CEREBRAL

Scientists Target Peer Pressure Trigger

Scientists in Holland are zeroing in on a small part of the brain that triggers submission to peer pressure, which can be traced back to the evolution of animals as a survival instinct to stay with the pack. Researchers were able to control this part of the brain using powerful electromagnetic pulses on study participants who were less likely to conform after the experiment. They are now exploring behavioral techniques and possible drug therapy that would reduce or encourage man's tendency to conform. The drugs would be controversial, however, as they could be abused by companies trying to make employees more reliable or by people trying to control society's rebels.