THE NEUROENHANCEMENT OF HEALTHY
INDIVIDUALS USING tDCS: SOME ETHICAL,
LEGAL AND SOCIETAL ASPECTS
Toni PustovrhFaculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
|INDECS 12(4), 270-279, 2014
Full text available here.
Received: 23 October 2014
Over the past two decades there has been increasing scientific interest in Human Enhancement, that is, the possibilities of expanding and enhancing the capabilities of healthy individuals with direct technological interventions into the body. The (sub)field of neuroenhancement, which explores attempts to technologically increase attention, memory, perception, learning and other cognitive capabilities, as well as alter mood and emotions, has become especially prominent. Recently, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) has emerged as a possible method for enhancing cognitive abilities in healthy individuals. The article provides a short overview of the concept of neuroenhancement and of the cognitive enhancement effects that tDCS has demonstrated in the scientific literature. It further focuses on the (neuro)ethical, legal and societal implications of such a practice, and points out issues and questions that especially require further research and investigation, both from a neuroscientific and from a social sciences and humanities perspective. tDCS could become another addition to the increasing set of Human Enhancement Technologies, but it requires further rigorous studies and trials in order to properly assess its potential risks and benefits.
tDCS, transcranial direct-current stimulation, neuroenhancement, cognitive enhancement, neuroethics
APA: 2300, 2520, 2630, 2820, 3120, 3350, 3365, 3450
JEL: O32, O33