Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Truth, Torture and Memory

Torture techniques used on suspected terrorists by the Bush administration may have failed to get to the truth, researchers say.

Professor Shane O'Mara of Trinity College, Dublin, said the interrogation techniques had a detrimental effect on brain functions related to memory. His review is published in the journal, Trends in Cognitive Science.

BBC News story available here. Extract as follows: "Professor O'Mara said contemporary neuroscientific models of human memory showed that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortices of the brain were very important. The stress hormone, cortisol, binds to receptors in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex increasing neuronal excitability which compromises the normal functioning of the brain if it is sustained."

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