national security professionals, and trends for future warfighting applications that may warrant continued analysis and tracking by the intelligence community,2

  • Use the technology warning methodology developed in the 2005 National Research Council report Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology Advances (NRC, 2005) to assess the health, rate of development, and degree of innovation in the neurophysiology and cognitive/neural science research areas of interest, and

  • Amplify the technology warning methodology to illustrate the ways in which neurophysiological and cognitive/neural research conducted in selected countries may affect committee assessments.

The label “cognitive” in the title and elsewhere in this report is used in a broad sense, unless specifically noted otherwise in the report itself, to refer to psychological and physiological processes underlying human information processing, emotion, motivation, social influence, and development. Hence, it includes contributions from behavioral and social science disciplines as well as contributing disciplines such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, and linguistics. The label “neuroscience” is also used in a broad sense (unless specified otherwise) and includes the study of the central nervous system (e.g., brain) and somatic, autonomic, and neuroendocrine processes.

This summary includes the committee’s key findings and recommendations, numbered to facilitate access to related text in Chapters 2-5, which also include additional findings.


Cognitive neuroscience and its related technologies are advancing rapidly, but the IC has only a small number of intelligence analysts with the scientific competence needed to fully grasp the significance of the advances. Not only is the pace of progress swift and interest in research high around the world, but the advances are also spreading to new areas of research, including computational biology and distributed Human-Machine systems with potential for military and intelligence applications. Cognitive neuroscience and neurotechnology constitute a multifaceted discipline that is flourishing on many fronts. Important research is taking place in detection of deception, neuropsychopharmacology, functional neuroimaging, computational biology, and distributed human-machine systems, among other areas. Accompanying this research are the ethical and cultural implications and considerations that will continue to emerge and will require serious thought and actions. The IC also confronts massive amounts of pseudoscientific


In negotiation with the sponsor on the statement of task, this item was intentionally left broad in scope to allow the committee to select the areas within the field of cognitive neuroscience that it believed should be of interest to the intelligence community. The selected areas of interest are discussed in Chapters 2 through 4.

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