Spain halts electric shock experiment on violent prisoners

Spain halts electric shock experiment on violent prisoners
Copyright Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash
By Pascale DaviesMarta Rodriguez
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Spain's Interior Ministry called off the second phase of a scientific experiment on violent inmates that could curb aggression.


Spain's Interior Ministry suspended the second phase of an electric shock experiment on violent prisoners that could curb aggression.

The pilot study was started at Huelva Prison in the southwest of the country in 2016. The first phase of the experiment was carried out on 41 inmates, 18 of them were serving sentences for murder.

It consisted in strapping electrodes to the inmates head and supplying the brain with an electric current of 1.5 milliamps for 15 minutes a day over the course of three days.

The second phase of the experiment was due to begin this month but the government said permission for the tests was given by the previous government and it wants to investigate the subject more before it can continue.

The research was born out of an initiative by a doctoral student who was interested in aggression and aggressive behavior. Universities from Spain, Germany and Mexico participated.

"We designed a study to better understand which areas of the brain are related to aggression," Andrés Molero, a professor at the University of Huelva and one of the researchers, told radio SER. Molero said the procedure was not It is invasive and it was not meant to provide a treatment.

Molero added that the participants were volunteers and that they excluded people with neurological diseases. The professor, who was surprised by the project stopping, argued that it exists in many universities in Europe.

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