Watching People Think

I have two children and love them very much. But my love to see God was stronger than my love for my children, and I’m sure that God will take care of them if (sic) I become a martyr…. I’m proud to be the first (sic) female martyr.

Reem Saleh Riyashi,

Seventh female Islamic Fundamentalist suicide bomber,

January 14, 2004

The fact that a woman took part for the first time in a Hamas operation marks a significant evolution… women are like the reserve army—when there is a necessity, we use them. Today we needed her because there are a lot of problems for a man to reach out to Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Sheik Ahmed Yassin,

Founder, Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas),

January 14, 2004

Washington Post Foreign Service

M. Moore, Jerusalem

Until now, it has been impossible to understand scientifically how persons can behave in ways that Western political, psychological, and psychiatric criteria define as pathological. This inability to understand motivation has caused U.S. military planning and response strategy to be focused on preemptively, post hoc punishment and on attempts to educate through ineffective traditional propaganda and occasional “active measures.”

The reason for the confounding nature of the problem and for the failure of this nation to stem its growth relate directly to the simple fact that traditional Western models of behavior cast such actions as psychopathological. It is likely that these actions, rather than being pathological in the contexts in which they reside, are the actions of rational thought and of educational processes that U.S. leadership has not defined, and that they will escalate until and unless the United States can “watch these people think.”

Scientific Methods That May Predict Behaviors

Physicians and psychologists are now using a new set of technologies for analyzing brain function. Initial data have been collected and analyzed in three parallel research streams which support the contention that the U.S. research community is now poised to change the paradigm of dealing with behavioral phenomena in subjective Western practice.

The technologies of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are being newly applied to real-time brain imaging. During the brain scans, the subjects of the experiments observe, through virtual-reality technology, images, sounds, and voice commands, and they also see written text. Online proprietary software ensures in real time that the appropriate (hypothesized from past extensive behavioral research) part of the brain cortex (e.g., the occipital sensory visual and auditory centers) is engaging the “message” presented. Pre- and post-identification of activation levels (blood-oxygen-level-dependent, fMRI and MEG) from cognitive processing (e.g., prefrontal cortex), emotional uploading to that process

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