[Paleopsych] Corante: DARPA's Radical Neurowar Technologies

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DARPA's Radical Neurowar Technologies

September 30, 2005
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
(http://www.darpa.mil/dso/future/faoi.htm)  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.

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