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Ethics of boosting brainpower debated by researchers

For decades people have nipped a wrinkle here, reduced a nose size there or paid for help boosting test scores. With this history of paying to improve our bodies and minds, why not extend that liberty to memory-improving drugs or brain-enhancing implants?

These and other questions being raised by modern neuroscience were the topic of a meeting of neuroscientists, ethicists and psychologists funded by the National Science Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. The group, led by Judy Illes, senior research scholar in biomedical ethics and in radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will publish their thoughts in the April 20 online issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience. The article will also appear in the May print issue of the journal. The group’s goals were to outline both the ethical issues raised by modern neuroscience and the steps scientists should take, if any.

Ethics of boosting brainpower debated by researchers

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Ethics of boosting brainpower debated by researchers. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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