About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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September 30, 2005

DARPA's Radical Neurowar Technologies

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Posted by Zack Lynch

All technologies are double-edged swords. While advances in neuroscience are making possible more effective treatments for mental illness, the same technology is also going to be used for other purposes. For example, the U.S. Defense Science Office recently announced that it is creating a future in which our warfighters instantaneously assimilate all available information through advances in neurotechnology.

One program promises a future in which warfighters can maintain their peak physical and cognitive performance, despite battlefield stressors such as sleep deprivation and exposure to extreme environments. The DSO envisions a future where severe pain is eliminated for weeks with a single dose and no adverse cognitive effects. Remarkable, they state, this pain therapy is already in clinical trials.

Another program that has come out of the DSO's long investment in understanding language of the brain has led to the possibility of the developing an upper limb prosthetic that responds to brain control, a prosthetic that has all the motor and sensory capabilities of a natural limb. While this program might have alternative uses, it is currently targeted to help returning soldiers who have lost a limb to participate more fully in their return to society.

These are just a few of the programs that are beginning to give rise to the scary neurowar scenario I have previously written about.

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety


1. Alison on September 30, 2005 8:09 PM writes...

well shit.

ahh well, defense research is responsible for mustard gas, methamphetamine, etc.

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2. Brent on October 2, 2005 3:01 PM writes...

I see you've been watching the Discovery channel again. Thanks for pointing out what everyone has seen coming for thirty years and is on every TV program!

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3. RJT on October 2, 2005 3:39 PM writes...

we already have the technology to send orders directly into troops brains with using radio, so that the orders won't be overheard.

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4. Sam Price on October 3, 2005 11:12 AM writes...

I don't see what the fuss is about. Things that you have mentioned in your article are things that could save your life in the future. Your only looking at the negative impact and not how society will benefit in the future.

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5. John McMurtrey on October 5, 2005 6:01 PM writes...

A descriptive review of scientific papers along with approppriate news references suggests that mind reading capacity has already had development. "Thought Reading Capacity" at

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6. Klooody on December 10, 2005 8:38 AM writes...

Neurosience is very perspective way, I think. But I afraid think about that can evils do with it..

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