Friday, August 09, 2013

Electromagnetic Immorality

Some time ago I posted about how magnets on your left temporal lobe can make you more artistic, but that opens up the question: what happens if you put the super magnet on the right temporal lobe?  Well you disrupt the brains moral compass that's what.
Want to make somebody lose her belief that harming somebody else is wrong? All you have to do is stick super magnets in the right side of their hat.  Using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), in which magnets are used to disrupt neural activity in specific parts of the brain, scientists managed to "turn off" people's moral centres. 

Researcher Liane Young and colleagues applied transcranial magnetic stimulation  to disrupt neural activity in an area of the brain known to process information about beliefs and then asked twenty subjects to rate actions on a scale from one (morally forbidden) to seven (morally permissible). The researchers report that study participants judged actions in which a person believes he or she will cause harm to another person-but fails to do so-were more morally permissible during TMS application to the brain region responsible for processing beliefs, compared to when TMS was not applied, or applied to other brain regions.
Now we can see why most supervillan minions have elaborate headgear as part of their uniform.  In addition to making a bold fashion statement, having a switch to turn both creativity and moral reasoning on or off on a whim, built in to your employees uniforms has its distinct possibilities.  In other words, if you need an army of minions willing to kill for you without hesitation, you're going to need a lot of magnets. 

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