MANIPULATION by Erwin Lausch


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A Clockwork Orange is child's play compared to what Lausch portends. The author, a science writer, reports on brain research and techniques that manipulate mind and body: surgery, electrical stimulation, chemical intervention, genetic alteration, psychological expedients, memory wirepulling. Lausch documents such outre scenes as the isolated brain (alive, but sans body); encephalic transplants (successful on dogs); the split brain (the two halves unable to communicate); aphasia; lobotomy; pleasure, pain, and aggression center excitation; hormonal injection (killers can be made); psychoactive drugs; sensory deprivation; REM curtailment; and chemically transferred fears (a rat learns to fear darkness, his brain extract is injected into a mouse, the mouse fears darkness). Lausch is an intelligent and accessible writer, even in matters as formidable as anatomy and physiology. The possibilities of a ""dictator"" concern him, but he ""urgently demands"" that a ""pacifying substance"" be developed to control aggression. He does not deny that ethical and political problems must be faced, but fails to confront them himself. A useful catalog, but Lausch doesn't explore the full implications of brain control.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1974
Publisher: Viking