Monday, July 7, 2014

Do We Have An Off Switch?

It's possible that we might. Scientists were experimenting with brain stimulation on a woman with epilepsy...and managed to discover that if you stimulate the claustrum in a particular way, the person loses consciousness.

The development might lead to drug-free anesthesia and new treatments for epilepsy...possibly even a way to wake people up who are in a coma for apparently no good reason. But some people might be disturbed - turning somebody off? If this could be done from a distance, the criminal possibilities are also quite, quite endless. (Knock everyone out in a bank? Date rape?)

The "switch" probably has something to do with how we sleep.