Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The machine that can re-program your brain......

It's not going to come as a surprise that modern medical machinery can see what's going on in someone's brain. This is how science has arrived at the modern definitions of 'empty' and 'dark': By having these machines peer into the heads of senior political figures.

But why stop at looking?

......OK, there are lots of good reasons why science should probably stop at 'just looking' more often. But apparently science said bugger to those: There are machines called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulators, and they are used to control brains.....

Screwing with Michael Mosley is just the start. These machines use rapidly changing magnetic fields to create electrical currents inside somebody's brain, activating and de-activating parts of it (because a brain is basically just a complex electric circuit). Because of this they can help people with psychiatric problems - like severe depression - who aren't responding to drugs or therapy. 

They can also be used to make other changes to somebody's personality: Kevin Dutton, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, once used a TMS to give himself the brain patterns of a psychopath.

Don't ask me why, he seems to have just been curious what it would feel like.

Apparently he's a lovely guy ordinarily. But after the TMS session Dr Dutton was cheerfully watching torture porn, chatting up the lab assistant (he's happily married), and stealing money off of tables.

Don't worry if he's your neighbour - the effects wore off after twenty minutes.

At least he says they have....