Non-Pharmacological Tools for Neuroenhancement. Neuroethical Issues

Julija Erhardt, Dubravka Švob Štrac
2016 Synthesis philosophica  
Advances in neuroscience and technology brought us several methods that have potential to non-pharmacologically influence our brain. most of these methods are developed with the purpose of treating disorders, but also have favourable results on cognition and mood in the healthy, and the potential to be used for enhancement purposes. Two categories of methods are used for treatments of the brain, methods that apply a magnetic field and those that apply an electrical current through the scalp.
more » ... rough the scalp. Several methods have been developed that use one of these principles for treatment, most important being transcranial magnetic stimulation (TmS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The aim of this review is to give a short overview of different aspects of the most widely used non-pharmacological techniques that can be used for enhancement purposes and state the most relevant ethical issues related to the safety, influence on character, justice and autonomy of their us. Irrespective of the amount of information on the mechanisms and modes of action for specific methods, the possible range and scope of their side effects and the implications of their potential use for enhancement, have not been emphasized enough. Outside clinical settings, these devices are unregulated, with no system in place to ensure their safety. moreover, the all-pervading technology that we live surrounded by and the lack of public discourse, all contribute against a reasonable and slow approach to their implementation and resulted in the spreading and increase in their commercial use. Keywords neuroethics, neuroenhancement, non-invasive brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Shakti-8, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA 61 (1/2016) pp. (181-194) J. Erhardt, D. Švob Štrac, Non-Pharmacological Tools for Neuroenhancement
doi:10.21464/sp31113 fatcat:tznqxtnxvza5ff4kf72c4kqkvm