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"Messing with the mind": Evolutionary challenges to human brain augmentation


Saniotis, Arthur; Henneberg, Maciej; Kumaratilake, Jaliya; Grantham, James P (2014). "Messing with the mind": Evolutionary challenges to human brain augmentation. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8(152):online.

Abstract

The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of cognition. Therefore, this article proposes that brain-machine interfacing and nootropics are not going to produce "augmented" brains because we do not understand enough about how evolutionary pressures have informed the neural networks which support human cognitive faculties.

The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of cognition. Therefore, this article proposes that brain-machine interfacing and nootropics are not going to produce "augmented" brains because we do not understand enough about how evolutionary pressures have informed the neural networks which support human cognitive faculties.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:26 Feb 2015 08:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:08
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5137
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2014.00152
PubMed ID:25324734
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-109302

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