‘Wars of the future might be decided through manipulation of people’s minds, concludes a report this week from the UK’s Royal Society. It warns that the potential military applications of neuroscience breakthroughs need to be regulated more closely.
“New imaging technology will allow new targets in the brain to be identified, and while some will be vital for medicine, others might be used to incapacitate people,” says Rod Flower of Queen Mary, University of London, who chairs the panel that wrote the report.
The report describes how such technology is allowing organisations like the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to test ways of improving soldiers’ mental alertness and capabilities. It may also allow soldiers to operate weaponry remotely through mind-machine interfaces, the report says.’