Volunteers whose posterior medial frontal cortex, an area in the middle of the brain that is associated with reward processing, were exposed to the magnetic pulses suffered reduced levels of conformity.
The researchers believe this part of the brain dates back a long way in the evolution of animals and is responsible or automatically "correcting" our performance when we fall out of line with a group.
They say that by suspending this mechanism, it allows people to think and behave differently. They now believe it may be possible to develop drugs or behaviour changing techniques that could increase or decrease people's conformity.
..."Drug manipulation of dopamine could also affect conformity."
Such drugs would be controversial, however, as they could be used by companies hoping to make their employees more reliable or to help control rebellious individuals.
In the study, the researchers asked 49 female volunteers to take part in a study where they were asked to rate the attractiveness of 220 photographs of female faces, but they were allowed to change their ratings after seeing what others in the study had scored.
When Transcranial Electromagnetic Stimulation (TMS) was used to inhibit the activity of the neurons in the posterior medial frontal cortex, the participants did not change their ratings of the photographs so they were more in line with the rest of the group. _Telegraph
We already know that using TMS to stimulate the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has the effect of decreasing inhibition and increasing risk-taking behaviours. Further experiments will determine more specific areas of cortex involved in judgment and decision-making. TMS can be used to either reduce the activity of the part of the brain that is targeted, or to increase the activity.
The Telegraph article discusses the idea of using drugs to increase or decrease conformity. But a more effective method for would-be dictators would be to utilise targeted nano-capsules which contain genetic programming for more long-term alteration of outlook and allegiance to the collective.
The USSR collapsed because science had not developed far enough to provide these useful tools to the guardians of the collective. In the future, managing the loyalties of large collectives should become easier, using these new methods of brain control.
As far as world dictatorship, the main threat will be multiple stable regional dictatorships which refuse to assimilate into a central world collective. Al Fin cognitive scientists have been asked to provide solutions to this possible complication, but at this time we are maintaining a strict neutrality. We are, however, moving strategic labs and offices of the Al Fin Institutes to a secure, undisclosed, island location.
For those who remain in the population centres, resistance may very well become futile. The chances are growing, that you will be assimilated. Try to resolve yourselves to your likely fate. It will be easier that way.