Can you in­ter­fere with some­one’s thoughts us­ing tech­nol­ogy?

Guru Magazine - - ASK A GURU -

Asked by Rainu Kuar via email Yes. But if I tell you how, I’ll have to kill you! (Just kid­ding) There has been some re­cent re­search show­ing it is pos­si­ble to know what a per­son is go­ing to do be­fore they do it. Us­ing sen­sors, it is pos­si­ble to an­tic­i­pate whether some­one is go­ing to move, or do a math­e­mat­i­cal sum a few mo­ments be­fore even they are aware they are about to. It seems that the brain ‘de­cides’ what to do, be­fore your con­scious aware­ness. Scary. And you thought you had free will? Th­ese re­searchers are now look­ing at whether it is pos­si­ble to in­ter­fere with and change th­ese de­ci­sions. Re­searchers at MIT have shown that by fir­ing pow­er­ful mag­netic fields into a spe­cific re­gion of the brain (us­ing a tech­nol­ogy called Tran­scra­nial Mag­netic Stim­u­la­tion) a per­son’s moral de­ci­sions can be al­tered. Tran­scra­nial Mag­netic Stim­u­la­tion is now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as a pos­si­ble treat­ment for de­pres­sion and other psy­chi­atric con­di­tions. But de­pend­ing on how you look at it, we are con­stantly us­ing tech­nol­ogy to al­ter other peo­ple’s thoughts. Take tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tis­ing and Tasers as ex­am­ples… Read the full an­swer on­line

An­swered by Dr Stu and Lewis Pike

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