Scientists propose to fight prisoners' aggression with electrical brain stimulation

Modern prisons are centers of violence. However, this may change if a new experiment on the brains of the most aggressive prisoners is successful.

Scientists from the University of Huelva (Spain) reported that in the near future they are starting a study on the basis of a local prison in order to find out how much it is possible to calm the aggression of prisoners by transcranial stimulation of the brain with direct current - TDCS.

The researchers plan to use at least 12 volunteer prisoners serving sentences for murder in the experiments. For three days in a row, electrodes will be attached to their heads and an electric current will be passed through them. The process will last 15 minutes and will not give the subjects any unpleasant sensations.

At the beginning and at the end of the experiment, each participant will have to answer a list of questions whether he agrees with statements such as, "sometimes I cannot cope with the urge to hit another person."

In addition to this, the team also hopes to collect saliva samples from each of the volunteers to determine the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in order to determine the degree of aggressiveness of the prisoner.

There are many critics of such experiments, who question, first of all, their ethical side. However, if TDCS helps inmates to curb their aggression, then prisons will become much calmer.