Shane O’Mara
Professor of Experimental Brain Research, Trinity College Dublin

is a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin. His latest book is Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation (2015). He lives in Dublin. 

Written by Shane O’Mara

Original caption: 20 Jan 1968, Da Nang, Vietnam. First Air Cavalrymen and a Vietnamese interpreter lay a towel over the face on an uncooperative Viet Cong suspect and then pour water on it. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Essay/
Mood and emotion
The interrogator’s soul

An ordinary person becomes a torturer with surprising ease. The hard part comes when it’s time to be human again

Shane O’Mara