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Real, Live Mad Scientists Send Electric Shocks to People's Brains to Make Them Less Violent

Danger Electric Shock Science.makamuki0/Pixabay

For centuries, the fearful image that the common folk has had of innovators is the Mad Scientist persona. Surrounded by all kinds of strange contraptions, these scientists would experiment on live subjects with abandon. This is the kind of scenario that comes to mind when talking about a new study that involves electrocuting people’s brains to shock violence out of them.

According to the research paper that a group of scientists published, sending small electric shocks into the brain of a person reduces their tendency to commit horrific crimes. The study was conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers.

“Through a double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, this study tested whether upregulation of the prefrontal cortex reduces the likelihood of engaging in aggression. Results provide experimental evidence that increasing prefrontal cortical activity can reduce intent to commit aggressive acts,” the paper reads.

The experiment involved 81 adult subjects who were divided into two groups. While one group was subjected to the electroshock treatment for 20 minutes, the other was not. Following the treatment, the two groups were then asked questions about scenarios involving violent behavior.

According to the results, the inclination in group one to commit physical assault was 47 lower than that of group two. The same goes for sexual assault, which was 70 percent lower.

As Futurism notes, however, this doesn’t mean that society has found the answer to solving violent crimes. There are still many factors that the study did not take into consideration, including the numerous conditions under which the treatment may be applied.

There’s also the moral conflict brought up by the results of this study to consider, The Next Web points out. If violence can be removed by simply shocking the brain, does this mean that violent criminals are simply unwitting victims of their biology? Is a person destined to be violent from the moment they were born?

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