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Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement$
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Ruud ter Meulen, Ahmed Mohammed, and Wayne Hall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.001.0001

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Cognitive enhancement using noninvasive brain stimulation: weighing opportunity, feasibility, and risk

Cognitive enhancement using noninvasive brain stimulation: weighing opportunity, feasibility, and risk

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter 8 Cognitive enhancement using noninvasive brain stimulation: weighing opportunity, feasibility, and risk
Source:
Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement
Author(s):

Priyanka P. Shah-Basak

Roy H. Hamilton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.003.0008

Therapies treat diseases, while enhancement improves normal abilities. We have referred to this notion of inorganically boosting the neural functions of healthy individuals as “cosmetic neurology.” In the past decade, noninvasive brain stimulation techniques, especially transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), has been used increasingly in experimental settings to transiently enhance performance in otherwise healthy individuals. In this chapter, we will survey recent cognitive neuroscience studies in which tDCS has been used to manipulate and enhance cognition in a variety of cognitive domains including executive functions, language, learning and memory, and visuospatial abilities. We will also review a few illustrative areas in which recent studies seem to support the use of tDCS for potential real-world applications. Based on the assembled evidence presented in this chapter, we conclude that there is still much to be investigated about the specific tDCS parameters before its widespread applications in cognitive enhancement.

Keywords:   cognitive enhancement, noninvasive brain stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), real-world applications, ethical concerns, safety

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