Top Pentagon Scientists Fear Brain-Modified Foes
- By Noah Shachtman
- Email Author
- June 9, 2008 |
- 12:00 pm |
- Categories: Army and Marines, DarpaWatch, Science!
There’s concern in some corners of the U.S. military about “enemy activities in sleep research,” neuro-pharmaceutical performance enhancement, and “brain-computer interfaces.” And it’s not coming from the Pentagon’s scientific fringe, or from some tin-hat kook with a Defense Department badge. The celebrated scientists on the Pentagon’s most prestigious scientific advisory panel, JASON, are the ones worried about adversaries’ ability “to exploit advances in Human Performance Modification, and thus create a threat to national security.”
In a recent report, unearthed by Secrecy News, the JASONs are recommending that the American military push ahead with its own performance-enhancement research — and monitor foreign studies — to make sure that the U.S.’ enemies don’t suddenly become smarter, faster, or better able to endure the harsh realities of war than American troops.
The JASONs are particularly concerned about (and excited by) new drugs that promote “brain plasticity” — rewiring the mind, essentially, by helping to “permanently establishing new neural pathways, and thus new cognitive capabilities.” The military has already tested these neuro-modulators as a way to keep troops alert after sleepless nights.
But these new drugs will certainly have extensive off-label use for improvement of memory and cognitive performance. [They] may have the additional effect of weakening or overwriting existing memories. Depending on the ultimate performance of these drugs, adversaries might use them in training programs or field operations… to increase troop effectiveness or modify troop behavior and/or emotional responses.
Continue reading about it in WIRED – click here