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Aero India 2023

Coming soon! Neurowars

NEW YORK (BNS): The next generation warfare will have drugs as its weapon: soldiers firing drugs to disarm their enemies. And enemies caught as prisoners will no more be put through the conventional methods of physical torture to extract information, but harmless neurological techniques will be used.

The National Research Council for the US Defense Intelligence Agency says the future battlefields could be significantly different from what we know today. It talks of troops spraying drugs at enemies to slow down their reaction time, instead of bullets. And the "concept of torture could also be altered" if a technique can be "developed to extract information from a prisoner that does not have any lasting side-effects."

The agency's report titled "Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies" is a futuristic report on the potential neurosciences in military and spying. Combining neurological techniques with functional neurological imaging could help in the future to accurately sense people's psychological states. The neuro psychopharmacology could not only help in human cognition but would also help in degrading the performance of opponents, the report said.

The report says, "insufficient high-quality research has been conducted to provide empirical support for the use of any single neurophysiological technology, including functional neuroimaging, to detect deception." To overcome the shortcoming, the Agency recommends a combination of approaches such as "imaging techniques and the recording of electrophysiological, biochemical and pharmacological responses."

The Agency's panel tells the American intelligence agencies and the Pentagon to consider possibilities of "enhancing cognition and facilitating training" to make smarter spooks and soldiers.

They have also called for detailed study on the functional imaging to understand "states of emotion, motivation, psychopathology, language, imaging processing for measuring workload performance, and the differences between Western and non-Western cultures". The study says some evidence exists to prove a relationship between culture and brain development.

The study calls for exploitation of nanotechnology to help drugs bypass the blood-brain barrier. This would result in a very precise delivery of drugs to improve human brain power. In the reverse, this breakthrough could also mean the enemy could develop drugs that could impair the performance of a human being.


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