The Diffusion of Neurotechnology and Its Oversight

By: Bryan W. Daugherty

Neurotechnology holds the potential to transform nearly every aspect of our lives and revolutionize our conception of the human mind. The science of the brain is moving forward more rapidly than any other science today. For example, American neuroscientists are currently developing "memory-management" drugs. They believe that such pills could help individuals improve their memory skills or even erase unwanted memories, such as that bad childhood experience lurking at the back of your mind. Concerns for ethical and responsible use of neuroscience-based technologies such as brain-machine interfaces, transcranial magnetic stimulation, Positron Emission Tomography and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging are very rarely heard outside the neuroscience community.

Although it seems the majority of individuals dismiss notions of Mind uploading, hypersonic messaging, neurochips, brain pacemakers and brain-computer interfacing as science fiction. However, "research on BCI's began in the 1970s.". "Pionerring researchers can now conceivably attempt to produce BCI's that augment human functions.".

There are currently commercial companies such as Cyberkinetic Neurotechnology Inc. "who have set the development of practical BCIs for humans as its major goal." How has the discussion regarding the ethical implications of neurtechnology as a whole not debated in the public realm? What concerns do you hold for the future of this technology?

Please feel free to respond to this entry or to take the corresponding poll which can be found in our debate forum at the Evolution of Thought Institute hosted by www.stackzilla.com

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