A review of cognitive enhancement technologies

This recent 29-page review of cognitive enhancement technologies [PDF] is written by Anders Sandberg and Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at Oxford University. The document was published as part of the EU ENHANCE Project, a two-year initiative, which began in March 2006, to evaluate the ethical implications of advances in human enhancement technologies, in order to inform European Union policy-makers about, and raise public understanding of, those technologies.

Among the technologies discussed in the review are brain-computer interfaces and genetic and pharmacological means for enhancing memory.

Here’s the introduction:

Cognitive enhancement aims at amplifying or extending the abilities of the mind through internal or external hardware or software. Up until recently only internal software in the form of trained efficient mental algorithms and the general enhancing effects of paper-based information management was available. As cognitive neuroscience has advanced the range of potential internal enhancement treatments have increased, as well as the availability and power of external hardware/software support.

Also involved in the ENHANCE project are groups of researchers from the Stockholm Bioethics Centre at the University of Stockholm in Sweden and the Faculty of Philosophy at the Universita Vita Salute in Milan, Italy, who are evaluating the ethics of physical enhancement in sport and life extension technologies, respectively.


One thought on “A review of cognitive enhancement technologies

  1. Hey ho neurophilosopher,
    the link to the Bostrom and Sandberg review paper is broken. Can you repair it, or post the document.
    Thanks a lot (also for your great blog)!

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