2013 Inquiry Seminars

Brain Enhancement: Ethics and Evidence

Susan Larson

Scientific discoveries have resulted in drugs, devices and procedures that allow for the manipulation of the brain in individuals with brain disorders and damage. Developments have also resulted in interventions used for healthy people designed to “enhance our brains.” In this class, you will learn about the evidence for brain enhancement focusing on topics including enhancing memory, changing personality, and devices used to overcome nervous system damage. In addition to evidence, the ethics of brain enhancement will be considered (e.g., what are the consequences of changing our personality? how will brain enhancement change our understanding of aging? what is the cultural impact of devices like cochlear implants?). WC