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Soldiers could 'control guns with their minds'

London, Tue, 07 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 7 (ANI): British scientists have suggested that soldiers could control weapons systems simply by using their minds.


A study, from the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of science, described the possible benefits of neuroscience to military and law enforcement.


It predicted new designer drugs that boost performance, make enemy troops fall asleep and ensure captives become more talkative.


They also suggested the use of devices called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to connect soldiers' brains directly to military technology such as drones and weapons, the Telegraph reported.


The study, published on Tuesday, stated that the work built on previous research that has enabled people to control cursors and artificial limbs through BMIs that read their brain signals.


In their report, one of a series from the Royal Society looking at the field of neuroscience, the experts call on the UK Government to be as "transparent as possible" about research into military and law enforcement applications.


"Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons system could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy," the report stated.


The report also showed how neuroscientists employed so-called "transcranial direct current stimulation" (tDCS) to improve soldiers' awareness while in hostile environments.


But the report's authors argued that while hostile uses of neuroscience and related technologies were now more likely, scientists were oblivious to its potentials.


While the benefits to society were obvious, through improved treatments for brain disease and mental illness, there were serious security implications to consider.


Vince Clark, a cognitive neuroscientist and lead author on the study at the University of New Mexico, admitted he was uncomfortable in knowing neuroscience could be used by the military.


"As a scientist I dislike that someone might be hurt by my work," he said.


"I want to reduce suffering, to make the world a better place, but there are people in the world with different intentions, and I don't know how to deal with that.


"If I stop my work, the people who might be helped won't be helped. Almost any technology has a defence application," he added. (ANI)


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