2006-07-23

Cognitive enhancement and neurotech

Chris Chatham at Developing Intelligence posed a few thoughtful questions today on cognitive enhancement.

Are "cognitive enhancement" technologies overhyped?

If there is real potential for cognitive enhancement, what are the implications?

Would you use a mind-amplifying technology yourself, or if there were "critical periods" for their use, on your children?


Sure to elicit lots of interesting answers (mine's long) and he'd like to hear your opinions too, so scoot on over.

It brings to mind a recent feature on brain-computer interfaces at Nature. Their Web Focus offers links to current research in Nature (some free access), streaming video of experiments and discussion with researchers, links to relevant organizations, and archived research and news items.

BPS Research Blog wrote about some of that recent research as well, and mention the important distinction between implants and brain-computer interfaces that use external EEG neurofeedback (example in this video of an EEG-controlled Pong game).

Cognitive enhancement is an important transhumanist issue, along with its impact, the liberty for individuals to choose it, and related subjects. Here's Nick Bostrom speaking in a panel on cognitive enhancement at the 2006 “Forbidding Science” conference at Arizona State University. Video is provided by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies which contributes much to enhance understanding of the subject.



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