Transcranial magnetic stimulation (henceforth TMS) has already been shown to be able to alter our neurological processes and thereby alter our moods and behavior. A recent study, for example, involved subjects whose neurological processes were altered via TMS (more specifically, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was exposed to TMS). The result was that subjects were more likely to agree to unfair distributions of resources in the Ultimatum Game.¹
In an article entitled “Neuroethics and National Security,” the authors suggest that this same sort of precise neural stimulation could eventually be used to create amiable relations between interrogators and suspected terrorists thereby facilitating the extraction of information.
Suppose that this technology became readily available and that married persons were considering utilizing this technology as a sort of neurological enhancement to their relationship. I am interested in your intuitive responses to the following questions:
Try not to let your response to the first question influence your response to this one:
I suspect that people may be less reluctant to answer “yes” in the second question rather than the first. (We’ll see if this is correct.) If so, why? And why select yes or no in the first place for either of the questions?
1 Canli, Turhan, Susan Brandon, William Casebeer, Philip J. Crowley, Don DuRousseau, Henry T. Greely and Alvaro Pascual-Leone. 2007. Neuroethics and National Security. The American Journal of Bioethics. 7(5):3-13. < http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/15265160701290249 >. (accessed 29 May 2011).