Controlling how people feel and act is the scary stuff of science fiction. Or at least the future. But the future is here.

Scientists can now plant emotions in your head that are not naturally derived. Researchers at Brown university showed their subjects some photos, their subjects had no emotional reactions to those photos, and that should have been that.

Instead, using a brain-training technique called “neurofeedback,” they were able to suddenly change the way these people felt about the photos, eliciting negative and positive emotional responses to the very same photographs of people’s faces they originally had no feelings towards.

In other words, they flat out induced feelings that weren’t and shouldn’t be there. The discovery was an accident. Takeo Watanabe is on the record saying “We did not mean to develop a device that would be used for brainwashing.” They were just studying neurofeedback, for noble purposes. Like others, these researchers were exploring neurofeedback as a way to treat depression, PTSD, and anxiety.