of athletes from Sierra Leone (sprinter Hafsatu Kamara) and Trinidad & Tobago (hurdler Mikel Thomas), three of them are US medal-winners: 4 x 400m relayer Natasha Hastings, relay sprinter Mike Rogers and 400m hurdler Michael Tinsley.

This is as much marketing for the Halo Sport's fall launch as anything else, so there's good reason to be skeptical (especially given the $649 pre-order price). However, you can look at this as a grand experiment that goes beyond Halo's existing partnerships. If the athletes training with these headphones come home from Rio with medals, it'll suggest that this brain-changing headgear can produce quantifiable results.