Neuroenhancements: Evolution and perspectives

Margot Zanetti, Francesco Peluso Cassese

Abstract


The word “neuroenhancement” indicates the strengthening of those fundamental processes and activities that are considered essential for a normal functioning, such as: memory, attention, problem solving, deductive skills, and so on. With the increasing development of neuroscience, it was believed that a change would come: thanks to the opportunity of observing the brain in vivo, it seemed possible to improve the cognitive functions of human beings. The main pursued changes were basically two: a) the modifications/additions brought by the use of technology could be implanted or stimulated directly in a person’s brain; b) there is a strong will to make those enhancements availa- ble to every able-bodied person. Nevertheless, the results shown by the research contradicted the expectations. The pharmacological research is considered suspended, and the effects of the most efficient neuroscientific techniques, as the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), last briefly. Moreover, even moral neuroenhancements, which aim to increase pro- social attitudes and thoughts, are standstill and more and more discussed by neuroscience, philosophy and pedagogy.

Despite those findings, the distribution of these means, most importantly the pharmacological ones, continues grow- ing, and it moreover has a great impact on scholastic literature and practice, contexts in which it is possible to observe their first application and consequences.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.32043/gsd.v1i1%20Sup.115

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