27
Aug
2004

Technology vs. Torture

Psychopharmaceuticals and brain imaging could make prisoner interrogation more humane. Should we use them?

INFOWARS.COM

MSNBC Piece Touts Brain Scanning Technologies and Psychopharmaceuticals as Means to Get Information from Prisoners

The tools for radically transforming tomorrow's interrogations can be found in hospitals worldwide. They're helping to painlessly diagnose Alzheimer's, dyslexia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, insomnia, and brain tumors. The past decade has seen revolutions both in brain-scanning technologies and in drugs that affect the brain's functions. Like personal computers and digital camcorders, these technologies are getting faster, better, and cheaper. And they may have uses in the interrogation room that will render moot debates about the excesses of Abu Ghraib-style treatment of prisoners. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging brain scans, for example, have improved so dramatically that they can now produce high-resolution movies of brain activity. Functional MRIs can measure how the brain reacts when asked certain questions, such as, "Do you know Mr. X?" or, "Have you seen this man?" When you ask someone a question, the parts of the brain responsible for answering will cause certain neurons to fire, drawing blood flow. The oxygen in the blood then changes the brain's magnetic field so that a neural radio signal emitted becomes more intense. Functional MRI scanners detect and calibrate these changes.

And by comparing the resulting images to those of the brain at rest, a computer can produce detailed pictures of the part of the brain answering or not answering the question—in essence, creating a kind of high-tech lie detector. Indeed, a Pentagon agency is already funding Functional MRI research for such purposes.

//www.infowars.com/print/ps/psychotorture.htm


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