Mad World – P300 shortcut to the subconcious

An article in The Economist this week reports on scientific work on a specific signal in the human brain named P300. It seems that P300 activates when we recognise something and can be detected electronically before we’re consciously aware we’ve recognised whatever it is. You will be aware of course that the brain takes a few fractions of a second to assemble all the sensory signals and knowledge into a coherent model of reality and this is what we call consciousness. It has been shown by Johnny Scientist that this consciousness runs a few fractions of a second behind reality.

So what this lot of loons have worked out is that they can attach an electrode to your head and detect a signal quicker than you can become aware of it yourself. Who’s doing this? You ask. Well it’s Andy McKinley, head of brain stimulation at the American Air Force’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Wright-Patterson air base in Ohio. Yes, old Whacky McKinley again. He’s been tasked with weaponing this phenomena and is looking at the way soldiers recognise targets.

Now all this is fascinating and no doubt infinite good will come of it……NOT! My prediction is that they’ll embed this technology in a soldier’s helmet and as he’s sitting in his bunker stressed as hell scouring the battlefield for enemy activity. He’ll be watching and waiting and he’ll see a little movement and be just of the verge of thinking,….”is that……that looks like…..hey, sarge I think that’s a…….” – and a loud siren will sound and cause him to yell…YES, YES, I know, I was about to fucking shoot if you give me a chance!

And of course this is progress.

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