The human brain may become a “battlefield” in future wars, including “pharmacological land mines” and drones directed by mind control, a new report has predicted.
In a report commissioned by the US Defence Intelligence Agency, leading scientists were asked to examine how a greater understanding of the brain over the next 20 years is likely to drive the development of new medicines and technologies.
According to the Guardian newspaper, US intelligence officials were told that rapid advances in neuroscience could have a dramatic impact on national security and the way in which future wars are fought.
According to the report, they found several areas in which progress could have a profound impact, including behaviour-altering drugs, scanners that can interpret a person’s state of mind and devices capable of boosting senses such as hearing and vision.
Bullets may be replaced with “pharmacological land mines” that release drugs to incapacitate soldiers on contact, while scanners and other electronic devices could be developed to identify suspects from their brain activity and even disrupt their ability to tell lies, the report says.
Greater understanding of the brain’s workings is also expected to usher in new devices that link directly to the brain, either to allow operators to control machinery with their minds, such as flying unmanned reconnaissance drones, or to boost their natural senses.
“Experiments indicate that the advantages of these devices are such that human operators will be greatly enhanced for things like photo reconnaissance and so on,” Kit Green, the chairman of the report committee, was quoted as saying by the British daily on Thursday.