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Eukaryon

The Positive Effects of Brain Discoveries on a Lawyer Career

Daria Polyarskaya
Biology Department
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Nowadays, the possibility of downloading our favorite dreams onto the flash drive or using the power of thought to operate robots becomes realistic. Neuroscience, a fairly new science compared to physics and chemistry, reveals the secrets behind the new brain discoveries. Direct mental communication with the computer, telekinesis, the implantation of new skills directly into our brain, and exoskeletons - it is all our future. Lost limbs would be replaced with mechanic alternatives, indistinguishable from a real arm and would have sense of touch. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku describes the brain’s functionalities and how the latest technologies might help in our daily lives along with the varieties of work areas such as the practice of law.

One of such discoveries that will benefit a lawyer’s job is the EEG (electroencephalogram) scan that displays people’s thoughts on the computer screen. The use of these scans is safe since the EEG sensors are noninvasive. However, before the emergence of helmets with EEG sensors, scientists would perform skin abrasions. creating the risk of infection with bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, Hepatitis-C, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD). There was a case when EEG electrodes caused the transmission of CJD from a demented patient to an epileptic patient (Ferree et al., 2001).

There is a dictionary that has been created in which a person’s thought corresponds to a certain EEG signal. Certain EEG patterns recorded from the brain would be deciphered by a computer and would correspond to an image (Kaku, 2014). For instance, if a lawyer is trying to understand the location of his client or witnesses at the time when an offense was committed, he/she will be asked to put on an EEG helmet and think solely of a moment where the person was at the moment of offense. A thought of being in the park will create an EEG pattern that will correspond to an image of the park. As a result, this technique will be able to tell whether the person was in a car or in the park. However, the lawyer would not be informed about the brand of the car or the name of the park since the electromagnetic waves deteriorate as they pass through the skull (Kaku, 2014).

The job of a lawyer also involves the analysis of the identikits. The program of videotaping people’s thoughts, created by Dr. Gallant’s group, would significantly accelerate the process of creating identikits of potential criminals. First, the person will be asked to think of the criminal
appearance. Then, the program will scan the brain and the computer will select the closest match to the person’s thoughts. A limitation could be that the image might not be precise enough; however, it would help to orient the lawyer in search of a real culprit and prove the innocence of his client.

While working, lawyers have a lot of thoughts and ideas that they are trying to organize in their heads and then write out the detailed chain of events that happened. In addition, they collect a vast amount of data during the investigation. The technique of typing with the mind can help. Lawyers would think of different possibilities of how a crime took place and the computer would type and print out their plan. When manually recording the information, the lawyers might lose their train of thought or incorrectly record some facts. Thus, with this technique the lawyer would not have to waste time typing or writing down the information. Sometimes, an important witness that the lawyer needs to talk to might be deaf-and-dumb. The typewriters of the mind would help in recreating the events that happened to the witness and help the lawyer receive the needed information.

For the lawyer to win the case and prove his client not guilty during the court trials, he/she needs to provide irrefutable evidence. The line of defense the lawyer would use should be kept confidential. It is crucial to avoid the information from leaking. While working on the case, a lawyer might want to use a telepathy shield or Faraday cage that will keep his thoughts private. These inventions are made of metal that cause the electricity to disperse and, therefore, prevent others from using computers to read and interpret electrical signals of the brain of the lawyer (Kaku, 2014). A Faraday cage may also prevent unauthorized reading of electronic passports. It would take the form of metallic passport cover that would block the penetration of foreign signals (Juels et al., n.d.).

Nowadays, scientists are creating forgetful drugs that may erase painful memories from the human mind. One such drug is propranolol. This drug prevents the adrenaline absorption into nerve cells. As a result, long-lasting memories that result from traumatic events would wither due to the absence of adrenaline (Kaku, 2014). There could be a case when a lawyer must communicate with the person that experienced a traumatic event such as sexual abuse. However, the victim may not be able to concentrate on the abuser description due to the prevalence of the traumatic memories associated with this situation. The forgetful drug would erase memories that disturb the person and ultimately help lawyer figure out if his client was involved into this situation.

The implantation of skills might have a significant effect on the lawyer’s job. There are different types of lawyers that specialize in civil, criminal, or federal law. The placement of the electrode into the brain might allow lawyer to have the combined skills of several types of lawyers that will increase his work efficiency. Sometimes lawyers need to restore the facts from previous years while working on the case. To do that, they visit archives or perform web searching. The library of memories would allow lawyers to replay the lives of people who already died and observe their thoughts and feelings and not just the fact of death (Kaku, 2014).

In general, people do not like when others read their private letters; moreover, they do not like when somebody reads or controls their mind and memories without their permission. This raises an ethical question whether the emergence of the new technologies helps or causes harm to the society. Telepathy might help the lawyer in collecting needed information for the case. The removal of unpleasant memories may focus the victim’s attention to a more detailed abuser description. In contrast, people’s private thoughts might be stolen. The removal of all painful memories might make people feel too satisfied; if those painful memories do not exist, they will not be able to learn valuable life lessons . The implantation of skills might increase someone’s intelligence but might be useless for others at the same time. The striking fact of neuroscience is that it is not only used for scientific discoveries but also for human enhancement and career improvement. Even though the inventions are still in progress and have certain disadvantages, they remain breakthroughs that would positively help society in the near future.

References

Ferree, T. C., Luu, P., Russell, G. S., & Tucker, D. M. (2001). Scalp electrode impedance, infection risk, and EEG data quality. Clinical Neurophysiology,112(3), 536-544. doi:10.1016/ s1388-2457(00)00533-2

Juels, A., Molnar, D., & Wagner, D. (n.d.). Security and Privacy Issues in E-passports. First International Conference on Security and Privacy for Emerging Areas in Communications Networks (SECURECOMM’ 05). doi:10.1109/securecomm.2005.59

Kaku, M. (2014). The future of the mind: the scientific quest to understand, enhance, and empower the mind. New York: Doubleday.

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