Is free will spent by a knock-out drug?

I’ve got a brief article in Wired UK about whether the knock-out drug burundanga could help us understand the neuroscience of free will.

The drug is actually an extract of plants from the brugmansia family with the active ingredient being scopolamine.

The urban legend goes that when you’ve been spiked with the drug you do whatever you’re told and can’t remember anything afterwards. The truth is probably less spectacular but surprisingly, its effect on conformity has never been tested.

You may remember I made a radio programme on the same topic with the lovely people from ABC All in the Mind and although the article has just come out, it was actually the inspiration for the documentary.

Link to Wired UK article on knock-out drugs and free will.
Link to ABC All in the Mind documentary on burundanga.

2 thoughts on “Is free will spent by a knock-out drug?”

  1. Not exactly a dark secret, the effects of tropane alkaloids and the folk legends
    surrounding these plants are well known, unless you happen to be a journalist.
    Brugmansia can be grown in a pot, the leaves can be smoked and the flowers steeped
    in wine to produce an intoxicating drink, but don’t do this at home kids.

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