Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth.
While we wait for Dick Cheney, the Pentagon, or the CIA to release evidence that "enhanced interrogation techniques" produced useful, truthful intelligence that could not be obtained without torture, neuroscientists are weighing in on how likely torture is to elicit such information—and they are not impressed.
It's become the conventional wisdom that the tortured will say anything to make the torture stop, and that "anything" need not be truthful as long as it is what the torturers want to hear. But years worth of studies in neuroscience, as well as new research, suggest that there are, in addition, fundamental aspects of neurochemistry that increase the chance that information obtained under torture will not be truthful