The idea of controlling other people’s minds has been a recurrent theme in science fiction for years, but some scientific researchers are getting closer to the possibility.
One of the successful areas of research in this field is transcranial magnetic stimulation, a method using magnets placed near the skull of a person to alter the movements of electrical signals that normally occur in our brain nerves. Medical researchers in the US are using TMS as an experimental cure for depression, but it has been found to have other effects, such as altering people’s capacity to make moral judgments. The Neuroethics at the Core blog explains how this happens.
So far, the technique hasn’t been used for any nefarious purposes, but it is still in its infancy. How long will it be before attempts are made to “reprogram” people with offensive ways of thinking, beginning with child molesters, no doubt, but moving our way along to political dissidents. The Activist Post blog discusses the possibility that armies could install TMS devices inside soldiers’ helmets to manipulate the soldiers to become more alert and aggressive during battle. The possibility for manipulation becomes more plausible when one considers that a common experience of people subjected to TMS, according to Laura Lee News, is that they feel they are in contact with a numinous being, possibly God.
Technological development is happening all around us, and is happening very fast. Mind control machines may sound like science fiction right now, but they may already be under development.