This is a very interesting article that covers a variety of topics related to brain research. It begins with the story of a guy in prison who had his
murder conviction overturned because his 'brain imprints' didn't match the neurological responses that would have, supposedly, been apparent in
the man who actually committed the crime. It goes on to discuss how things like mind control, brain scans and 'brain fingerprinting' are about to
revolutionize not only our society but also how we look at ourselves:
"All of that has stirred the concerns of a number of scientists, including Martha J. Farah, a psychologist with a varied background who now directs
the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. Farah, who earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgy and a doctorate in
psychology from Harvard and then entered the young field of neural science, believes we are treading in dangerous waters in a field we have only
barely begun to understand."
""Technical progress is making it possible to monitor and manipulate the human mind with ever more precision through a variety of neuroimaging
methods and interventions," she says in an essay in the current issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences. While that may lead to wonderful advances in
such things as treatment for the mentally impaired, it also will certainly lead us into areas where no human has gone before."
The big questions, in all of this, revolve around the concept of the sentient 'self', I believe. Do these advancing technologies reduce the human
mind by compartmentalizing it (by making us JUST the sum of oyr parts), or are big questions regarding consciousness being sidestepped so that
everything fits into a neat, scientific package? Also, in utilizing techniques that break human thought down into observable reactions, are we
ignoring the fact that we still don't understand how the raw act of consciousness itself works... and, in so doing, might we jeapordize the lives of
But... here's the part of the article I KNOW most ATSers will go nuts over:
"And if we can peer deeply enough into the brain, we ought to be able to figure out who among us is likely to molest a child, blow up a police
station or commit an act of terrorism. That's one reason the Central Intelligence Agency is helping fund an Iowa company that developed the brain
fingerprinting technology that gave Harrington his freedom."
[edit on 22-12-2004 by onlyinmydreams]