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Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, from the National Research Council, identifies and explores several specific research areas that have implications for U.S. national security, and should therefore be monitored consistently by the intelligence community. These areas include:
1. neurophysiological advances in detecting and measuring indicators of psychological states and intentions of individuals
2. the development of drugs or technologies that can alter human physical or cognitive abilities
3. advances in real-time brain imaging
4. breakthroughs in high-performance computing and neuronal modeling that could allow researchers to develop systems which mimic functions of the human brain, particularly the ability to organize disparate forms of data.
As these fields continue to grow, it will be imperative that the intelligence community be able to identify scientific advances relevant to national security when they occur. To do so will require adequate funding, intelligence analysts with advanced training in science and technology, and increased collaboration with the scientific community, particularly academia.
A key tool for the intelligence community, this book will also be a useful resource for the health industry, the military, and others with a vested interest in technologies such as brain imaging and cognitive or physical enhancers.
True and False Memories as an Illustrative Case of the Difficulty of Developing Accurate and Practical Neurophysiological Indexes of Psychological States
An important issue for cognitive neuroscientists concerns efforts to determine whether a person is reporting a true experience or one that is false but believed. In the last decade, there have been innumerable research efforts designed to distinguish true from false memories. Earlier work examining behavioral differences between true and false memories revealed that group differences were sometimes found (for example, more sensory details in true-memory reports) (Schooler et al., 1986). However, the statistical group differences did not enable reliable classification of any particular memory report as to its authenticity...
The military application of neuroscience research - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Several of the cognitive science applications that have the most enormous ethical implication (as described by Huang and Kosal) contain advances that are being made even faster than publicly thought. These advances do not include lie detection technology, whose potential to invade the privacy of individuals is an unrealistic scientific possibility (I'm waiting for a theory of mind to be developed first!). They do include an approach to near-real-time, multimodal cognitive measurements to "watch people think" while under stress (an achievable goal scientifically) not under duress...
Not all of the "good" research will be done exclusively in the West--at least not before 2015. The results of this work will make sick people well and soldiers safer, but the technologies will not exclusively follow Western views on ethical questions, such as human stem-cell research, research on willing prisoners, and work on human-animal chimeras…